Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1. Blue-winged Olives - mostly Little BWO - Isolated hatches
2. Giant Black Stoneflies - hatching
3. Cinnamon Caddis - Mostly Abrams Creek
4 Light Cahills - hatching
5. Midges - hatching in isolated locations
6. Little Short-horned Sedges - should hatch randomly for 2-3 months
7. American March Browns - hatching but randomly in isolated locations
8. Streamers - matching sculpin, baitfish and small crawfish
9. Little Yellow Stoneflies - hatching
10. Green Sedges - hatching
11. Little Sister Caddisflies - Mostly Abrams Creek
12. Eastern Pale Evening Duns - starting any day (called Sulfurs by some)
Eastern Pale Evening Dun (Sulphur)
The Eastern Pale Evening Dun (Ephemerella invaria) is another mayfly that is often
confused with the Sulphur - another example of common name confusion and the
main reason scientific names are used. Of course there is no "right and wrong"
common name but I will agree with most authors that the Ephemerella dorothea is
usually a "sulphur" color whereas the Ephemerella invaria is usually a yellowish tan
color. The only good thing about this confusion is the fact that there is not a big
difference in the species. The Sulphur is slightly smaller than the Eastern Pale
Evening Dun. The Sulphur is usually found in slower, more moderately flowing water
than the Eastern Pale Evening Dun. You want usually find them in the same place.
Imitating the two species requires different presentations in most cases. Also, you
may note that the Eastern Pale Evening Dun usually hatches about two weeks
earlier than the Sulphur.
You will find that the Smoky Mountains National Park has relatively few of these
mayflies as well as the true Sulphur. Both are crawler nymphs that prefer slower
moving, calmer water that you find in short supply in the Smokies. Even so, there
are many isolated areas of the park's streams where the Eastern Pale Evening Dun
hatches in good quantities. It is a mayfly that you will want to be able to imitate if
you encounter a hatch.
The nymphs of the invaria species of the Ephemerella genus are crawler nymphs
that prefer riffles and runs with moderate currents. You may also find them in
pockets or the heads and edges of pools. They will move to calmer, shallower water
a few days prior to emerging. Most of those we have found in the park are a hook
You will not find these mayflies everywhere you fish. The fast water runs and riffles
typical of the Smokies are just to swift for the clinger nymphs. Areas of streams with
moderate declines rather than steep declines will have far more Pale Evening Duns.
For example, much of Cataloochee Creek flows on a moderate decline. Moderately
flowing water provides a better habitat for the clingers. Usually this type of water is
found in the lower elevations but not always.
Weighted imitations of the nymph should be presented in a dead drift manner in the
riffles, runs and pockets that are flowing moderately, not fast. An upstream or up
and across cast usually works best. You can also use the "high stickin" method.
Our "Perfect Fly" Eastern Pale Evening Dun Nymph has a little something extra not
on any other mayfly nymph imitations. All of our crawler nymphs have two EMU
feathers tied in that imitate the gills of the nymph. Since they often live in slow
moving water with less oxygen that you will find in th fast runs and riffles, crawlers
have big gills. It is not well shown but the EMU (a bird) feather is between the front
partridge (legs) and the partridge tail. It looks like it is alive and breathing when it is
in the water. The abdomen is a turkey biot; the thorax of dubbing; and the wing pad
is a section of turkey quill.
Note: There is also a Western Pale Evening Dun that is just called the Pale Evening
Dun. It is a completely different mayfly.
Copyright James Marsh 2009