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Old 06-29-2009, 06:58 PM
Hugh Hartsell's Avatar
Hugh Hartsell Hugh Hartsell is offline
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Default The Isonychia Nymph

Fellas and Gals,
The Isonychia Mayfly is hatching in good numbers now and as many of you know, the most popular way to take advantage of this fly is to fish the nymph stage. It does migrate to the banks or rocks during the day and crawls out on on rocks or other debris close to the edge of the stream to hatch out after dark. You will see lots of them on the East Prong of Little River and Abrams Creek and to a lesser extent on some other streams in the Park. They are very abundant on Camp Creek, Paint Creek, Beaverdam Creek ,the Tellico River, and The Doe River as well. There are several good imitations for this fly in the nymph stage so some of you may want to tell about your favorite.
Hugh
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Old 06-29-2009, 07:52 PM
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Thanks for the reminder Hugh! I need to tie up a few extras before I head to the Smokies again...
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Old 06-29-2009, 08:27 PM
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Default Hugh or David either one....

I visited a fly shop in Colorado and one of the prominent flies available was a Caddis pupa; apparently, these were big hitters during a caddis hatch. Have either of you ever fished this fly? If so, when and where?
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Old 06-29-2009, 08:59 PM
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I've read somewhere that the Leadwing coachman was originally tied as an isonychia imitation. I have no clue if it's true or not but it sure does a fine job.A large #10 -#12 Zug Bug will get you by as well. Whatever you use, I think it needs to be tied heavy. I tie all of mine very heavy to get down in fast water.

In my opinion the isonychia nymph is one bug that fly fishers need to come out of the box to fish. Isonychias are swimmers, and very good swimmers I might add. I promise you fish don't see a lot of iso's dead drifting....not as nymphs anyway.

Remove the strike inidicator and fish that iso nymph like a woolly bugger or light streamer. Tight lined with some action. Cast across, mend.....mend, now strip...strip...strip....pause, strip...strip...strip. WHAM!

The big wide Hiwassee Tailwater presents an exception to the general "isonychia" thought process. While any of the good isonychia nymph patterns will whack fish most of the time during isonycia season, the nymphs have a harder time making it all the way to the shore or exposed structure and end up hatching midstream.

It's usually an afternoon occurence and the fish love it. We get to fish big isonychia dries and the action is great. They never hatch out in huge clouds, instead they just trickle off all afternoon. So the fish get really used to seeing them on occasion and learn to see them as big meals that they will not pass on.

The spinner fall is usually very early morning hours just before daylight, on the Hiwassee anyway. Not sure about the mountains....bu I'd imagine it's semi close.

Great topic.....I love the iso's.
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Old 06-29-2009, 10:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nvr2L8 View Post
I visited a fly shop in Colorado and one of the prominent flies available was a Caddis pupa; apparently, these were big hitters during a caddis hatch. Have either of you ever fished this fly? If so, when and where?
Charlie,

A caddis pupa can often catch a lot more fish during a caddis hatch than a dry will. Any time you come across a good hatch it is worth trying. If you know the bugs should be hatching, start fishing them during the hours leading up to the hatch just like you would with mayfly or stonefly nymphs. Tellicos work well during the day because the little yellow stonefly nymphs are on the move prior to the evening hatch. Same thing for the caddis... In the Smokies I would focus on a caddis pupa immitation especially early in the season (little black caddis) and during the fall when the cinnamon caddis are hatching. Of course, these are not the only caddis that hatch in the park so having a good variety of patterns is definitely worthwhile. While we were in Colorado, we did very well on pupa immitations so they definitely catch fish when the naturals are on the water...
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Old 06-29-2009, 10:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hugh Hartsell View Post
Fellas and Gals,
The Isonychia Mayfly is hatching in good numbers now and as many of you know, the most popular way to take advantage of this fly is to fish the nymph stage. It does migrate to the banks or rocks during the day and crawls out on on rocks or other debris close to the edge of the stream to hatch out after dark. You will see lots of them on the East Prong of Little River and Abrams Creek and to a lesser extent on some other streams in the Park. They are very abundant on Camp Creek, Paint Creek, Beaverdam Creek ,the Tellico River, and The Doe River as well. There are several good imitations for this fly in the nymph stage so some of you may want to tell about your favorite.
Hugh
Anyone care to elaborate on what flies represent this species? I did some research on Google, but it's a bit difficult to narrow down which versions are found in the Smokies. Thanks in advance. BRF
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Old 06-30-2009, 03:15 PM
tennswede tennswede is offline
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Mahogany Dun, or Slate Drake should work as generics for Isonychia Bicolor.
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Old 06-30-2009, 04:11 PM
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How long will the hatch last? Will they still be coming off when I am there in a couple of weeks?
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  #9  
Old 06-30-2009, 06:43 PM
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Default How long will the hatch last?

Tim,
They usually hang around until frost. They have a sister fly that hatches right along with them (the Giant Golden Stonefly), and they both seem to endure until it gets quite cold.
Hugh
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Old 06-30-2009, 06:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tennswede View Post
Mahogany Dun, or Slate Drake should work as generics for Isonychia Bicolor.

Thanks, Hans.
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