12/07/10
Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1.    Blue-winged Olives
2  .  Sculpin, baitfish and small crayfish (Imitate with streamers)
3.    Great Autumn Brown Caddisfly
4.    Midges

Who Won the "Perfect Fly" Fly Box?
Skip Drinkard of Decatur Alabama, who was the first one to recognize the colors of
the Perfect Fly site are also the colors of the number one football team in the
nation, Auburn University, soon to be national champions

Holiday Gift Guide - Somebody You Know Wants This DVD. It may even
be you.













Click Here For The Details of What is Included In This DVD

Part Six - Adult Stoneflies
New Great Smoky Mountains National Park Trout Food Series

When most anglers think about stoneflies in the Great Smoky Mountains National
Park, they think of Little Yellow Stoneflies. The reason is very simple. They are one
of the most plentiful and important of all aquatic insects that exist in the park. Most
everyone call them Yellow Sallies. In fact, they lump several species of Little Yellow
stoneflies under the common name Yellow Sally. Although it was originally intended
as a common name for the Isoperia bilineata species, It's one common name used
for many stoneflies that will work just fine because from a fly fishing standpoint,
there's little, if any difference in the
species that are called Yellow Sallies in the
Smokies.

We have already mentioned that the nymphs of all stoneflies are all clingers with a
rare exception that doesn't even exist in the park. That makes them perfect for the
fast, pocket water streams that make up the vast majority of the water in the park.  
Although some of the egg laying activity of some species can be prolific, we
probably only see just a small percentage of the adults of those stoneflies that
hatch. This is true even though some of them hang around as adults for several
days. Stoneflies live in the adult stage (as long as a few days) longer than the other
main three aquatic insects or the mayflies, caddisflies, and midges. One thing I
forgot to mention about the stoneflies is that some species live for two and some,
even three years. Most of them have a one-year life cycle.

It's rare to see some species of the stoneflies that hatch in the Smokies because
they only come out from their hiding places at nighttime. Some of the Giant Blacks
can be spotted flying high in the air above the water just before dark but otherwise,
you won't see them unless you spot them around a campfire or other type of light.
The Giants hide all day long in the trees and bushes and only come out at night.
Several other species of stoneflies do the same thing. All of them that do come out
from their hiding places during the daytime are usually already out when it turns
daylight, or they come out late in the afternoon, usually just prior to dark.

The Smokies have species that come from
all nine families of stoneflies. The vast
majority hatch in the Spring and early Summer but some hatch during the Fall and a
few during the Winter. Imitations of all of the adults will catch trout but the one
common thing that simplifies the strategy is the fact the egg laying activity usually
occurs late in the day just prior to dark or after dark. There are a few exceptions.
Early in the year, larger brown and black stoneflies that hatch when the water is still
cold or around 50 degrees, tend to deposit their eggs anywhere from mid afternoon
until dark. They all either drop their eggs by landing on the water or knock them off
diving down and touching the surface of the water.

All of the stoneflies hatch on the bank or rocks that protrude out of the water. They
crawl across the bottom of the stream to reach a rock or the bank. It's during this
time that the trout feast on them. Once out of the water, they still may be eaten by
birds and other predators. It usually takes just a few seconds or minutes for the
stonefly to shed its nymphal shuck and dry its wings enough to fly away to the
bushes or trees. Often you will find the shucks along the banks and on rocks in the
water during a hatch. This is always an indication that a hatch is underway because
the ultra thin, very light weight shucks won't stay around long. When you find
shucks, you know stoneflies are hatching. The size of the shuck, along with
information from a good hatch chart, is also a very good indication of which species
of stoneflies are hatching.

I should also mention that sometimes you will see the adults flying around above the
water and even dipping down low enough to almost touch the water
when they are
not laying eggs
. Again, stoneflies can live for a few days sometimes just because
you spot them flying above the water doesn't mean they are depositing eggs and
being eaten by trout This can easily cause you to start fishing an imitation of the
adult when it's too early and your odds would be better fishing another fly. I haven't
noticed this very often in the Smokies but I have seen it occur over and over in the
Western states during the Golden and Salmonfly hatches. I have watched anglers
cast their arms off all day and not catch anything, only to complain that the trout
aren't eating the stoneflies. Often, when this happens they are really never actually
getting on the water to where they could be eaten. There's always a delay from the
time the nymphs are crawling out of the water to hatch in large numbers and the
time the egg laying starts. It can be as long as a week to ten days after the hatch
has just about ended before the egg laying activity gets underway to any
appreciable extent.


Copyright 2010 James Marsh
This program deals with the special considerations that
must be given to tailwaters in order for one to be
consistently successful fishing waters where both man
and nature can affect the conditions. Tailwaters demand
strategies and techniques that are different from that of
freestone streams and spring creeks. This program
covers a wide variety of streams across the U. S. from
East to West, including scenes from over thirty blue -  
ribbon tailwaters