Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1. Blue-winged Olives
2 . Sculpin, baitfish and small crayfish (Imitate with streamers)
4. Little Winter Stoneflies
New Great Smoky Mountains National Park Trout Food Series - Part 12
It has been a while since I stopped writing about the trout food in the Smokies. I
wanted to keep the articles timed to coincide with the hatches forthcoming. So far, I
have written twelve articles. In case anyone is interested or missed them, I will link
them together for you.
12/01/10 New Great Smoky Mountains National Park Trout Food Series
12/02/10 New Great Smoky Mountains National Park Trout Food Series - Part One
12/03/10 New Great Smoky Mountains National Park Trout Food Series - Part Two
12/04/10 New Great Smoky Mountains National Park Trout Food Series - Part Three
12/05/10 New Great Smoky Mountains National Park Trout Food Series - Part Four
12/06/10 New Great Smoky Mountains National Park Trout Food Series - Part Five
12/07/10 New Great Smoky Mountains National Park Trout Food Series - Part Six
12/08/10 New Great Smoky Mountains National Park Trout Food Series - Part Seven
12/09/10 New Great Smoky Mountains National Park Trout Food Series - Part Eight
12/10/10 New Great Smoky Mountains National Park Trout Food Series - Part Nine
12/11/10 New Great Smoky Mountains National Park Trout Food Series - Part Ten
12/12/10 New Great Smoky Mtns NP Trout Food Series - Part Eleven
First, please let me make a very, very important point!
As you can see, I first went through the basics, explaining the different types of
nymphs and larvae. In order to understand anything about aquatic insects, you first
have to understand those differences. Nymphs aren't just nymphs. They are as
different as daylight and dark in both looks and behavior. The same is true of the
different caddisfly and midge larvae and their other important stage of life before
becoming a fully developed adult insect - the pupal stage.
To make sure I'm getting the point across, I'll put it like this. Crawler nymphs are
completely different from clinger nymphs in both looks and behavior. These two
types are completely different from burrower nymphs. All three of these are
completely different in looks and behavior from the swimming nymphs.
For example, lets take three of the most important insects in the park. A Quill
Gordon nymph, a clinger, doesn't look anything like or behave (act) like a Slate
Drake nymph, a swimmer. Neither one of these look or behave like a Blue Quill
nymph, a crawler. They don't live in the same places in the stream.
If you are going to imitate these nymphs with a fly, you not only need flies that look
completely different from each other in shape, color and size, you need to fish them
different ways in different kinds of water. This is not only true of these three
particular insects, it's true of the other types of nymphs and larvae.
This is the most overlooked, misunderstood element in fly fishing for
trout. It's one thing that separates those that catch trout as a result of
knowledge and skill from those that rely solely on luck.
Caddisfly larvae and/or pupae are also as different as daylight and dark. A cased
larva is usually easy for anyone to tell from an non-cased larva. There's only two
other types - the free-living and the net-spinning. These not only all look
completely different from each other, they behave or act completely different.
How can you expect to imitate something you don't know anything about?
The Sad Thing Most All New Anglers Are Not Aware Of:
I'm not trying to insult anyone, but quite frankly, the point I am trying to make flies
right over the head of most anglers. It flies right over the head of many of those
that teach fly fishing. It flies right over the heads of many fly shop owners and
salesman. It flies right over the head of many guides. It flies right over the heads of
many anglers that have been fishing for trout using less than the most productive
methods for fifty years. It's not they aren't capable or that they are dense, rather
they simply don't go to the trouble and effort to learn the things they should know.
I know anglers that have been fishing the Smokies for years that don't know what a
pupae is. They fall into the group of anglers that try to stereotype the fishing and
declare the fishing either good or poor or some degree between based on their
results and experience. They are the ones that catch a good many trout some days
and fail to many other days, but always back up their failures with a pile of good
excuses. They avoid fishing when conditions don't favor their standard, age old
methods of fishing and the flies they have used for years. When they fail to catch
trout, they declare the "fishing poor" and never consider it may have had something
to do with the way they fished. As the saying goes, it's one thing to be stupid but
another thing to be stupid enough not to even realize you're stupid.
Many of these guys are legends in their own minds. When they know
conditions aren't optimal, they avoid going altogether. In other words, they mostly
fish only when anyone with a few days experience that can tie on a Hare's ear
nymph and Parachute Adams fly, stay hidden and cast twenty feet, can catch trout.
They turn their heads to anything out of tradition mainly because it's all
they know. When they are asked anything about the food the trout rely on to
survive, even on a basic level, they pass their ignorance off by degrading its
importance. The new guys that pay them much attention soon begin to think the
food trout eat consist only of bead heads, hair and feathers.
The first thing anyone new to fly fishing the Smokies should realize is that paying
much attention to some of these "legends in their own minds", who have "been
fishing the Smokies for fifty years", can do far more damage than good.
Down and Dirty (some are clean) Tips and Recommendations for Fly
Fishing Destinations -
Just keep in mind that it is strictly one opinion that happens to be mine. The intent is to hopefully
give those interested a general idea of what to expect. Most likely every guide, affiliated business
entity and local angler will have a different opinion. These streams also have full coverage on our
Perfect Fly Stream Section.
Copyright 2011 James Marsh