You will normally see the March Brown mayfly on the streams in the Southern Appalachians and Great Smoky Mountains National Park in March through April. This is one of our early Spring mayfly hatches. Because most hatches are water temperature dependent, you never know exactly when the March Brown will appear. This mayfly will be seen later in the year further north or in the higher elevations where the water warms up to their activity temperature later than we see in East Tennessee in the valleys or lower elevations.
Trout can become selective during active hatches of March Browns. March Browns are a larger mayfly and the most common sizes are #12 or #14. During a large March Brown hatch it is often a good idea to fish this fly as your dry and drop a Hare’s Ear nymph or light tan wet fly off the dry. One common method of doing this is to tie a short (16”) piece of tippet to the hook bend, then tie the Hare’s ear nymph or wet fly or other to the tailing end of the tippet.
Anglers often see the March Brown hatches after the Quill Gordon and Blue Quills begin their mating season but also during both of those hatches. This pattern is important to have when fishing in freestone trout streams during the early Spring.
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Little River Outfitters is a fly shop and mail order company located in Townsend, Tennessee, a gateway to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We have been family owned since 1994.