Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1. Blue-winged Olives
2. Little Black Winter Stoneflies
3. Quill Gordon Mayflies
4. Blue Quill Mayflies
5. Little Brown Stoneflies
6. Little Black Caddis (American Grannoms)
7. Sculpin, baitfish and small crayfish (Imitate with streamers)
Current Fishing Conditions in the Smokies:
As soon as I typed "13" (my least favorite number) this morning at 5:00 AM, my
normal get up and get it time, I realized the weather was changing from the prime,
lucking optimum weather we have had for the last few days. I get the reports on
snow depths and rain from the previous day at this time of day. I had rather do that
than wait until 10:00 or 11:00 AM (after the coffee breaks) before the people post
the current conditions. It appears that maybe half of the snow has melted. I do know
that yesterday afternoon, with the cloudy conditions, I could clearly see that the
mountain tops were still covered with snow. There's still a lot of it left to melt.
The streams are up but not really blown out, or at least the Little Pigeon River isn't.
The Little River report shows it went up to about four foot but is falling now. Today,
and it appears for the next several days, we will have about a forty percent chance
of rain. That simple means it may rain and it may not rain. Your guess is as good as
mine and both of ours is probably as good as the weather guys. I think we have
already seen the high water levels and the amount of rain coming want increase the
flows substantially. That is strictly a guess.
My grass turned from brown to green overnight and the buds on the trees out my
windows started popping out, but the weather is turning back on the cold side. This
isn't a major March freeze that's coming but the weather will remain on the cool side
just enough to keep everyone guessing about the timing of the hatches. They will
slowly progress but you want need a bug net to cover your head by any means.
The bottom line to this is the water will remain cool enough (thanks to melting snow
and cool weather) to keep the trout from feeding actively on the surface. Some think
it just takes the trout some time to get used to feeding on the surface. That is pure
bull. It's the water temperature that does that. Crank it up to about 55 degrees and
watch them crash the surface. Some guys can get downright funny when it comes to
describing the way trout feed.
As long as the water stays below about 50 degrees (it has averaged about 45 to
47), the surface action want be all that great. You need to fish the Quill Gordon,
Blue Quills, BWOs and Little Black Caddis hatches that do occur using nymphs,
emergers and wet fly imitations if you want to catch numbers of trout.
The water is very high, so if you do fish today and tomorrow, please be careful. You
may be better off fishing some of the small headwater streams, not at the high
elevations, but those that are at the low elevations. The water is only reaching
about 40 to 42 in the high elevations according to one report I received yesterday.
With the cloudy conditions, and assuming there are not any hatches occurring, it
wouldn't be a bad idea to fish a streamer. There's some color to the water and that
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