Insects and other foods the trout should be eating:
1. BWOs (Little and baetis BWOs)
2. Little Yellow Quills
3. Slate Drakes
4. Needle Stoneflies
Most available/ Other types of food:
5. Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)
The Low Down Black Fly - Part Three
As mentioned before in this series, most of our experience in fishing imitations of the Black Flies
has been on the South Holston River tailwater. We have successfully fished imitations of all three
stages of the Black Fly there many times since 2009, the year we came up with our Perfect Fly
imitations of this insect. Other than that, we have fished it here and there but mostly on tailwaters.
We have fished imitations of the larva successfully one time on the Clinch River but that's about
the extent of our experience in using the flies.
There are days during the winter months on the South Holston River tailwater when the
Blue-winged Olives are not hatching. During those days, knowing how to fish black fly imitations
may make the difference in success or failure. I suspect this is true of many tailwaters. Westfly, a
very good website on western trout streams calls it the most important trout food that nobody
imitates. They go on to say that it doesn't mean black flies are the most important trout food. Just
the most important one that nobody bothers to imitate. I think they have it right.
Although little has been written about it, the Black Fly accounts for a large part of the diet of trout
in many trout streams throughout the nation. They live and thrive in trout streams from coast to
coast. California's McCloud River has a huge population of black flies. And as mentioned, so does
the South Holston River in Tennessee. Those are just two examples of numerous trout streams
where black flies account for a large part of the trouts food.
The larvae of the black flies live in riffles. They can attach themselves to rocks and they also hang
out on the end of silk lines they form similar to net-spinning caddisflies. Some anglers think that
Black flies only live in slow moving water. Although they can and do live in slow moving streams,
they also live in swift water streams.
The "Perfect Fly" Black Fly Pupa imitation should be presented the same way you would present a
caddisfly pupa imitation. Fish it in the riffles and runs of any stream where black flies exist. Keep in
mind that is far more trout streams than most anglers would imagine.
Add some weight on the tippet a few inches above the fly. In smooth surface water, you should cast
it down and across and mend your line to get it down on or near the bottom. As the fly heads
downstream, swing the rod around to follow the fly holding the tip high. When it is down and across
the current as far as it will go, the fly will rise back to the surface. Most of the time the trout take the
fly as it rises back to the surface.
Copyright 2012 James Marsh
The shiny area of the fly represents the wing pad of the pupa and can also aid in imitating
air bubbles. Air bubbles help the real pupa accent to the surface and the rough dubbing
helps trap and hold air bubbles to imitate this.
Perfect Fly "Black Fly" Pupa