Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1. Blue-winged Olives
2 . Sculpin, baitfish and small crayfish (Imitate with streamers)
3. Little Brown Stoneflies
4. Quill Gordons
5. Blue Quills
6. Little Black Caddis
Current Conditions In The Smokies
I am writing this at 4:30 AM this morning and have limited information since local
weather information and the park website precipitation reports won't be updated
until late this March 1 morning. Happy birthday to my grand kids grandfather. I do see current
information on Little River USGS data that shows it is very high but already falling.
At this time it is flowing at 1430 cfs. That's a lot of water.
The Pigeon River at Newport also looks very high. Yesterday, the news was saying
both the Little Pigeon and Pigeon Rivers may flood. I don't think that happened last
night but I really won't know much about the results of yesterdays rain until well after
this has been posted. The National Weather Service precipitation map at this time
(enter Gatlinburg Tn or other location) , which is supposed to be current, shows the
park received anywhere from 1.5 to 2.5 inches of rain. If that's right, that would be
good for the streams. This could change by the time you see it. I question just how
accurate it really is. I think it is based on radar data only. I'm reluctant to comment
on the streams until I have more information and/or have seen the streams.
Blue Quill Spinners
If you went around the park during the next month and questioned every angler fly
fishing for trout about the Blue Quill spinner falls, you would probably get a lot of
blank looks. I doubt you will find many, if any, that fish the Blue Quill spinner fall.
The reason is, I doubt you will find many that even know what it is. This is true
even though, at the right time and place, you can catch as many or more
trout in a short period of time as its possible to catch using any method of
fly fishing that exit.
All the Blue Quill mayfly duns that hatch that aren't eaten by birds, fish, etc or
otherwise destroyed, change to spinners, mate and fall on the water or nearby
banks. Like all mayfly spinners, the females will deposit their eggs on the water. A
few species dive and deposit them and some drop them from the air. The Blue
Quills deposit them on the surface. When there are spinners on the water, the trout
eat them. That's much easier for them to do than it is for them to eat the duns
during the hatch.
These spinners fall about the same time the Quill Gordon spinners fall. I'm not going
to repeat what I have recently written about the time the Quill Gordon spinners fall,
so if you missed it, please go back and read the articles. Although the timing of the
spinner falls are close to the same, other things about the spinner fall are different.
They don't fall on the same areas of the streams. The Blue Quills fall on the calm
areas of water where they hatched. I won't repeat those areas. You can read the
articles posted the last couple of days regarding that. The final results is that the
Blue Quill spinners get caught up in the edges of the slow water and pockets, and
don't end up at the ends of the runs and riffles like the Quill Gordon spinners.
Another difference is that is you think the Quill Gordon spinners are difficult to see
on the water, you would think the Blue Quill spinners were impossible to see. You
can see them before they fall on the water but only if your looking for them late in
the afternoons. There will be more of them than Quill Gordon spinners. At times
they almost blanket the water but again, if you didn't notice them in the air, you
probably wouldn't even know they were on the water. A skim small net is a quick and
easy way to determine that.
You can catch a lot of trout fast, if you happen to be fishing during a Blue Quill
spinner fall. Most anglers will stop fishing before it occurs. Like the Quill Gordon
spinner fall, the Blue Quills may also fall after the time you can legally fish. If it is
cloudy, it may occur earlier in the day.
This is our Perfect Fly Blue Quill Spinner fly. Yes, the tails are that long on the real
ones and yes, this is a small fly, hook size 18. It's difficult to see on the water,
especially at the time the spinner fall takes place late in the day. If you stay hidden
and present it in the calm areas along the banks, shallow pockets, edges and ends
of pools, etc, without beating the water to death with your fly line, at the same time
the spinners are on the water, you will be surprised at the action you will get.
Down and Dirty (some are clean) Tips and Recommendations for Fly
Fishing Destinations - Part 30
Just keep in mind that it is strictly one opinion that happens to be mine. The intent is to hopefully
give those interested a general idea of what to expect. Most likely every guide, affiliated business
entity and local angler will have a different opinion. These streams also have full coverage on our
Perfect Fly Stream Section.
2011 James Marsh