Insects and other foods the trout should be eating:
1. BWOs (Eastern)
2. Green Sedges (Caddisflies)
3. Cinnamon Caddis (Mostly Abrams Creek)
4. Cream Cahills
5. Little Yellow Stoneflies (Little Summer Stones)
7. Slate Drakes
8. 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 49
The weather is continuing to stay hot as it should during the Summer but this coming
weekend, it's going to be a little warmer than usual for a normal summer day in the Smokies.
According to the National Weather Service, there's almost no chance of rain for the next five
days or more. Even so, the fishing conditions remain excellent for the Smokies. You
will need to fish in the higher elevations where you will find the temperatures much more
pleasant and the water cooler. I wouldn't try to fish anything below 3000 feet elevation within
the next few days.
You should carry a thermometer. The temperature can be difficult to judge when it's this
warm. What may feel cool to you could be too warm of water to fish. I usually tell people to
use 67 degrees F. as the warmest water they should try to fish. Anything warmer than that
not only has a chance of hurting the trout if they are fought to long, it begins to reduce your
ability to catch them. At water temperatures beyond 68 degrees, the trout will begin to
become lethargic. This is especially true of the rainbows.
You can fish the lower middle elevations in the early mornings before the water temperature
gets too warm but you should avoid the lower elevations all together. At the higher elevations
you should be able to find plenty of water in the low sixties, even during the middle of the
afternoon during the hottest part of the day..
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 3:00 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, Little
Yellow Summer Stones or the Little Green Stoneflies. They start hatching (crawling out of the
water) very late in the day after sunset.
When the other hatches (if you find any) 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 Cream Cahills, Eastern BWOs and maybe
some Slate Drake spinners.
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.
Most Plentiful and Available Insects:
The Little Yellow Summer stoneflies and the Little Green stoneflies are hatching but they will
not be as plentiful as the previous spring hatches of Little Yellow stoneflies. 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 usually rather sparse hatches. It's
the larva imitation of the free-living "green rock worm" that's productive anytime of the day.
Cream Cahills are beginning 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 if they are encountered. 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, and I doubt you do but there's still a few left, by
all means fish an imitation of the emerging dun, or the dun, in priority to any of the other
insects. Next in priority would be the Eastern Blue Winged Olives. Cream Cahills (clingers)
woulld fall next in priority. 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. Cream Cahills will likely fall and possibly some Eastern BWOs. 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 nymph or Little Yellow Stonefly (Summer Stone). They
will start crawling across the bottom to the banks to hatch very 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