Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1. Blue-winged Olives
2. Little Yellow Quills (Heptagenia Group)
3. Needle Stoneflies
4 Great Brown Autumn Sedge
6. Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)
New Fly Fishing Strategy Series - What Fly To Use - Part 18
Remember: The key is to imitate the insects and or other food that's most available and easiest for
the trout to acquire. If you haven't read the first parts of this series, please do so. It will help make
this article more meaningful.
I waited until a day later than what I normally do for the strategy series article in order to see the
extent of the rainfall. Although we received a good amount of ran, we did miss the possible severe
weather they were predicting. I do not like Springlike weather in the Fall. It's nice in the sense it's
warm but the windy conditions takes away from the calm, cool Autumn weather we normally have. We
will have enough of this type of weather in about three months.
From looking at the precipitation map on the past 48 hour scale, the Smokies received on the
average about two to two and a half inches of rain. This has brought the stream levels back up high
and they will stay that way for a few days due to the ground being well saturated. It appears that Little
River peaked at about 1420 cfs and is headed back down. The river hadn't quite dropped back down
to a safe wading level since the last rain. It will again be some time before it can be safely waded.
The larger streams may possibly be safely waded by this weekend but it looks doubtful.
The Oconaluftee River and Cataloochee Creek stream flows are very similar. Most of the park
appears to have received about the same amount of rain. The good part is there hasn't been any
flooding and hopefully, there has been minimal damage to the brown trout redds. At least the high
water will somewhat reduce the success of anglers that like to abuse the spawning trout.
The Yellowstone National Park fishing season is open during the migration of the spawning brown
that move from Hebgen Lake, the lower Yellowstone and Snake Rivers into the park to spawn, but it
closes prior to the major brown trout spawning activity. The Smoky Mountains National Park season
remains open during the spawn and although the damage is probably not that significant, the
regulations are rather primitive.
It's still a fact that the streams of the Smokies are managed far better than those of
Yellowstone National Park which has a huge, major problem that the fishery people hasn't
been able to solve and had rather just ignore. It has lost most of its native Yellowstone
Cutthroat Trout population due to non-native Lake Trout existing in Yellowstone Lake, the heart of
the Yellowstone Cutthroat territory. They had rather spend their time and money "studying" how to
destroy the rainbow and brown trout fisheries and restore native cutthroat to the less significant
sections of the park than fix the big problem. What little data you can get from them shows while they
have been able to slow down the damage from the Lake Trout, the overall problem continues to get
worse. They are catching and killing more lake trout each year, but the results has only slowed the
ever increasing damage not just to the sport fishing phase, but for all the other animals that rely
heavily on the Yellowstone Cutthroat trout for their existence. It's in about the same shape as the
national debt - getting worse and with no effective solution to solve the problem. I'm sorry to get off
the subject, but I do write these articles typing what ever hits my mind. I don't have to submit them to
anyone other than you for an opinion.
If you choose to fish during the coming few days, the strategy I'm suggesting is almost identical to
what I suggested last week. You can go back and read it and be on target. The fishing conditions
are again going to change every day for the next few days. This is not only true in terms of
stream levels and water temperature, it will also change from bright clear skies Thanksgiving day
through Saturday, to cloudy skies Saturday night. A new low pressure system will arrive and the cycle
will repeat itself.
The warm weather that will last at least through Sunday will continue to slow down the hatches of
baetis mayflies. They hatch best in water that's in the mid to high forties. Even though the weather is
warm, midges will probably be the only thing hatching of much significance. I'll be taking the Little
Yellow Quills off the list of available insects along with the Little Needle Stoneflies. That leaves mostly
BWOs and midges for aquatic insects. There may well be a few Great Autumn Brown Sedges that
hatch because the weather has averaged on the warm side and slowed the hatches down. If so,
remember they both deposit their eggs and crawl out of the water to hatch very late in the day near
dark. The bottom line to this is that unless you happen to see some of the big Autumn Sedges
hatching near dark, and it is doubtful you will, you will be limited mostly to midges as far as hatches
go. Next Monday and Tuesday should bring about some good baetis hatches. The weather
will be much cooler and more seasonable with a mixture of rain and snow - perfect conditions for the
little mayflies to hatch.
With the high, warm water situation, your best option now is probably to use streamers. The trout's
metabolism will be in high gear and they will need a substantial amount of food. If you do use
streamers, remember, as the days go by, the water will clear and you should change the color of
your streamer accordingly. As long as there is some stain in the water, I suggest you use our Yellow
or Black Marabou Sculpin Streamer. When the water gets clear, go to our Brown Sculpin, White Belly
Sculpin or the White Marabou Sculpin.
Copyright 2011 James Marsh