Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1.    Blue-winged Olives (Little Eastern BWOs)
2.    Mahogany Duns
3.    Little Yellow Quills (
Heptagenia Group)
4.    Little Yellow Stoneflies (Little Summer Stones)
5.    Needle Stoneflies
6.    Slate Drakes
7.    Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)
8.    Grasshoppers
9.    Ants (includes Flying Ants)
10.  Beetles
11.  Craneflies

The Unheralded Rock Bass
Wherever you find the water getting too warm for bass (I'm referring to normal water
conditions rather than low, warm water conditions we have now) in addition to
smallmouth, you will find the infamous, unrecognized and unheralded rock bass.
These are
Ambloplites rupestris species. Other than rock bass, they are called goggle
eyes, rock perch, red eye bass and probably a lot of other things. Although they have
red eyes, they are not the red eye bass (
Micropterus coosae) found in some rivers of
the South. The rock bass is much more common than the red eye.

I was searching for a smallmouth bass the last hour of daylight yesterday in Little
Pigeon River when this one took our "Perfect Fly" Baby Popping Frog. It was the
largest one I caught out of three. The fly is just large enough (hook size 10) to keep
most of the bream from getting it in their mouths. The nylon weed guard makes it
difficult to set the hook on a small bream even if you try to do so. If it wasn't for that, I
could have caught dozens of bream.

The problem was, I was trying to catch a smallmouth bass, not a rock bass or a
bream. If you will look at the picture of the river below, it should be rather obvious as
to the main problem. Like all rivers that flow from the Smokies, the water is very, very
low. It fooled me, even though I knew the water was low, I didn't think this spot would
be as low as it turned out to be. What might look like a deeper hole in the area I'm
casting is actually not over two feet deep at the deepest spot. I have caught several
smallmouth in this same spot in the past but the water was about two feet higher than
it is now. By the time we got there just before dark, it was too late to head to another
area of the river that has some deeper pools. The deep pools has to be full of

Rain, rain - where are you?  

Copyright 2011 James Marsh