Insects and other foods the trout
should be eating:
1. Slate Drakes
2. Little Yellow Stoneflies (Summer Stones)
3. Needle Stoneflies
4. Mahogany Duns
5. Little Yellow Quills
Most available - Other types of food:
6. Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)
7. Inch Worms
Fly Fishing Strategies - Which Flies To Use - Coming Week
Like last week, I'm breaking the strategies into two parts, depending on the elevation and
type of water you fish. This is because at the current time of the year, the most available
and plentiful food differs in the streams located in those two ranges of elevations.
Again, I would like to mention that if the water temperature reaches about 65 degrees or
higher, you should find another location at a higher elevation. The trout will become
sluggish between 65 and 70 degrees. At 70, they will become lethargic. This is caused by
a lack of dissolved oxygen.
The weather forecast shows the high air temperatures for the Gatlinburg area will range in
the mid eighties the coming week. Except for early in the mornings, this will probably limit
the fishing opportunities to the middle or high elevations.
In the middle elevations and middle to larger size streams, I suggest you use a
Mahogany Dun nymph in the mornings and up until you see something hatch. At this time,
there are more of them available for the trout to eat than any other nymph or larva. That
will change back to Blue-winged Olives and Slate Drakes in a couple more weeks,
but for now, I would go with the Mahogany Duns. They are crawler nymphs and cannot
hide very well from hungry trout. They are currently hatching. If it's a bright clear day, you
shouldn't expect great results for the Mahogany Duns. The hatches are less intense and
much more difficult to fish. In fact, you may want to switch to a Slate Drake nymph if
there is a lack of shade or cloud cover.
You may also see some Little Yellow Stoneflies in the middle elevations. If you spot any
adults, it means they are hatching and I suggest you fish a Little Yellow Stonefly nymph
late in the afternoon near dark. If you spot them laying eggs, switch to the adult pattern.
Other than the Little Yellow Stoneflies scenario, I would stick with the Mahogany dun
nymph until they begin to hatch (if they do), and then switch to an emerger or dun
imitation. There could also be a Mahogany Dun spinner fall but if so, it will be near dark
before it takes place. If you fish late in the day, I suggest you have a few Mahogany Dun
spinners on hand.
In the higher elevation streams and small, fast water, middle elevation streams, I
suggest a different strategy altogether. I would fish a Little Yellow Quill nymph in the
mornings and up until I spotted something hatching. Most likely that would be Little Yellow
Quills but it could also be the Needle Stoneflies. Although it is a little early for them, both
of these have started to hatch in the higher elevations. The Little Yellow Quills normally
start to hatch around the middle of the afternoon and sometimes later. If you spot any,
switch to an emerger or dun imitation of the Little Yellow Quill.
If neither of these two insects begins to hatch, you may want to switch to a Needle Stonefly
nymph about the middle of the afternoon. If you spot any Needle Stoneflies laying eggs,
switch to an adult imitation. Remember, when they are flying, the little Needle stoneflies
look more like caddisflies than stoneflies.
You may also find some Little Yellow Quill spinners from the previous day's hatch showing
up late in the day. Sometimes, the spinners from the day before appear during the same
time of the current day's hatch. Their light colors make both the duns and spinners easy
I should also mention that if your fishing the small, headwater streams, you can also do
quite well fishing a dun imitation of either the Cream Cahills (which previously hatched) or
the Little Yellow Quill duns that are currently hatching in some of the streams. The brook
trout and small rainbows feeding in the fast water are not as picky as the larger rainbows
and brown trout.
Keep in mind, the strategies I'm suggested are based on increasing your odds of success
or catching the highest number of trout possible, not the largest size trout. You may prefer
to fish dry flies more than the above strategy suggested, but again, the strategies are for
catching the most numbers.
Good luck to everyone. I hope you all get the opportunity to fish the Smokies while the
conditions still remain in great shape.
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
More Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us with the dates you will be
fishing the park and we will send
you a list of our fly suggestions.
Please allow up to 24 hours for a
2. Call us at 800-594-4726 and we
will help you decide which flies you
3. Call or email us with a budget for
flies and we will select them and get
them to you in time for your trip.
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