Where Trout Feed When There is no Hatch to Match
First of all and most importantly, trout do not always feed in the faster moving
water. They often feed near the bottom in slow to moderately moving water.
They sometimes feed in pools. When the water is fairly cold, they almost always
feed in very slow moving water.
In cold water, since most of the faster moving water in the freestone streams of
the Smokies is near the surface, they choose to locate in the lower or bottom
sections of the stream where the water is moving much slower to feed. Many
anglers think they position themselves on or near the bottom to get warmer.
Trout are cold blooded and do not seek warmer water for comfort. They seek
the slower moving water to prevent spending more energy than they can take in
from food in the cold water. Besides, the water temperature changes little if any
with the depth of the streams.
Larger brown trout do not feed on crawfish and sculphin in fast water. They eat
them in slow to moderately moving water on the bottom either under low light
conditions or from an ambush position. Terrestrial insects are eaten wherever
they happen to fall in the water. More often than not, this is near the banks and
often in slow moving water.
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