Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1. Blue-winged Olives
2. Little Black Winter Stoneflies
3. Quill Gordon Mayflies
4. Blue Quill Mayflies
5. Little Brown Stoneflies
6. Little Black Caddis (American Grannoms)
7. Hendricksons and Red Quills
8. Little Short Horned Sedges
9. Sculpin, baitfish and small crayfish (Imitate with streamers)
Little Short Horned Sedges
I doubt many of you can identify this little caddisfly on the water but all of your have
seen plenty of them. They hatch in large numbers in most all of the streams of
Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It's another aquatic insect that will be
showing up soon. To make sure you don't confuse them, these little caddisflies are
These are saddle case larvae, so named for their horse saddle looking cases.
The larvae get under the saddles however, not on top of them. These are small
domed cases with openings at each end. When they are not bothered, they tend
to stick their heads and legs out of the case. These little cases stick to the rocks
very well and I wonder if the trout ever attempt to eat them when they are in the
cases. They can and do move around on the rocks to feed even though they
are difficult to remove from them.
All of you that have ever looked closely at a rock from the streambed of these
Smoky Mountain streams, have also probably seen these little Short Horned Sedge
larvae. You would think they are just a tiny clump of sand or ultra small gravel. They
appear to be a tiny rock themselves. If you observe them very long after disturbing
them, you will start seeing what appears to be tiny rocks start moving around. I don't
think trout eat these to any appreciable extent. They would be getting far more sand
and gravel than larvae.
When these little caddisfly pupae hatch, they usually surface on the water and then
run to the closest rock or the bank. They emerge out of the water. You will see them
on the rocks and the banks crawling around in the near future if not already. They
can also emerge on the surface of the water, then fly to the bank or rocks, but most
often, the pupae just scoot across the water. Trout eat them when they are
emerging. They can easily pick them off as they attempt to reach the surface using
their middle legs to swim.
By the way, they emerge in the late afternoons and continue on into the evening.
When you start seeing a lot of the adults on the rocks and banks, you have
already missed the hatch. That is when you probably tie on a dry fly caddis
imitation and waste a lot of time if the egg laying hasn't started. This is the main
reason many anglers have a difficult time catching trout from a caddisfly hatch.
I will continue this tomorrow...
Destinations: Penns Creek, Pennsylvania
I finally completed Penns Creek in our Stream Section of the "Perfect Fly" website. It
is certainly one of the best trout streams in Pennsylvania. Although it's a spring
creek, the best part (below Colburn) of the large stream looks more like a freestone
stream. Looks are deceiving because it is a true spring creek. It just happens to flow
over lots of large rocks and boulders for several miles.
Penns Creek is known for its huge Green Drake hatch but that too can be
deceptive. Crowds of anglers fish the Green Drake hatch but otherwise, ignore
Penns Creek for the rest of the year. That's a huge mistake. It's a great trout stream
with many, many large aquatic insect hatches. It has as many aquatic insects as any
stream we have been on in the United States and that is almost all of them. Check
out Penns Creek, Pennsylvania.