Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1.   Blue-winged Olives
2.   Little Black Winter Stoneflies
3.   Streamers - matching sculpin, baitfish and small crayfish
4.   Midges

Current Weather and Stream Conditions:
At the present time, it appears all the snowing, raining, sleeting, hailing and other
wild weather has ended in the Smokies. I haven't seen the sun yet but today is
supposed to reach 39 degrees in Gatlinburg. The next day or two will be clear and
very cold at night. The inch of snow in my front yard has a thin sheet of ice over it..

A minute or two ago I clicked on the precipitation report for the Smokies and it
showed 8 inches of snow at Newfoundland Gap and 8 inches at Mt. LeConte. I
forgot to look at something and clicked back to see it changed to 9 inches at
LeConte and no report at Newfoundland Gap when that was updated. There is one
thing for certain. It didn't melt last nigh at Newfoundland Gap. If the old report was
right, there is still 8 inches of snow at Newfoundland Gap. Of course the main road
across the park is closed at this time. The streams rose some due to the rain and/or
melting snow recently and are still high and of course, very cold.

The snow depth is interested because that means we will have some more
Southern runoff heading downstream if the air temperatures return to normal. That
is good because the more water, the better as far as I am concerned (as long as it
doesn't flood). All in all, it appears the Smokies got the light end of the weather in
comparison to other parts of the South.

Basics of Fly Fishing - Trout Food Series - Mayflies - Part 20
We have finished the first two mayflies of the year. Actually, we didn't finish the
Blue-winged Olives, but we did cover those that hatch in late Winter and Spring. It is
now time to look at the "King of the mayflies" in the Smokies - The Quill Gordons. I
assume because they are the first large mayfly to hatch each year, they turn the
anglers on more than any other bug in the Smokies. Notice I said turn the Anglers
on. I'm joking some, but they do get the anglers out on the water quicker than
anything I know of.

The season usually starts out like this. Anglers will start going the first few warm
days, usually from the middle to the end of February. Then the fishing blogs will all
get full of "went to the Smokies for a couple of hours today, but nothing was
happening". The water was still too cold. Then in a few days you will hear "went to
the Smokies today and saw some Blue Quills, but the trout were not eating them".
Of course, if you have been keeping up, you would know that report was wrong.
Then you will hear "we saw a few Quill Gordons today but the trout were not looking
up". If you keep on reading the articles you will find out that is also wrong.

The Quill Gordons...

Copyright 2010 James Marsh