Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1.    Blue-winged Olives
2  .  Green Sedges (Caddis)
3.    Cinnamon Caddis (mostly Abrams Creek)
4.    Little Sister Caddis (mostly Abrams Creek)
5.    LIght Cahills
6.    Little Short-horned Sedges
7.    American March Browns
8.    Pale Evening Duns
9.    Giant Black Stoneflies
10.  Little Yellow Stoneflies
11.  Streamers (Sculpin, Minnows)
12.  Inch Worms

Visit Our Booth May 14 and 15 At Troutfest 2011

Little Yellow Stoneflies (Perlodidae Family)
First of all, what is a Yellow Sally? Originally it was an Isoperia bilineata, a species
of the Perlodidae family of stoneflies. This species doesn't even exist in the
Smokies, however, as with any common or given name, anglers can call whatever
species they desire a Yellow Sally. They can call a Yellow caddisfly a Yellow Sally if
they want to, and believe it or not, some do. That's why common names are really
meaningless. The name Blue-winged Olive has been used for over a hundred
species of mayflies, some of which even belong to different families. Just like there
isn't a right or wrong BWO, there isn't a right or wrong Yellow Sally. Most anglers
only use the Yellow Sally common name for the
Isoperla genus of stoneflies and it's
probably best to stick with that use or otherwise, the name become completely

From a fly fishing standpoint, stonefly nymphs are far more important than
the adults.
That's because trout eat a lot more of them than the adults. This is true
even during the hatch because as previously stated, stoneflies don't hatch in the
water. In the Smokies, stonefly nymphs represent a large part of the trout's diet.
They love highly oxygenated, fast pocket water and the Smoky Mountain streams
offer the perfect habitat. Many species are not near as sensitive to the lower pH of
the streams as many other aquatic insects. Some species, like the roll-winged
Lectridae family members fair very well in very low pH conditions.

As mentioned before, there are (9) nine families of stoneflies found in trout  
streams and all of them exist in the Smokies. Of all the families present in the
Smokies, the Perlodidae and Peltoperlidae families usually represent more than
any of the others in terms of sheer numbers. The Perlodidae family species are
called Medium Brown and Yellow Stoneflies by the scientist. These species differ in
size and color but the shape is very similar.

Just to distinguish between the two common families I mentioned, species of the
Peltoperlidae family are called Roach Flies and are shorter and more rounder than
the Periodidae species. They do resemble roaches and are not a part of what I am
covering here. I mentioned them because they are common and often confused
with the Periodidae species.

With the exception of the Choloroperlidae family of stoneflies, the others are fairly
easy to differentiate.
Some of the adults of the Choloroperlidae family
species are more yellow than green and some are called Yellow Sallies.

You will find there's a difference in the type of water they prefer and therefore,
where you should imitate them. They are more prone to be found in moderately
flowing water such as at the tail ends of pools. The areas of the stream you would
imitate these stoneflies in and even the type of water, is very different from the
Periodidaes. If one wants to consider the yellow colored adults of the
Choloroperlidae family to be Yellow Sallies, you need to be aware of the difference.

Like all stoneflies the Little Yellow Stoneflies  of the Periodidae family are much
more susceptible to being eaten by trout when they migrate from their normal
locations down in between and under rocks on the streambed to the banks to
hatch. If these stoneflies are not hatching, they are basically safe from being eaten
by a trout.

The bottom line to this is that your odds of success are good if your are fishing
Little Yellow stonefly nymph imitations
(which are brown, not yellow) during the
time period of a hatch.. Of all the Little Yellow species, the Yellow Sallies, and in this
case I only mean
the Isoperla genus species, provide the best opportunity
for you to catch trout.

All of the species of the Periodidae family of stoneflies live in fast water. They must
have fast flowing, clean water to survive. Prior to the hatch, as just mentioned, the
Little Yellow Stoneflies will move along the bottom from their fast water habitat to the
banks to hatch. Some of them crawl up on boulders that protrude out of the water
to hatch but the majority use the banks. Just as soon as they get out of water, they
shed their shucks and fly away. This takes from several seconds up to a few
minutes. By far the best chance the trout have to eat them is during this migration
prior to the hatch. Often, the trout will actually intercept them along the banks. They
know when this migration is occurring. It's very obvious to the trout and they take
advantage of the easy to catch nymphs.

What throws most anglers off about  the hatch is that the best time to fish
an imitation of the nymph, is often the same time it's best to fish an
imitation of the adults laying eggs.
This is just before dark or very late in the
day on heavily overcast or very cloudy days. Most prefer to fish the dry fly imitation
of the adults simply because most anglers prefer dry fly fishing to nymphs. In this
case, you will just about always catch more trout fishing the nymph. The choice is
up to the angler. I usually fish the adult imitation if I see the insects laying eggs
even though I know the odds are better fishing the nymph. Now keep in mind this is
true only when the hatch is still underway. If the hatch has ended, and there's still a
lot of female egg layers around, this isn't true. Remember, stoneflies can live
several days after they hatch. The best way to tell if the hatch is still going on is to
look for empty shucks on the banks early in the morning. If you wait until up in the
day, they will usually have blow away. They are extremely light.

2011 James Marsh