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

Name This Article
There has be very little change in anything weather or stream level wise the past few
days. The water is still low and the weather is still great. The low water levels bother
some anglers but we like it as long as it stays cool and the trout are not in any
danger. The park is becoming more and more colorful as the leaves change. I would
think when the weather begins to change tomorrow (there will be a twenty percent
chance of rain) and the wind blows a little, many of the leaves in the middle to higher
elevations will begin to fall.

I did some fishing in the park both Friday and Saturday and will be writing about it
tomorrow. I doubt I will go again today (Sunday). It's time for some rest. I didn't see but
a very few anglers either day. That surprised me. Conditions are excellent except for
the low water that bothers some. I did notice one thing that I was well aware of that's a
problem with the current conditions and I will mention that today to hopefully help
those that have a problem with the low water levels.

1. When you make the typical short cast anglers normally make fishing the small
streams of the Smokies, you're within close proximity of the fish. With the low water,
even if your fishing the plunges and riffles, much of the time your in danger of being
spotted by the trout. Unless you are lucky enough to be able to hide behind a boulder
or other cover near the trout, longer cast are needed under the low water conditions.
Now, I'm not suggesting long cast.
What I mean is cast of twenty to thirty feet may
be needed instead of fifteen foot cast that work in much higher, faster
stream levels.

2. Although we found some very good hatches of Little Yellow Quills both Friday and
Saturday, as well as some Needle Stoneflies, there are relatively few hatches taking
place in the low elevations. I think the warm trend is affecting the BWO and Mahogany
Dun hatches.
When there are few hatches taking place, you need to stick with
nymphs or larvae imitations
. To many anglers want to catch trout on the dry fly,
including me, when the fish are mostly feeding on the bottom. As I have been
suggesting in the most recent Stream Strategies series, stick with nymphs if you want
to raise your catch ratio until something is hatching. You will double or triple your

It doesn't take a hatch for fly patterns to become important. Thinking it does,
indicates a complete, total lack of understanding about aquatic insects and the trout
that survive on them, to put it nicely. That's much better than saying it's stupid to think
otherwise, now isn't it? A typical aquatic insect spends a few minutes of its usual one
year life span hatching and the other 364 days plus, in the larval stage of life.
can see nymphs much better than a hatching insect on the surface of the
How well the particular fly pattern you use to match the nymphs and larvae is
more important than any dry fly pattern. This is the single most misunderstood this
about fly patterns. Anglers confuse hatches with fly pattern importance.

The fewer the number of grown aquatic insects in a given stream at a
given time, the more important the fly pattern is.
Right now the insect population
of fully grown nymphs and larvae is low. There will be fewer grown insects in the water
from now to early next year than any other time of the year. The generics flies work
far less than they normally do when there are a lot of different insects in the water
because they don't match any particular insect well at all.

The low water also flows slower and makes the fly pattern even more
important simply because the trout can see the fly much better in slower
moving water.
The fly you use now, should closely match the nymphs most available
and plentiful at this particular time. Those are listed above. The problem is, the
generic flies, tied overseas by people that have never seen an aquatic insect, that are
sold by the fly shops don't imitate anything very well. This includes those sold by the
so called, highest quality fly shops in the nation.

I meant to write about the importance of curved, pile, reach and other crooked cast to
keep the straight line cast fly line leader and tippet for crossing over the trout and
spooking them in the low water, but didn't get to it. I'm up early and already tired. Have
a good day.

Copyright 2011 James Marsh