Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1. Blue-winged Olives
2. Cinnamon Sedges (Caddisflies) (Abrams Creek)
3. Green Sedges (Caddisflies)
4. Little Sister Caddisflies (Abrams Creek)
5. Eastern Pale Evening Duns
7. Little Yellow Stoneflies -Yellow Sallies
8. Slate Drakes
9. Light Cahills
10. Little Green Stoneflies
11. Golden Stoneflies
18. Sculpin, baitfish and small crayfish (Imitate with streamers)
Summer Is Here?
If today is the first day of Summer, then I wonder what we have in store for us. I saw
a news report that in Louisville Kentucky, so far this year, the number of days that
the high temperatures for the day has exceeded ninety degrees is thirteen. The
average number of days that exceed ninety degrees for the year in that location is
only fourteen. In other words, it has already been a hot summer and were just
getting into the part of the year that is usually the warmest.
The hot days reminds me of a national B.A.S.S. tournament I fished in the seventies
on West Point Lake Alabama. I don't remember the exact date but it was during the
month of June. I do remember the high temperature reached over 100 degrees all
three days of competition. The three practice days were almost that hot. How do you
manage to stay in a boat all day under those conditions? Well, I'm not sure what the
new energy drinks would do for that but in those days, we relied on Gator Aid. It not
only keeps you hydrated, it keeps you energized.
Roland Martin won the tournament fishing a very thick area of standing timber. My
third day partner had a similar place that held some bass in the same general area.
We did well but you have to have three good days and I didn't. The big key to that
tournament, which everyone was fully aware of, was current. When Alabama Power
released water into Lake Eufaula below West Point, you could catch fish provided
you were fishing in an area that held fish. In West Point Lake, that usually means
isolated schools of spotted and largemouth bass. After the tournament I asked
Roland about the spot he fished and he said like everyone else, he caught bass
only during the short time period they were pulling water.
Now this has absolutely nothing to do with trout fishing in the Smokies except
maybe, that isolated fish, or lets say fish that are at least more isolated than normal,
may be a factor. I do think the trout become more isolated when the water
temperatures are high. It's for a completely different reason than the bass in a lake,
however. The trout concentrate in the areas of the stream with the most oxygen.
That's the riffles and plunges.
If you fish a stream today in the lower elevations (and you shouldn't unless it is near
daylight or dark) this will be a big factor. In the mid elevations it will probably still be
a major factor. The small streams in the higher elevations with a steep decline and a
good canopy of tree limbs covering them are probably the only streams in the park
where you can disregard this factor. If you fish the right streams and/or the right
areas of the streams, you should still be able to catch plenty of trout but you will
have to pay attention to those basics.
Craneflies - Part 2
Yesterday, I mentioned that cranefly larvae were probably eaten by the trout
far more than the adults, but that's just a guess, of course. I doubt anyone has
ever done a study on the subject. In fact, I doubt many anglers even think
about craneflies as a source of food for trout. However, as I also mentioned
yesterday, craneflies are considered a major insect to imitate on some trout
streams. Imitations of the adults and larvae do catch trout. They are popular
flies on several western trout streams. They work great on the South Holston
I think the best time to fish an imitation of the larva is just after a rain or when
water is draining into the stream from the surrounding area of a stream. This
is how most cranefly larvae get into the water. Some larvae exist in piles of
sticks, leaves and such within the stream. These larvae pupate and hatch
within the stream but most of them are terrestrial, or found in wet areas of soft
soil and leaves along the banks.
The best time to fish imitations of the adults is probably very early or very late
in the day. The low light conditions probably reduces the trout's caution
enough that they will be more prone to venture into the shallow water areas
where the craneflies are normally found.
The above images are of our Perfect Fly Adult Cranefly. I think you will find this fly
very effective in the streams of the Smokies starting about this time of year on
through most of the Fall.