Damsel Flies exist on every
stream in the park but are
not very plentiful.
Other Aquatic Insects:
Fly Fishing the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Craneflies are fairly abundant in the park's streams. Trout will
definitely feed on them in the larva and adult stages of life. The larva
stage of the cranefly looks like a fat worm. The adults have a skinny
body and very long legs.

There are only a few aquatic species. Many of them are terrestrial
species that live in damp, wet areas. It's worthwhile to carry
imitations of the larvae and adults.

Aquatic Beetles:
Aquatic beetles probably exist in every stream in the park. The
important question is "to what extent". They are usually more
common in slower moving water and lakes.

Interestingly, most of the time I spot a large amount of dragonflies in
the park, they are eating mayflies, caddisflies or midges. You will
see them dive down from high in the air and grab a small mayfly. I
stopped fishing Little River one day just to observe the feeding
dragonflies. Dragonflies are found more often in still or slow moving
water and are not exactly plentiful in the park.

Damsel Flies:
Like the dragonfly, damsel flies are not very plentiful in the park. They
prefer still to slow moving water. We question their importance as a
food item for trout.

The adults of the hellgrammites are called Dobsonflies. If you have
collected very many aquatic insects, you have probably found this
creature. They require lots of oxygen and cool water. They are fairly
common in the park, especially in water that borders being too warm
for trout.

Certainly the dobsonfly larvae are a major food item for the
smallmouth bass. The dobsonfly undergoes complete
metamorphosis. The hellgrammites, which live from one to three
years depending on the species, crawl out of the water to hatch. This
can be an important food for trout and we do recommend you carry
some imitations of hellgrammites.

Copyright 2011James Marsh
Damsel Fly Nymphs
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