Copyright 2013 James Marsh
Insects and other foods the trout
should be eating:
1. BWOs (Little BWOs)
2. Light Cahills
3. Cinnamon Caddis
4. Eastern Pale Evening Duns
5. Little Short-horned Sedges
7. Green Sedges
8. Little Yellow Stoneflies
9. Golden Stoneflies
10. Slate Drakes
11. Little Green Stoneflies
Most available - Other types of food:
12. Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)
13. Inch Worms
Smoky Mountains Fishing Report
I'm updating the existing fishing conditions in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and guessing
at what is going to be the conditions for this Father's Day weekend. We are just going to have to
wait and see how much rain comes this afternoon and tonight. They are calling for isolated
thunderstorms and the chances have been increased from 60% to 70% at the time I'm writing this
early Thursday morning.
The stream levels are just about down to decent wading levels - a little high for most people but
okay for those who want to wade higher, swift water. This is all subject to change this afternoon
and tonight but not necessarily so. Some watersheds may be affected and others not affected.
The National Weather Service "Precipitation map" will show you what sections of the park get
the most rain. Just enter "Smoky Mountain National Park" in the location box and zoom in some.
High water has hampered the efforts of most guys and gals this past week. Even so, most of the
ones I have received calls and email from have been able to catch a few trout. The high water
levels have both a good and a bad effect on fishing success. It makes it easier in the sense the
trout has less time to examine your fly (high water means faster flowing water) but tougher on
presentation, especially if you have to fish from the banks.
Most of those who caught the most in terms of numbers, did so in the small, higher elevation
streams. They are usually higher than the lower elevation streams when it first stops raining but
they are also the first ones to drop to lower levels after the rain stops. Most of the time the catch
is brook trout with small rainbows mixed in and in some cases, more rainbows than brookies, but
it is a lot of fun catching them and often about your only choice after heavy rains.
I haven't received any reports from anyone doing so, but high water can make it easier to catch a
large brown trout, especially if it is stained or dingy. Under these conditions, they will come out of
their hiding places and feed during the day and even more so, if it is overcast or cloudy.
Baby Possums for Trout - Interesting Email:
I received this email last night on our Perfect Fly site and thought it was interesting. At first, I
almost wrote a "smart X" rely because I didn't take it seriously, then I decided it was a good
question. See what you think.
Hi JAMES AND ANGIE...IF A BABY POSSUM WERE TO SWIM BY A BIG BROWN TROUT, YOU
THINK THE FISH WOULD EAT HIM ?
Probably, but it would depend on several things. In most streams, browns change their eating
habits when they reach about a year or two old, or size wise, about 12 to 15 inches. This is
because they are not usually able to acquire enough aquatic insects and small marine and
crustacean species to sustain their growth and activities. They begin to rely mostly on other fish,
baitfish, sculpin and crayfish, etc. They have been known to eat small animals and birds. They
have been found in their stomachs. Their eating habits become more like bass than trout.
In cases where there are large amounts of aquatic insect foods and/or crustaceans, small baitfish
and sculpin available, they may not eat the possum. Even in waters where there's a huge amount
of midge larvae and aquatic worms such as the San Juan River, I doubt they would eat the
possum because they never had to start relying on other types of foods. I'm not sure about rivers
like the Madison, Missouri, etc with lots of food, especially lots of sculpin and small baitfish, and
even other small gamefish which they also will eat. According to those that have studied it, they
don't eat baby ducks, field mice, etc., in those types of streams like they do in many streams with
In streams with little food and big browns, you only see only a very few of the large browns in a
sizeable area of water - the Smoky mountains, for example. That's because it takes all of the
larger size baitfish, sculpin, crayfish, etc., to sustain the few large browns.
Add and lot of small baitfish, sculpin and crustaceans, etc., and you can have a large number of
big browns in a smaller amount of water. Add a mega amount of aquatic insects and they will
never change their eating habits. I've caught several browns over 20 and a few over 24 inches
on size 20 to 22 midge larvae and pupae imitations. Those came from streams where a cup full of
bottom soil/silt is have midges and half earth. In that case, I think the baby possum would have a
chance to survive.
New Schedule of Daily
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
Friday: Getting Started
Saturday: Fly Fishing School
Sunday: This Week's Featured Trout
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2. Call us at 800-594-4726 and we
will help you decide which flies you
3. Call or email us with a budget for
flies and we will select them and get
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