Insects and other foods the trout
should be eating:
1. BWOs (Little BWOs)
3. Little Winter Stonefliesl
Most available/ Other types of food:
4. Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)
This Week's Featured Trout Food - Winter Stoneflies
Most of the aquatic insects that live in the streams of Great Smoky Mountains National Park live a one-year
life cycle. There are very few exceptions to this. For example, a couple of species of large stoneflies live a
two- year life cycle. This means they hatch from an egg, live in their larval stage of life for most of their life,
and emerge into the adult stage of life from their nymphal or pupal stage depending on the type of
metamorphosis within a year. Midges and caddisflies emerge from pupae. Mayflies and stoneflies emerge
directly from nymphs into adults.
During the month of January, the streams are full of aquatic insects in their larval stage of life. The majority of
these will emerge into adults by the end of May. Most of the others will emerge into adults during the following
seven months. The only exceptions are those that live a two-year life cycle. With the exception of a few
terrestrial insects that make up a very small part of the trout's diet during the year as well as a few marine
species such as sculpin and minnows, together with a very few species of crustaceans, these aquatic insects
represent the great majority of the food trout eat. They eat the aquatic insects year-round except for the
short period of time the insects exist in the egg stage of life. The great majority of the aquatic insects are
eaten in their larval stage of life. A few are eaten as pupae and in their adult stage of life.
One of the most common groups of aquatic insects are the stoneflies. There are nine families of them and
species from all nine families live in the streams of the park. One of these is the Capniidae family of
stoneflies. They represent one of the few species of aquatic insects that emerge and are available to the
trout when the water is extremely cold.
Although species of the Capniidae family of stoneflies are classified as "Little Brown Stoneflies" for the most
part, they are almost black or various dark shades of brown. Most anglers refer to them as "Little Blacks" and
some as "Little Winter" stoneflies. They are also called Snowflies. They get that name because they are easy
to spot crawling around on the snow due to the contrast.
Copyright 2013 James Marsh
New Schedule of Daily Articles
Mondays: Weather and Stream Condition
Forecast - Coming Week
Tuesdays: Fly Fishing Strategies - Which
Flies To Use - Coming Week
Wednesday: Fish Tales
Thursday: Smoky Mountains Fishing Report
Friday: Getting Started
Saturday: Fly Fishing School
Sunday: This Week's Featured Trout Food
These are small, slim profiled stoneflies with relatively long antennae and tails. They are usually close to a
hook size 18 but some are closer to a size 16. Only a few species get larger than that. We haven't found any
species in the Smokies that get any larger than that. We have found one species, not very common, that is a
little smaller than an 18 hook size.
This one is as dark as any we have found in the Smokies. Most of them are brown and some even a light
brown color depending on the particular genus and species. The adults seem to always be much darker than
We will continue this article Sunday of next week.