Copyright 2014 James Marsh
Hatches and Flies for the Raven Fork (GSMNP) North Carolina
The Raven Fork, inside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, has the normal
Great Smoky Mountains National Park hatches. In general, there are a huge variety of
aquatic insects but most of them don't exist in large quantities.
The most consistent and longest hatches are the Blue-winged Olives. There's several
species of them including the normal BWOs, Little BWOs, Eastern BWOs and Small
Eastern BWOs. This involves many species. Some of these are bi-brooded, hatching in
the early part of the year and again during the Fall.
Slate Drakes (locals call them Mahogany Duns) hatch off and on over a long period of
time, or from about the end of May through October. There may be a few Hendricksons
from about the end of March through April. Blue Quills hatch from about the middle of
February and on into the first of May. Quill Gordons hatch in fairly good quantities from
about the last week of February on into the first of April, depending on the elevation.
American March Browns hatch from about the last week of April through May. There
are a few Cream Cahills that hatch from the last week of June into August. Light Cahills
represent one of the largest hatches. They start hatching around the first of May and
last through July. From the middle of August through October, you will find a few
Mahogany Duns and quite a few Little Yellow Quill mayflies.
Caddisflies are rather sparse in the Raven Fork. There are some Little Black Caddis, or
Grannom species, that hatch in March. You will find quite a few Green Sedges hatching
in May and June. Imitations of the larva stage of life of this caddisfly, called Rock
Worms, can be fished anytime of the year. Great Autumn Brown Sedges hatch during
October and November.
Stoneflies are probably the most important insects on Raven Fork. Little Winter
Stoneflies are present during January through March. Little Brown Stoneflies, some of
which are black, hatch during March and April. Giant Black Stoneflies hatch in May.
Yellow Sallies, or Little Yellow Stoneflies, hatch from May through most of July and then
again in September and on into October. Golden Stoneflies hatch during the month of
June. There will be a few Little Green Stoneflies that hatch during June and July.
Terrestrial insects are most important during the summer months of June through
September. Ants, beetles and some grasshoppers are present during this time. Moth
larvae, called Inch Worms, fall from the trees during these months.
Craneflies, especially their larvae, are important from July through October.
Helligrammites, or moth larvae, are eaten by the brook trout during most of the year.
Streamers can be effective, especially those that imitate sculpin or crawfish. They work
best during low light conditions, or when the water is stained from rain.
We always recommend our "Perfect Fly" trout flies. They are not only the most realistic
imitations you can purchase, they are the most effective flies you can buy. You're
always better off fishing specific imitations of the insects that are most plentiful and
available for the trout to eat, than you are generic or attractor flies. If you haven't
already done so, please give our flies an opportunity to perform for you. You'll be glad
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