Insects and other foods the trout should be eating:
1. Blue-winged Ollives and Little BWOs
2. Blue Quills
3. Quill Gordons
4. Little Short Horned Sedges
5. Little Brown Stoneflies
6. Hendricksons & Red Quills
7. American March Browns
Most available/ Near hatching and/or other types of available food:
8. Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)
Fly Fishing Strategies - Which Fly To Use - Part 36
Weather and Stream Level Outlook:
The weather forecast for the next seven days looks pretty good. The National Weather Service is
actually predicting rainfall amounts in the Gatlinburg area. They do that when it obvious there's
not going to be any big fronts moving through the area. With a chance of rain just about every
day, except for the lower temperatures, the forecast looks more like a July forecast that the last
week of March. Today and Wednesday should be excellent with only a slight chance of rain late
There could be some showers and thunderstorms on Thursday. They are giving it a 40 percent
chance and saying only a tenth to a quarter of an inch except it could be higher within
thunderstorms for both Wednesday night and Thursday. Friday should be a clear day. There's a
30 percent change of rain returning for the weekend for both Saturday and Sunday. The
temperatures will range in the mid to high seventies each day for the entire week. In other
words, the forecast is about as good as it could possible be for a spring day.
If the forecast is fairly accurate, the way I see it, is the streams will continue to fall a little more and
remain in great shape. The exceptions could come from thunderstorms that hit certain
watersheds. You can always check the precipitation map link on our link page and see exactly
where they happen to drop the most water.
There's not really much change from last week. Basically, you should start out in the mornings
fishing a nymph and change to an emerger/pupa or a dun/adult dry fly pattern if and when you
see something hatching. Most hatches should start taking place around 1:00 to 3:00 PM and
again, this will depend greatly on the elevation of the stream your fishing.
Later in the day, when the hatches subside, switch back to the morning pattern I suggest below.
From about 4:30 PM to near 7:00 PM, watch closely for mayfly egg laying and spinner falls.
Mornings until early afternoon:
From the mid elevations and up, there's still some odds of having Blue Quills, BWOs, and Quill
Gordon mayfly hatches taking place. Hendrickson/Red Quills are hatching. This could be their
best week because they generally don't hatch in the higher elevation, or I should say where the
stream gradients are steep.. They are more of a pool and slack water insect. March Browns are
showing up in the lower elevations. You should see them even in the middle elevations but they
hatch a few here and there and are usually not concentrated. That doesn't mean the trout aren't
going to pay them any attention. The trout know exactly what's in their pantry to eat.
If you know for a fact any of the above insects hatched within the previous day or two of the
particular time you are fishing, fish the nymph or larva fly that imitates that particular species
during the mornings and continue to do so until you see it or another insect hatching.
If you know that more than one insect hatched, choose an imitation of the nymph or larva in this
priority - Hendrickson/RQ, Blue Quill, Quill Gordon, BWO, March Brown, and fish it up until you
see something hatching. I'm basing that on the quantities of the insects available to the trout to
eat that most likely exist due to the previous day's activity.
If you find Hendricksons/RQ, March Browns, or Quill Gordons hatching, fish an imitation of the
emerging dun, or the dun, in priority to any of the other mayflies. The hatches are easier to fish
than the Blue Quills or BWOs. You could also see some heavily hatches of Little Short-horned
Sedges or caddisflies in the lower and middle elevations.
Late In The Day:
Late in the day, depending on which of the multiple hatches listed above you may happen to
have found, fish the spinner fall and/or egg laying activity as appropriate.
An Important Tip for Handling Multiple Hatches:
Many anglers make the mistake of thinking when there several insects hatching, the particular fly
you use isn't all that important. This is exactly backwards or just the opposite of what actually
happens. When multiple hatches are occurring, the trout will become selective to the
most available and easiest one of the insects for them to acquire. It's more of a mater of
them becoming selective to the area of the stream they feed in than the particular insect
This misunderstanding of what is happening often leads to an unproductive fishing
experience for those that don't key in on the right insect. Although it's usually more of a matter
of presenting your fly in the right areas of the stream than the particular imitation you use, if it's
an insect that's hatching in the slow to moderate water, rather than the fast water, the particular
fly you use will make a huge difference. In other words, the trout will get a much better look at
the fly than they do in the fast water. Don't make the mistake of thinking just because several
insects or hatching, the particular fly you use isn't important. It's exactly the opposite situation.
Copyright 2012 James Marsh