Insects and other foods the trout should be eating:
1. Little BWOs
2. Green Sedges (Caddisflies)
3. Cinnamon Caddis (Mostly Abrams Creek)
4. Light Cahills
5. Little Yellow Stoneflies (Yellow Sally)
7. Slate Drakes
8. Golden Stoneflies
9. Little Green Stoneflies
Most available/ Other types of food:
10. Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)
11. Inch Worm (moth larva)
Fly Fishing Strategies - What Fly To Use - Part 46
It is raining as I am writing this but so far, according to the National Weather Precipitation
map, the park has received only a quarter to a half inch of rain. One area, in the Little
Pigeon River watershed - the LeConte Mountain area, has received between a half and
three-quarters of an inch. I've noticed several times when it rains in the Smokies, if most all
the park gets some rain, this area usually gets more. My guess is it is because of the areas
higher elevation. At 5:47 this lovely morning, it doesn't appear the rainfall amounts is going
to do much more than add a touch of color to the water and make it little tougher on old men
(past 90) to wade for a short time.
For today, they are calling for a chance of showers and thunderstorms before 8am, (they
have that right) and then a slight chance of showers. It should be mostly sunny, with a high
near 77. There's still a 30% chance of the wet stuff.
Looks like that will continue through tonight and all day tomorrow. Thursday will be mostly
sunny with a high near 79 and Friday, again sunny with a slightly higher temperature of 81.
The weekend looks so wonderful the tourist will think they have gone to heaven instead of
the Smokies. Well, except unlike Gatlinburg, it's doubtful there will be any moonshine for sell.
It will warm back up some Saturday, with the Gatlinburg forecast reaching near 85. : Mostly
sunny, with a high near 85. Sunday and Mondays high should be 86 and the skies should be
Just so no one can accuse me of not complaining about anything, I will say (write) it would be
better is it was cloudy all week and weekend.
Now, lets get into some choice Strategies:
Friday night, shoot all the rubber tubes in Townsend with a pump BB gun and fish the upper
Little River about fifteen miles above Townsend. No, on second thought, that would ruin the
Townsend economy and wouldn't be very nice.
Drop a box of roofing nails at all pull-offs along highway #441,except the area you fish and
need to park and exit from. No, on second thought that would be a Federal felony and give
our Attorney General something he's probably capable of handling without political bias,
depending of course just "who" you are.
Win all the money in Harrah's Casino in Cherokee and buy the Raven Fork that runs through
town along with the Cherokee Fish Hatchery. You won't need to worry about using the right
strategy if you do that.
Use my old friend Paul Elias' (I call him the cough drop man) strategy. Use his Alabama Rig
that all the bass guys are raving about except replace the lures with Green Weenies. On
second thought, that may be against the park's fishing regulations.
Now, some serious strategies:
I know you' re use to hearing that "there's not much change from the previous week", but in
fact, there's not many changes taking place. The only exception to this may possibility be
higher, stained water but I don't think that's going to be the case and even if it is, it will only
Slate Drakes are hatching. There are still some Golden Stoneflies showing up in the fast
water sections of some streams. The Little Green Stoneflies should be hatching but I still
haven't seen any yet. I don't think I have been at the right place at the right time though. In
previous years we have found some large hatches in the Cataloochee valley streams, middle
Hazel Creek, and upper Straight Fork Creek. There have been other hatches we have
encountered not so large just about everywhere in the park. There has been a big decline in
the numbers of Little Yellow Stoneflies (Sallies) hatching. There are still some adults around
to lay eggs. You may still find areas that have Sulphurs.
As just about always, start out in the mornings fishing a nymph or larva imitation and change
to an emerger/pupa, or a dun/adult dry fly pattern if and when you spot something hatching.
Most hatches should start taking place around 1:00 to 4:00 PM and again, the hatches will
depend greatly on the elevation of the stream your fishing. Keep in mind this doesn't include
the Slate Drakes, Golden Stoneflies and Little Yellow or Little Green Stoneflies. They start
hatching (crawling out of the water) very late in the day.
When the other hatches subside (non Slate Drakes and Stoneflies) switch back to the
morning pattern. Again, even though the trout will continue to fall for a few dry flies, I'm
advising what to do based on your highest odds of success, not necessarily your highest
odds of fun.
From about 6:00 PM to as late as you can legally fish, watch closely for stonefly egg laying
activity and both mayfly egg laying and spinner falls. Fishing the spinner falls can result in
the fastest action and the most fish caught in a short time span but you will have to keep
checking for them well above the streams late in the day. Otherwise, you probably won't
even be aware they fall. It will mostly consist of Light Cahills and maybe some Slate Drake
By fishing a nymph or dry fly, I don't mean just any nymph or any dry fly. I am referring
to nymphs and dry flies that specifically match the insects that I list below. This will
increase your odds of success over the "match anything" generic and attractor type of flies
that usually only produce mediocre success.
There's still some fairly good odds of having some size 20 (and even smaller) Blue-winged
Olive hatches; however, with the other hatches going on, I wouldn't pay any attention to them
unless they were sizeable hatches.
As just mentioned, Little Yellow Stonefly hatches have slowed down. The larger Golden
Stoneflies and Little Green stoneflies are probably hatching but they will be not near as
plentiful as the previous Little Yellow hatches. Remember, they start to hatch (crawl out of
the water) very late in the day and deposit their eggs late in the day. Fish the nymph
imitation starting around 5 PM and switch to an adult only when you see egg laying activity
which is usually late in the day.
The Green Sedges (caddisflies) are hatching but they are not usually massive hatches,
rather sparse hatches.
Light Cahills are continuing to hatch from the fast water areas of the streams in the middle
and higher elevations. Imitations of this mayfly can be very productive during a hatch.
They should be a top priority.
It's also possible you will still see some Sulphurs but only in very isolated sections of the mid
to large size streams.
Which nymph/larva imitation to fish?
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.
Which Fly to use During Hatches?
If you happen to find any Sulphurs hatching, by all means fish an imitation of the emerging
dun, or the dun, in priority to any of the other insects. That's not very likely though. Next in
priority would be the Light Cahills. Next in priority are the Green Sedges. If they are hatching,
fish an imitation of the pupa.
Which Fly to use Late In The Day:
Late in the day, depending on which of the hatches listed above you may happen to have
found, watch for the spinner fall and/or egg laying activity as applicable. By all means, if you
see a spinner fall, fish it. Light Cahills will likely fall. If you do find Sulphurs, their spinners will
fall. If there isn't any spinner falls occurring, but some caddis egg laying activity is taking
place, fish the adult pattern of that caddisfly.
Up until you see a spinner fall or heavy egg laying activity from caddisflies, fish an imitation
of the Little Green Stonefly or Golden Stonefly nymph. They will start crawling across
the bottom to the banks to hatch late in the day. They crawl out to hatch after sunset. Do this
until you begin to see any depositing their eggs and then switch to the adult imitation.
Copyright 2012 James Marsh