Insects and other foods the trout should be eating:
1. BWOs (Little and baetis BWOs)
2. Little Yellow Quills
3. Little Yellow Stoneflies
4. Slate Drakes
5. Needle Stoneflies
6. Mahogany Duns
Most available/ Other types of food:
7. Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)
Fly Fishing Strategies - Which Fly To Use - Coming Week
Looking at the above list of insects and other foods and then at our Smoky Mountain hatch chart
for the Fall season, you can see that several of the items of food are near their end. Of course, it's
all weather dependant.
A year or two ago around the middle of October, I noticed our hatch chart was not showing any
terrestrials past the first of October. I had just returned from a short trip and noticed lots of ants,
some beetles and even a few hoppers still around the streams in the lower elevations. I modified
the chart and extended them through the month of October. This past weekend, I don't remember
seeing any terrestrials although they may well have been a few around. The point I'm making is the
exact time we stop seeing terrestrials, and the exact time imitations become ineffective, varies.
There's one thing for sure though. We are nearing the end of their cycle and importance as a trout
I have Little Yellow Stoneflies listed above and the chart shows them only through the middle of
October. I didn't see any during the three days I spend this past weekend in the park.
The Little Yellow Quills and Needle Stoneflies are more plentiful in the mid to higher elevations. I'm
sure they are still around. Don't expect to see them if you fish the lower elevation sections of the
The Mahogany Duns are finished hatching and we show them coming off the chart the middle of
Slate Drakes are still plentiful in the middle and lower elevations although I didn't see any hatching
over the weekend. They are very sporadic hatches and I'm sure there are plenty more hatches to
come. Pay attention to them if you start seeing their shucks along the banks or on the rocks.
These are large mayflies that crawl out of the water to hatch.
What does this mean, so far? It means as far as insect hatches are concerned, the main thing you
should be paying attention to are the Blue-winged Olives. They are three sizes I noticed this past
weekend ranging from about a 20 down to a couple baetis species that would be a size 16. The
smaller sizes should become less and less and the larger baetis sizes should begin to show up
more and more. It's all again, weather dependant. This can be a little confusing if you try to identify
them down to species. There's only about 7 species called BWOs that are and will hatch this Fall in
the Smokies, two of which are the larger baetis. In so far as a hatch is concerned, they will be
representing the majority for the next month for certain. I'm not enjoying writing this because we
are low on stock at Perfect Fly already but should have about a thousand more coming in within
the next couple of weeks. There are four hook sizes and five patterns for the different stages of life
for each hook size.
Streamers imitating crayfish, baitfish and sculpin are very important now and will continue to be
important for the next month. The browns are getting into the spawning mode will attack streamers
aggressively prior to spawning. They become both aggressive and territorial. Just please leave
them alone once they begin to build redds to spawn. This will go on the rest of the month and on
into December. Normally, most of the actual spawning takes place in November but this too, is a
great deal weather and water level dependant.
Today's weather in Gatlinburg will be partly sunny with a high near 65. Look for some frost tonight
with a low around 36. Thursday will be sunny with a high near 67. There's a 20 percent chance of
showers and thunderstorms late Thursday night. There's a 30% chance of showers and
thunderstorms Friday night with a high near 71. Saturday should be sunny with a high near 74 and
a low around 53. Sunday the odds increase to a 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms.
The stream levels are generally excellent throughout the park with a few exceptions. Abrams
Creek is running low. By the way, the North Carolina side of the park has more water in the
streams than the Tennessee side at the present time but all of them are in very good shape.
Strategies continued tomorrow
Copyright 2012 James Marsh