Flies Needed Now for Fishing the Smokies
Blue Quills - Part 4

Insects and other food the trout may be eating:
1. Blue-winged Olives (Baetis)
2. Blue Quills
3. Quill Gordons
4. Little Black Caddis
5. Winter Stoneflies
6. Midges
7. Streamers

Blue Quill Spinners:
Early in the season, when they first begin to hatch, spinners from the Blue Quill
hatch may start to fall from previous day hatches about the middle of the
afternoons. Near the end of the hatch, after the weather has turned warmer, It may
occur after you can legally fish in the park, but most of the time it will take place in
the late afternoons.

The mayflies will mate and the female Blue Quills will deposit their eggs in the same
type of water they hatch in. This is the slower moving water that is near fast water.
This can be the edges of the banks, the tail outs of pools and riffles and the ends
of long runs. After the females die, they will become spent on the surface. Most
often the spinners will be caught up in the faster water and carried downstream to
collect into calm pockets of water, eddies and along the outer edges of current

Blue Quill Spinner Presentation:
We have had some excellent success fishing the spinner fall during the late
afternoons. We do better if it is late in the duration of the Blue Quill hatch when the
weather is usually warmer and it is very overcast or rainy. On a few occasions, we
have found the trout feeding on the spent spinners in very calm, shallow water in
the early morning. Sometimes the Quill Gordon spinners will be mixed in with them.
Blue-winged olives spinners may also be present.

This type of fishing takes a light, long leader and tippet and a careful presentation.
If you go fishing early in the morning during a hatch, towards the end of the period
of time these mayflies hatch (season wise) after the weather has warmed be sure
and check the water for spinners. Often they can be spotted along the edge of the
water right against the banks. You almost need to get down on your knees to see
them. Since spinners float spent, flush with the surface, there is nothing protruding
above the water to help spot them.

Many anglers that are not familiar with the times and places spinners fall and how to
imitate them, simply tie on a spinner imitation and fish it the exact same way they
fish the other dry flies they use in the smokies. The first thing that happens to upset
them is that they are not be able to see the fly. It would be difficult even when it is
heavily greased up if it is fished it in the runs and riffles like an attractor fly. The
other thing that happens to them is they probably will not catch trout on the fly.

The reason is simple. They are fishing the fly in the wrong places at the wrong time
of day. If you are not fishing very late in the day, in the right type of water, you will
be wasting your time. Yet another problem is that even when you get a take from a
trout, you may not know it and miss the strike. The trout just sips the fly in. The only
indication you will get will be a slight swirl of the water, rise ring or movement in your
line. If you fish it correctly, at the right time and place, you can catch a lot of trout in
a very short time when everyone else is claiming the fishing has ended for the day.

Copyright 2009 James Marsh
Perfect Fly Blue Quill Spinner