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)
KISS A Bug Series - Eastern Green Drakes - Part 2
The big Eastern Green Drake nymphs swim to the surface to shed their nymphal
shucks and emerge as a dun. Unlike many other mayfly hatches, this one doesn't
hatch at any certain time period during the day. It's an off and on occurrence that last
throughout the day. Because of that, the hatch usually isn't that concentrated. During
the day, the Perfect Fly Emerger works better than an imitation of the dun. The trout
eat the nymphs during the time they are shedding their nymphal shucks in the surface
skim. I assume this is because they are easy pray and don't have any chance of
escaping. It's during this time, from mornings to mid-afternoon, that the Perfect Fly
trailing shuck emerger works best.
The emerger can be fished with a swimming action from the bottom to the surface
during the period of a hatch. This is usually done by slightly weighting the fly, or in slow
moving water using an non-weighted fly. I recommend at least an eight-foot leader and
two feet of 4X tippet.
As mentioned in the nymph section of this article, this is one of the largest mayflies
found in the Smokies but for the most part, it's only found in Abrams Creek. This is a
very large mayfly, even larger than the Western Green Drake, which by the way, isn't
even in the same family. The duns range from an 8 to a 10 hook size depending on the
gender. By the way, the highlight of the Eastern Green Drake hatch is the spinner fall.
There are a few places these large mayflies hatch just outside the park, but within the
park, the spring creek section of Abrams Creek is the only place we know of that has a
hatch substantial enough to warrant much consideration. This hatch usually starts near
the middle of April but due to the unusually warm weather, it may already be underway.
The Eastern Green Drake spinner fall is normally the highlight of the Green Drake
hatch. The reason I added "normally" isn't because they don't often produce trout
when fished properly. It's because fishing the spinner fall in the Great Smoky
Mountains National Park in the upper part of Abrams Creek can be a problem. To be
more specific, they hatch mostly in what I call the Spring Creek part of the stream, or
the portion of the creek above the confluence of Mill Creek. You may see some on Mills
and good quantities of them much farther downstream than Mill Creek but the majority
come from the portion of the creek above Mills. The problem is not only do the
spinners fall late in the day, in the early evening to be specific, they often close the
gate to Cades Cove before the spinner fall takes place. It's just about impossible to
catch the beginning of the Green Drake Spinner Fall on Abrams Creek. Your best odds
come on a day when it's very cloudy or overcast. The spinners will start to fall much
earlier when low light conditions prevail.
There's a few other Eastern Green Drake hatches in the general area. One stream
known for its hatches is the Davidson River in North Carolina. There are a few in the
lower Tellico River in Tennessee and several of the streams near the
Tennessee - Virginia state line. Virginia has several streams with good populations.
They exist in many of the streams in the state of Pennsylvania and in many other
locations north of here. There are also some others in the general area of the Smokies
in small quantities.
Copyright 2012 James Marsh
Perfect Fly Eastern Green Drake Spinner. This fly has an Antron trailing shuck,