Insects and other foods the trout
should be eating:
1. BWOs (Little BWOs
2. Little Brown Stoneflies
3. Quill Gordons
4. Blue Quills
5. Little Black Caddis
6. Hendricksons/Red Quills
7. Little Short-horned Sedges
8. American March Browns
Most available - Other types of food:
9. Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)
Fly Fishing Strategies - Which Flies To Use - Coming Week
With a low last night in the fifties, a predicted low tonight of 55 and a low tomorrow night of an unbelievable
59 degrees, get ready to fish some hot water. The high tomorrow will only be 82 but the high nightly low
temperatures will bring the water temperature from cold to unseasonably warm levels almost overnight. The
streams of the Smokies are rapidly going from one extreme to another. I hope we're in for a more normal
Spring weather pattern by this time next week.
As I mentioned yesterday, the change will be welcomed by many anglers tired of waiting for warmer weather
but the overall results of the drastic change will again foul up the timing, intensity and duration of the
hatches. We are already having multiple hatches and there will be more and more insects emerging as the
week goes by. This results in a very short duration of hatches for some species of aquatic insects and
strung out, erratic hatches of others when and if the weather ever gets on a more normal cycle.
Although you may have some limited success fishing a dry fly throughout the day, I'm again mentioning the
suggested strategies is based on maximizing your efforts and overall success. From a basic standpoint, this
amounts to fishing subsurface flies until you observe hatches and then switching to emerger or dry fly
imitations of the insects hatching. The insects that will be emerging will vary depending on the elevation and
the type of water you are fishing.
Expect rain on Thursday and early Friday. The amounts aren't predicted to be substantial but that's always
subject to change. The water table is very high and it is possible the streams could be high for a short time
but I'm going to base the strategy on anglers being able to safely wade the streams.
An Important General Note:
Be sure and fish as late the rules permit because you should see some very heavy spinner falls and
egg laying activity late in the day. I'm already seeing this taking place and it should get much heavier. Even
though I have only fished about an hour a day (that's my new objective), I caught trout about as fast as it is
possible to catch them this past Saturday, Sunday and yesterday afternoon. For some reason, I have only
spotted a very few anglers in the park late in the day. Either only a few are fishing or otherwise, anglers are
quiting far too early in the day.
If you know for a fact, a certain insect hatched the day before in a given area, you know the nymphs and/or
larvae of that insect are exposed and readily available for the trout to eat. Start out in the mornings with an
imitation of the nymph or larvae that imitates it.
If you know for a fact there was more than one insect hatching in that area, imitate the one you think was
most plentiful. For example, if you know Quill Gordons were hatching the day before your fishing and you
spotted more of them than the other insects, start out fishing a Quill Gordon nymph in the pockets of the fast
water section of that stream.
Unless you fished the day before, assuming your not fishing with someone that did, you won't know for sure
what was hatching in a given area you choose to fish. In that case, I would start out with a swimmer or
crawler mayfly nymph in preference to a clinger nymph. I would choose a size 16 to 20 Blue-winged Olive
nymph because I know several different species of them are still very plentiful and available. I would fish it up
until I noticed something hatching. During the next few days, if you fish up until about 2:30 and don't notice
something hatching, by all means move to another location as quickly as you can. Unless your fishing a very
high or very low elevation, chances are you will see something hatching by then. Switch to either an emerger
or dun imitation of that insect. If you see more than one insect hatching, chose to fish one of them as follows.
When you have multiple hatches taking place, and that's very likely during the coming days, you have to try
to determine what the trout are focusing on. This is more of a mater of selecting the type of water to
fish than determining the species of insect.
The Blue-winged Olives, Blue Quill, Hendrickson/Red Quill, Short-horned Sedges and Little Black Caddis
hatches are more isolated and more difficult to fish than the Quill Gordons or American March Browns that
easily get caught up in faster water of the runs and riffles. It's much easier to fool the trout feeding in the
faster water and that's what I suggest you focus on if you find either or both Quill Gordons or
March Browns hatching. If not, imitate whichever of the other species you see the most activity occurring
from. The odds of the Blue-winged Olives playing a role will be much greater when the front gets here due
to cloud cover.
Late in the afternoon after the hatches have ended, change flies to a spinner imitation of the mayfly that
hatched in the most plentiful quantities, or in the case of a good Little Black Caddis hatch occurred, an adult
imitation of it. Most of the mayfly spinners are a rusty color and in the low light conditions of the late
afternoon, the choice is more important from a size standpoint that anything. If either or both the Quill
Gordons or American March Browns hatched, the spinners will start falling very late in the day. If it is cloudy
or overcast, they will start much earlier than if it is a bright, clear day. Fish an imitation of one of those in
priority to a spinner imitation of the Blue Quills or BWOs. The only exception to this is the
Hendrickson/RedQuills. Keep in mind they are plentiful but only in very isolated areas of the larger streams.
If you find good numbers of these hatching during the day, by all means fish the spinner fall of this mayfly in
priority to anything else.
If you follow this strategy you should be able to catch a large number of trout this coming week. If not, you
may end up as many often do, frustrated with lower than anticipated success. Keep in mind, this isn't a
cure-all article. It isn't a matter of just choosing the right fly. That's only a step in the right direction. You
have to know how to present the imitation the most effective way, in the right areas of the stream and at the
right time. Detailed information is available on our Perfect Fly website regarding how to go about fishing
each of the flies I suggested.
Copyright 2013 James Marsh
New Schedule of Daily
Mondays: Weather and Stream
Conditions Forecast - Coming Week
Tuesdays: Fly Fishing Strategies -
Which Flies To Use - Coming Week
Wednesday: Fishing Tales
Thursday: Smoky Mountains Fishing
Friday: Getting Started
Saturday: Fly Fishing School
Sunday: This Week's Featured Trout
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