View Full Version : Book on Hatches.

03-24-2006, 09:05 PM
Being a fairly new flyfisherman and cutting my teeth on tailwaters I am unlearned in the way of hatches. Can anyone recommend a good book on the subject, and does LRO stock one? Other than past experience how can you predict what hatch will be occuring. I know the message board will do a good job of keeping us informed, but I am always wanting to read and learn more. I would love to take the LRO class but distance and time is a factor. thanks

03-24-2006, 11:21 PM
One of the best sources of information is available by going to the LRO website's homepage and clicking on the fishing reports or conditions. They always list a pretty accurate selection of flies that are currently producing.


03-25-2006, 02:42 PM
Selective Trout by Doug Swisher and Carl Richards ISBN: 1-58574-038-1

Trout Stream Insects an Orvis Streamside Guide by Dick Pobst ISBN:1-55821-067-9

The Orvis Streamside Guide To Trout Foods and Their Imitations by Tom Rosenbauer ISBN: 1-55821-986-2

The Caddisfly Handbook An Orvis Streamsidge Guide by Dick Pobst and Carl Richards ISBN:1-55821-542-5

Handbook of Hatches by Dave Hughes ISBN: 0-8117-3182-0

There's also a new one about eastern hatches advertised on flyfisherman.com but I don't remember the details. These are only a few examples there are many many more books out there. I would GUESS THAT LRO HAVE SOME OF THESE OR THEY COULD GET THEM FOR YOU IF YOU CALL THEM.

03-26-2006, 12:29 AM
There is a small laminated booklet- A Smoky Mountains &Southern Appalachains Fly Hatch Schedule by Ken Snelling. Cost less than $10. I am sure LRO has copies. Probably the best I've found. Lists flies by month, time of day emerge, suggested patterns. Really you don't need anything else. I've gotten all three books of Fishing the Smokies (I"M A BOOK JUNKIE) and this is the best for general use. Keep it on my tying table when putting fly boxes together by seasons.

Remember flies hatch according to altitude, weather, etc. NOT according to some book. Guys fishing from Townsend to Metcalf may see Sulfurs and Yellow Sallies weeks before I would high above Elkmont.

I'll echo the others and suggest Fishing Report or posting before leaving. Another forum-Southeasternflyfishingforum.com- has large number of tailwater folks from Tenn and NC posting who would be glad help if you post or shoot them an email.

Randy Sale

03-26-2006, 01:52 PM
Agree with previous poster but would like to mention that general books as I recommended are essential if you would like to learn basic entomology which you need to know to be a better fisherman. It is all fine and dandy if you can have a local hatch chart to guide you but the real problem starts if you can't tell a golden stone from a yellow caddis etc. A general understanding of basic entomology is fundamental in my opinion. This might not be an axiom for the mountains per se but definitely when you get in to tailwaters and lower elevation streams.

03-26-2006, 04:39 PM
I just bought a flip-book from LRO this past week. *Its a small 4x5 waterproof flip-book called "Smoky Mountain Fly Patterns" by Lowe. *It was only $5.00!!

It has dry and nymph patterns for every month of the year. *It gives best times to fish each month for dry and nymph and notes for each month. *There is also a small section in the back with notes about each of the 4 seasons and angling tips for smoky mountain fishing.

Its well worth $5.00.


03-26-2006, 11:43 PM
Thanks for all the great post, I have to be honest I wouldn't know what a yellow sally or a sulfur was. Maybe this will help. I have taken a family trip to gsmnp every year for the past 16yrs. I started flyfishing three years ago and have managed to catch a few trout. We have a family tradition of having a picnic on the little river, year before last there was a hatch going on during our little picnic that my wife didn't really enjoy, there was a large hatch on.( she doesn't like bugs) But I had a great time on the river. This was in late july, Sulfurs? I will be up there in the first week in june this year, Yellow Sallies? I will call lro and order some books. Thanks

