Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1. Blue-winged Olives
2. Little Yellow Quills (Heptagenia Group) (slight chance)
3. Needle Stoneflies (slight chance)
4 Great Brown Autumn Sedge (slight chance)
6. Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)
Weekend outlook and some information on fishing cold water
As mentioned in the previous strategy articles, the weekend conditions we have been experiencing
will be just the reverse this weekend. It's been nice and warm, too warm for this time of the year the
past few weekends, but that won't happen this weekend. Today would be okay temperature wise,
although the water is still high. The low tonight in Gatlinburg will be 27.
The problem is the high for Saturday is only going to be about 43 degrees, dropping to 23 Saturday
night. That means the water temperature for Saturday, even in the lower elevations, will not get
above 40 degrees all day Saturday. It will late Sunday at best before the water exceeds forty degrees
with a high forecast of 48 Sunday.
I will be doing an entire series very soon on how water temperature affects fishing. It's one
of the most misunderstood things about fishing. In short, to explain the above statements, let me
explain that trout can be caught in water in the high thirties. All fish from beneath frozen lakes are
caught from water never any higher than 39 degrees but in streams it isolates their locations out of
the current in areas that are difficult to find and present flies in, in the right manner. In water from
about 45 degrees up to 50, the water temperature isn't near the adverse factor and the fish are not
near as difficult to find and present flies to.
The confusion comes from the fact that cold water slows down the metabolism of the cold
blooded species and they don't require as much food. That's correct but without going into
detail, this down and dirty answer may explain it. Trout in water that's in the forties eat less than they
do in water that's in the fifties and sixties, but it has little to no direct affect on your ability to catch
They don't need to eat 50 of your flies for you to catch them. They only need to eat one. If
you put a slow moving small fly in front of their nose, they will eat it.
During the past years, we have caught rainbow and brown trout that would total in the low thousands
in water well below fifty degrees all over this nation including hundreds in the Smokies. We have
fished as much as a month at a time in the West with good success in water that never exceeded fifty
degrees. That said, let me also say that you won't do it in the Smokies using the normal, or standard
methods and techniques used for fishing the streams of the Smokies. It requires completely different
techniques than most anglers are used to using. It doesn't require any secrete methods or
techniques. It just requires finding the trout and presenting a fly to them the right way. They are not
up in the water column in a run or riffle eating Parachute Adams. They are not stuck to the bottom in
current where they are freezing to death with lock jaw. They will be in isolated areas generally in
deep water, in holes with very slow moving current.
Conditions for next Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday all look great. The streams levels will be much
lower and the water temperatures will average being in the high forties, with daily highs reaching into
the low fifties, which is more normal for this time of the year. There will also be some cloud cover and
your odds of seeing some baetis Blue-winged Olive hatches are very good.
Copyright 2011 James Marsh