Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1. Blue-winged Olives
2. Little Short Horned Sedges
3. American March Browns
4. Cinnamon Sedges (Caddisflies) (Abrams Creek)
5. Green Sedges (Caddisflies)
6. Little Sister Caddisflies (Abrams Creek)
7. Pale Evening Duns
8. Little Yellow Stoneflies -Yellow Sallies
9. Eastern Green Drakes (Abrams Creek)
10. Giant Stoneflies
11. Light Cahills
12. Sculpin, baitfish and small crayfish (Imitate with streamers)
I know some of you despise all the Latin or scientific names of the insects. Every
time I omit them and just use common names, I get corrected by the ones that do
know. I also create confusion by using the common names because they are
incorrectly used differently by different anglers. I have over a thousand people who
read the daily articles I write on this site each day. Many of them know the difference.
The Light Cahills are hatching and have been for a few days. I should be able to
catch up on all the new hatches in the Smokies within a few days. The Light Cahill is
the Stenacron interpunctatum. This mayfly is very similar to some of the Stenonema
species (that were recently changed to Maccaffertium species) which accounts for
some of the confusion.
For example, the old Stenonema ithaca (now the Maccaffertium ithaca) is often
called a Light Cahill. It is also called a Gray Fox, adding even more confusion
the Gray Fox common name. Because of the confusion, you will hear anglers
mention that Light Cahills are hatching all the way from April until the middle of
September. Some of the mayflies they are referring to are not Light Cahills.
Some of the other mayflies the Light Cahill is confused with are the old
Stenonema (now Maccaffertium) mediopunctatum, carolina, and modestum
species. These are usually and correctly (if there is such a thing as a correct
common name) called Cream Cahills.
The Light Cahills are also confused with the Heptagenia group of mayflies or the
Little Yellow Quills that hatch later in the season. That is why you will hear
anglers still taking about Light Cahills late in the Summer and early fall months.
There is a reason for all this confusion. The duns of these various species look
much alike. These mayflies hatch from the last week of April until the end of June,
depending mainly on location, the weather and elevation of the stream. This hatch
usually only last two to three weeks at any one location but the overall duration from
the streams at the lower elevations to the higher elevation, can last up to eight
weeks. These mayflies can be found in the tiny brook trout streams as well as
the larger watersheds.
As I said above, it is easy to understand some of the confusion in the common
name "Light Cahill". There is not a great deal of difference in the appearance of
some of the Maccaffertium Stenacron and Stenonema species. They are all
clinger nymphs that look fairly similar. However, there are differences in the
behavior of some of these various species that warrant attention.
The Heptagenia group of mayflies (often confused as Light Cahills) are also
clingers but behave quite differently. Until I started writing about this mayfly, local
anglers never was aware it existed in the Smokies. When we review the "Cream
Cahills" you will find that some of those species are different colors. Some of them
are almost white. Some of them have heavily mottled wings. The sizes of these
mayfly species can vary a hook size of two and of course, the hatch times vary
greatly. For now, lets focus on the real "Light Cahill", the Stenacron interpunctatum.
Gulf of Oil Report - The Real Damage
Four million gallons of oil has leaked into the Gulf since April 20th and it is
continuing. Using submarines, BP is now diluting the oil leak using chemicals
approved by the EPA. The EPA admits they don't know the affects of it on the
environment. Something strong enough to dilute oil couldn't possible have any
adverse effect on the sea life could it? It would take an outright fool to buy that.
I guess they figure it couldn't be any worse than the oil.
Gulf Story Two:
The first few years I fished in the general area of the oil rig leak, I was billfishing the
blue water. I had spent the night at the mouth of the river at South Pass on some of
those trips, as well as offshore on sea anchors, but I had never fished the inshore
water there. I had fished inshore many other areas of Louisiana, including many
trips to the Chandelier Islands, on the bays south of Grand Isle and Morgan City
and other locations nearby, but not in the South Pass or Venice area.
In the late 1980's, a friend of mine from Orange Beach, Alabama (where I lived at
the time) started keeping his 42 foot Bertram at Venice. He invited me to bring my
cameraman and fish for yellowfin tuna off South Pass. We spent three days there
and I was even more amazed at the area. We would dock near the light house at the
pass. We even climbed to the top of the old light house and video taped the
surroundings. I don't know if that is possible today. The old rusty stairs were scary
My girl friend, the boat owner, his mate and I fished large Softhead lures trolling for
yellowfin tuna in the same general area the oil leak is today. We were not successful
in finding any tuna the first day. They are highly migratory and the ones spotted
there earlier by other anglers were gone. Trolling back in, we hooked a fish that
turned out to be a very large Jack Crevalle. It was on the edge of the blue
water/green water line in the current rip. No sooner than we could get the lures out,
we hooked another one. Taking turns in the chair, we fought those fish until near
dark. The next day we returned thinking other species could be there. It was the
same thing all day. We couldn't get all four lures out before hooking another one.
We would pull the lines in and run a few miles only to encounter the same thing. We
must have caught around thirty Cavelle that went anywhere from about twenty to
The next day, we ran farther offshore by about ten miles, trying to get away from the
Jacks. We hooked up on a yellowfin very quickly. You know it when you do. It almost
dumped the 80 pound line off the Penn International and turned out to weight about
a hundred and twenty pounds. The water was covered with yellowfin tuna. We would
catch one and while fighting it, spot many others jumping nearby. We fought
yellowfin tuna all day long. We all were completely exhausted. It takes anywhere
from about 30 minutes to a hour to catch one, even backing down on it.
I had caught many yellowfin before and even larger ones, but I had never seen that
type of consistent action prior to that time and only a few times since. We had a
boat load (a few hundred pounds) of yellowfin tuna, an excellent eating fish.
For the next several years, I learned that area of the Gulf of Mexico, near the mouth
of the Mississippi River, was the most productive fishing area in the Gulf of Mexico.
One reason is the huge number of oil rigs, both inshore and offshore. That attracts
baitfish and the baitfish attracts game fish to the area. Another reason is the
Mississippi River itself. It provides a mixture of water chemistry that is conductive to
attracting many, many species of fish. I have fished most all of the Gulf within fuel
range of a port, including that offshore of most all of the Texas and Florida ports,
Mexico, and the Keys over the last thirty years. I don't know of any area of the
Gulf of Mexico that holds more fish that the area within a hundred mile
radius of the oil spill. Many others would agree with me on this. I have really
never as much as heard anyone attempt to argue with that statement.
Later, I will write about small yellowfin we have caught in the Gulf on other
occasions. I have caught yellowfin tuna as small as five pounds in the Gulf. I feel
certain they are smaller ones there. By the way, they don't have air bladders. They
have to constantly swim to survive. Tomorrow, I will write about something few are
aware of - the giant bluefin tuna, the most valuable fish in the World, that spawn in
the Gulf of Mexico each year during the late Winter and Spring. This is not to
exclude the blackfin, little tuna (bonita) and other tuna species that live there.
Now someone please tell me, how these fish can swim in oil, much
less spawn in oil. If any of the marine biologist (and I know many who are very
familiar with the Gulf) as much as attempt to explain what these fish will do under
these current circumstances, I will have to call them complete idiots. What the
migratory and pelagic species will do with regard to the oil is totally unknown and
unpredictable. The fish haven't learned that from nature. There has never been a
You will hear plenty about this. You will be hearing about it for years to come. It will
drastically affect the offshore fishing in the Gulf. It will have a huge economical
impact on the coast and entire marine industry.