Fishing the South Holston Tailwater - Black Flies - Part 3:

I have not fished imitations of the pupa of the black fly very much. It is quite similar
in appearance to the larva. I am not familiar with how these flies hatch. I have read
conflicting information about it. I have caught several fish on the pupa imitation but I
am not sure I was imitating the emergence correctly. I thought about raising some in
one of my aquariums to see how they hatched but then I had second thoughts
about black flies in the house.

I fished the pupa the same way  I did the larva fly - that is downstream. The only
difference is I fished it unweighted in the skim. I am not certain as to whether they
hatch into adults below the surface or on the surface. At any rate, I have caught
some trout using this method.

I forgot to mention in yesterdays article that during the winter months, back flies,
along with blue-winged olives, are the main source of food as far as flying insects
are concerned. I think the has more to due with the fact little else hatches during
the winter than anything. As far as I can determine, the black flies hatch several
times during the year. My point is that I am sure you could catch fish at times other
than during the winter on the black fly. I have done so in the fall and spring months.
It is usually downplayed because of the sulfur hatches at other times of the year.

You can also fish imitations of the adult black fly. As its name implies, it is a small
black fly. Just how many of these are eaten on the surface of the water during a
hatch is unknown to me. I feel certain the trout in the South Holston eat them but I
am not sure to what extent. My experience in fishing the dry fly imitation is limited. I
wish any of you that has experience in this regard or have any additional
information on the black fly would let me know. I would appreciate it.

I do not have a "Perfect Fly" imitation of the black fly larva, pupa or adult - yet. We
are considering adding one to our line but as far as I can determine, other than the
South Holston River, there is little interest in them. I don't think this is because other
streams don't have them. They exist in trout streams from the west coast to the east
coast. I think it is just one of those insects that hasn't received much attention.

There are winter days on the South Holston when the Blue-winged Olives are not
hatching. During those days knowing how to fish black fly imitations may make the
difference in success or failure. Please let us know if you can help us out with any
additional information.

Copyright 2008 James Marsh