Still Waiting for Quill Gordons in the Smoky Mountains

We’ve been fishing almost every day, but the big Quill Gordon hatch hasn’t happened yet. We’ve seen some bugs, but nothing we’d call a hatch. I wouldn’t say it’s late, but we’ve certainly seen it arrive much earlier.

Julie Tallman sent us this photo of a Quill Gordon she spotted on the upper Nantahala River in North Carolina.

Julie Tallman sent us this photo of a Quill Gordon she spotted on the upper Nantahala River in North Carolina.

In fact, we’ve seen several things already that we normally see after the Quill Gordon hatch. Yesterday we noticed that the warpaint shiners are active. These are the minnows that love to spit at your dry fly if a trout isn’t too close.

We also saw some folks swimming in the river. That usually happens long after the Quill Gordon hatch. The weather has been warm, but not that warm.

Something else we haven’t seen yet, which is probably more linked to the arrival of Quill Gordons, is spawning rainbow trout. We’ve seen fish spawning as early as the second week in February, but none so far this season. The hatch and spawn are both linked to water temperature, so we’ll likely see both in the next week.

Fly Fishing with Streamers - Advice from the Guides