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)
New Hatches Coming:
I better stop the tailwater articles for a while and get to some new upcoming
hatches. Today is my youngest daughter's birthday and it reminds me of the first
March Brown I spotted back a few years ago when I was trying to determine when
they first started hatching. We show them on our Smoky Mountain Spring Hatch
Chart starting the middle of April and that is always very close.
There will be several other hatches most of which we show starting to hatch about
the last week of April. The Little Black Stoneflies and Little Brown Stoneflies, both
from the same family, will be gone within a week or two. The Blue Quills, Quill
Gordons and Blue-winged Olives will also disappear within a couple of weeks. The
Little BWOs consisting of several species will hatch for some time now, but the
larger ones, mostly baetis species, will be gone soon. The Hendricksons will be
gone within a couple more weeks. It seemed like yesterday that I wrote about them
starting. I am getting many, many orders for our Perfect Flies for them for the
Northeastern section of the country, but in the South, it will be over soon.
Within the next few days, the American March Browns will start hatching and
possibly already with the warm weather we have had. So will the Cinnamon Caddis.
They will be most noticeable on Abrams Creek but will appear in most of the other
streams to some extent. The Little Short-horned Sedges will be around for awhile.
The large Giant Stoneflies will also start hatching before the month ends.
Very soon we will start seeing some Green Sedges. In Abrams there will be some
hatches of the huge Eastern Green Drakes within the next ten days or so. We will
also see one very, very important mayfly start showing up within a few days before
the month ends - Light Cahills. I will have a lot to write about the next few days in
order to keep up with the hatches.
American March Browns:
The March Browns are one of the most frustrating mayflies that appears in the East
even though it is large, easy to identify and a beautiful, popular mayfly. There are
several things that makes it frustrating to me. It hasn't only frustrated me, it has
frustrated the scientist. They changed the name of them a few years ago because
DNA determined them to be different from the group they were in for many years.
These mayflies are in every stream there are in the Great Smoky Mountains
National Park. There are lots of them. They are clingers that love the fast, pocket
water that exist most everywhere. When you examine the numbers of the nymphs in
a stream, you would think they would hatch in huge numbers. Right the opposite is
true. The reason is that they hatch over a long period of time and not even at the
same time of day. For the most part, they hatch near the same time, but not within
an hour or two like most mayflies. They can hatch over three or four hours during
the day. That, together with the fact they hatch for many days strings the hatch out
to where there are rarely many on a given section of water at any one time. You will
mostly see one or three here and there. The thing that congregates them more than
anything else is the spinner fall. It happens in a short period of time each day but
there are problems with it from a fishing standpoint. And, by the way, NO there isn't
such a thing as a Gray Fox mayfly. What is called the Gray Fox in the East, is a
American March Brown. In the West, it is a completely different mayfly from that
confusing this name even more.
I will be going over the American March Brown mayfly the next two or three days and
outlining the specifics of the hatch and how to go about fishing it.