03-27-2006, 12:30 AM
Tenneswede gave you an excellent selection, I was concerned about you as so many beginners getting overwhelmed by the entomology. I carry a couple vials with me on stream and collect "bugs" that fish seem to like and try to tie flies that copy them. Having taught Biology in HS and College, I can tell you that the people more than trout care about the latin names. They just know that the yellow mayfly with some orange *(a Sulfur) and the small yellow stoneflies (Yellow Sallies) taste good. ;)
Learn to identify the few basic flies of mayflies, stoneflies and caddis found where you fish, their LIFE CYCLES and then ENJOY FISHING. Call LRO and ask them to suggest a good basic book or two. As you learn the basics you can expand from there and get as technical as you wish.

03-27-2006, 08:15 PM
Kytroutbum is correct, I didn't mean to come across like a know it all. I'm just hoping that you don't get intimidated by basic bug identification. It will help a great deal when you fish. Another hint: Most of the time when you first see a hatch and they don't take your dun's (adult dry's) they are really keying in on the emergers. Use a true emerger in the film or a nymph unweighted and you will catch fish. As for Sulphurs and Little Yellow stones. Not to confues anyone but most people call a lot of different Adult Drys that are somewhat whitish/yellow bodied for Sulphurs.

Light Cahill, , Pale Morning Dun in the West/ Pale Evening Dun in the east and even Light Hendrickson are all basically grouped as Sulphurs along with the real Sulphurs Ephemerella invaria and Ephemerella Dorothea are Sulphur Dun and Little Sulphur Dun respectively. It is fun to study all these but if you see a yellow fly that you have identified as a mayfly I would use either imitation, Light Cahill, PMD/PED or a Hendrickson. On tailwaters and out West you must be more exact in your identification but here in the smokies all you need to know is the color/size/ and if it's a mayfly. If it is a Stonefly it is probably a Little Yellow Stone Fly and I would use a fly called Yellow Sally. I believe we don't have true Yellow Sallies here in the east but more in the west but we call the Little Yellow Stones by that name. Confusing I know. In short: Learn to identify if it is a yellow colored mayfly or a stone fly or perhaps a caddis, all appear in the smokies. If the hatch you saw in late July was sporadic and happened throughout the day I will tend to guess Yellow Stone. It is possible that it was Light Cahill but that is a little late for them and they don't produce very thick hatches. The Little Yellow Stone appears troughout the afternoon/evening and it can be thick. I do believe there are Yellow Drakes at lower elevations in the park and if it was close to dusk it could be. You would notice if it is a drake they are very large size mayflies about a 10 or 12. Hope this helps.

03-27-2006, 11:00 PM
Thanks for all the information. I am mostly looking to be able to identify a hatch. But, I am interested in basic entomology, but due to the fact that can I can remember the morphology & taxonomy classes I took in my uncompleted botany major many years ago, the Latin names tend to make me break out. Maybe thatís why I now work in a Wood truss design company instead counting plants. ;D
I have learned to handle a fly rod well enough to swing a woolly bugger or copper john on the Caney Fork, catch some on a nymph dropper behind a big dry. I think next step is to learn to match the hatch better, and to understand the different phases in the life cycles. Thanks to all your recommendations, think I can get a better understanding.

03-28-2006, 12:34 AM
Hey Vern!!
The CRAZY "Lumpers and Splitters" of the Plant World are responsible for my fishing in the Smokies. I had a class in Systematic Botany in 1969 at Grand Valley State in Michigan. *The Prof's organized a joint 5 day field trip to GSMNP for us Yankee Hippies. We camped in Elkmont and I was amazed that were trout streams with fly hatches in late April and you COULD EVEN FISH ALL YEAR *around.(Pre Salmon and Steelhead) Trout season in Mich wasn't open yet. When we left I told my "soon to be wife" I'd come back someday. ;)

I spent most of the next summer going "bug eyed" in the herbrium keying Lichens and Bryophytes. I switched to Ichthyology and Limnology immediately after ;D -More fun-Graduated and headed toward Grad school at UT but didn't get quite that far.