Hatches Made Easy:
Yes, trout will eat mosquitoes. No, I haven't tried an imitation. I would think the
adult midge imitation would serve this purpose fairly well. I don't think I would
want to hang around very long where there was a big hatch of them.
Black Flies: (Simuliidae)
If any of you have ever fished the South Holston River then you are probably
familiar with the Black Fly. They are very plentiful there and the larvae and
pupae are eaten by trout. In the Smokies, I have not found them to be especially
plentiful and I have not tried a fly that imitates them.
Deer Flies: (Tabanidae)
I wouldn't pay this insect enough respect to fish an imitation of it. I don't like them
at all but I have read where the trout eat them.
Water Boatman: (Corixidae)
The water boatman is primarily a still water insect. They exist in the Smokies but I
haven't run across a situation where I felt fishing an imitation of them would be
more effective than others.
Dragonfly (Odonata sub-order Anisoptera)
The dragonfly is an important insect where there is still water. There is little still
water within the park that holds trout. There are dragonflies throughout the park.
This has nothing to do with fishing imitations of the dragonfly but I will drop it as
a tip: "Dragonflies eat mayflies. When you see them darting across the stream
back and forth, chances are they are eating hatching mayflies or mayfly
spinners. This is a good way to notice the many species of Little Blue Winged
Back to the dragonfly. I am certain that you could catch the opportunistic trout
on a dragonfly nymph. When we have caught nymphs in our kick nets, we have
found very few of them in the fast moving streams. By the way, we have a permit
from the National Park Service to capture and photo insects. We mention this in
order to let you know that it is illegal to use a net of any type in the streams to
catch anything without a permit.
The bottom line is that I don't think a dragonfly nymph imitation is a very effective
fly to fish in the park. There could be exceptions to this. You could find a large
number of them hatching in a small area and the nymphs may be plentiful in
isolated locations. I wouldn't completely rule it out but I wouldn't count on it either.
Damselfly (Odonata sub-order Zygoptera)
The damselfly is another large insect that is very plentiful anywhere there is still
water. You will occasionally see them on the streams. I am certain the trout eat
their nymphs when they are available to them; however, I don't think that is very
often. Like the dragonfly, I wouldn't rule it out but I certainly wouldn't count on it
by any means.
Aquatic Beetles: (Elmidae, Dytiscidae, Gyrinidae)
This is a very important insect anywhere there is water. We touched on the
beetle in the terrestrial section but I wanted to mention again that they come in
two varieties - the terrestrial beetles and the aquatic beetles. You should have
imitations of beetles with you from April to November anytime you are fishing the
Smokies. They will catch trout.
Leafhoppers (Jassids): (Cicadellidae)
Leafhoppers, also called jassids, are plentiful in the Smokies. Just how many are
eaten by trout is anyone's guess. Most anglers consider them an important food.
They can jump a long way and do occasionally get into the water. If you are
going to imitate them, you better carry imitations in a variety of colors because
they come in all colors. Green is probably the most common.
Coming Up Next:
More misc. Trout food
Copyright 2008 James Marsh