Insects and other foods the trout
should be eating:
1. BWOs (Little BWOs)
3. Little Winter Stonefliesl
Most available/ Other types of food:
4. Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)
Fly Fishing Strategies - Which Flies To Use - Coming Week
What is most plentiful in the streams of the Smokies right now are midges and a few various species of Little
Blue-winged Olives ranging from a hook size 18 at the largest, down to a size 20 and even smaller.
As mentioned last week, the Winter Stonefly nymphs should start developing wing pads and hatching this the
month. They will be either a hook size 18 or 16, depending on the particular species of the Capniidae family.
There are a few different species of Winter stoneflies that will hatch this Winter. Like most all stoneflies, the
nymphs will come out from their hiding places underneath the rocks and begin to crawl out of the water to
hatch. When this is happening, they become an easy target of the trout. You should start seeing some of
these little stoneflies any day now.
If the water temperature is below 45 degrees, and it will today due to last nights low, and probably in the early
morning for at least another day or two, you should fish an imitation of a cream midge larva. If you see any
midges on the surface hatching or laying eggs, switch to an imitation of the cream midge pupa.
Some Very Important, Often Overlooked Tips on Fishing Cold Water:
When the water is very cold, 45 degrees or lower, there are some very important points you should keep in
mind. If you present a small fly to a trout correctly, it will eat it. It makes absolutely no difference how low
the trout's metabolism is. They don't stop eating when the water gets cold. They do take in less food but
you only need for them to eat one fly and they will do that in a heart beat. They move out of the current
where they spend less energy. They have to do that in order to survive, otherwise, they will expend more
energy than they could acquire food to replenish. They will only move a few inches, if any, for food.
To catch them you have to get the fly either in a deep, calm pocket; a pool with slow moving
water: or a hole in the bottom of the stream that's out of the current. If the stream has much current
in the upper layers of the water, getting the fly down in a hole in the bottom of the stream out of the current
such that the fly moves at the same slow speed of the water the trout is holding in, isn't easy. If the
fly isn't presented using the high sticking method where you can control the speed of drift of the fly and keep
it on the bottom using a lot of weight, it will pass through the very slow moving water where a trout is holding
faster than the water and probably result in scaring the trout. Real small nymphs and/or larvae don't pass
through slow moving water faster than the current. Wild trout will not fall for such unnatural presentations.
Also, something few Smoky Mountain anglers consider is the fact that when your fly is moving slowly as it
should be in this situation, it should imitate the behavior and appearance of the real nymphs and
larvae the wild trout see every day of their life. If your using a bead-head goat nymph, flashy do-dad
that kinda,,nearly, in a way almost looks the real thing or a generic trout fly that Joe Blow caught six on last
week, you would be better off fishing a delayed harvest stream, or a put-&-take, heavily stocked tailwater.
Otherwise, you may as well wait until the water gets warm. Such flies may fool a few wild trout in fast water
conditions where they only get a quick glimpse of the fly, but not when the trout get a good look at the fly.
Getting back to the strategies that will provide you the highest odds of success, If the water temperature gets
to 45 degrees or higher, I suggest you fish a hook size 20 imitation of a Blue-winged Olive nymph. If you
notice any little BWOs hatching (and it is likely this will happen later on in the week) switch to an emerger
imitation. If the water is in the high forties, the BWO dun imitation may also work well.
If you happen to spot a little stonefly on the bank or a boulder in the water, or an adult stonefly along the
banks or in the bushes, by all means switch to a Winter Stonefly nymph. Information on how to fish this
nymph and adult imitation is available on our Perfect Fly website. I'll just mention that you should fish the
nymph right on the bottom very near the banks. You should only fish the adult imitation when you see them
on the water laying eggs.
Good luck to you. This should be a very good week to fly fish the streams of the Smokies considering this is
the month of January.
Copyright 2013 James Marsh
New Schedule of Daily Articles
Mondays: Weather and Stream Conditions
Forecast - Coming Week
Tuesdays: Fly Fishing Strategies - Which
Flies To Use - Coming Week
Wednesday: Fishing Tales
Thursday: Smoky Mountains Fishing Report
Friday: Getting Started
Saturday: Fly Fishing School
Sunday: This Week's Featured Trout Food
Perfect Fly BWO Dun
Perfect Fly BWO Nymph
Winter Stonefly Nymph
Thumbnail Pictures: Click
Perfect Fly Cream
Thumbnail Pictures: Click