Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1. Blue-winged Olives
2 . Sculpin, baitfish and small crayfish (Imitate with streamers)
Current Conditions In The Smokies
The weather hasn't changed much the past few days and it doesn't appear that it's
going to make any changes that will make the trout a lot easier to catch during the
coming week; however, I do think the conditions are going to be better than they
have been for the last month or so.
There's snow in the forecast everyday for the next seven days in the Gatlinburg
area. Snow in the forecast isn't all that bad of a thing within itself. If the water
temperatures will stay near forty degrees or above, the precipitation in the form of
snow can even be good. When the water temps are down in the mid to low thirties,
the trout are very sluggish. That simply means the blood of any cold blooded
creature in the water (such as a trout) is also near the freezing mark. I think the
water temperatures during the mid afternoons will actually be a little higher than
they have been in for the past few days.
There's only a 20% chance for snow today but Tuesday and Wednesday it
increases back up to around 70%. The good news is the air temperatures are
forecast to go up to around forty and/or in the low forties each day. This means the
snow will also be melting each day. Of course, that won't be the case in the higher
elevations. There's about 16 inches on LeConte now and I can assure you that level
will increase during the coming week. One good thing is the water levels are back in
better shape, thanks to some rain and melting snow that occurred during the past
few days. This certainly isn't a great winter forecast for fly fishing the Smokies, but
considering what we have been experiencing for the past month or longer, it isn't all
One thing we have noticed is that it's obvious many anglers are looking forward to
the upcoming season. Our Perfect Fly and Fly Fishing DVD orders have picked up
considerably during the last few days. It's clear that many anglers are thinking about
it and getting ready for the upcoming season.
Down and Dirty (some are clean) Tips and Recommendations for Fly
Fishing Destinations - Part 10
Just keep in mind that it is strictly one opinion that happens to be mine. The intent is to hopefully
give those interested a general idea of what to expect. Most likely every guide, affiliated business
entity and local angler will have a different opinion. These streams also have full coverage on our
Perfect Fly Stream Section.
Although there aren't any high mountain ranges, thanks to tailwaters and springs,
there's some other trout streams in the Mid-western states with good populations of
trout, including some in the southern, mid-western states of Arkansas and Missouri.
North Fork of the White River Missouri
Everyone's probably heard of the White River's trout but most everyone that has
thinks of the White River tailwater of Bull Shoals Lake in Arkansas, not the North
Fork of the White River in Missouri. This beautiful stream starts at Rainbow Spring,
one of the largest in the state of Missouri, and flows for over twelve miles into
Norfork Lake. Smaller springs along the way add to the flow. The stream can be
waded or fished from a canoe or small raft type boat. There's some private property
along its course but under Missouri law you are not trespassing when you are in the
streambed. This stream has plenty of wild rainbow trout including some big
ones. Brown trout are stocked in part of the river and holdovers are very plentiful.
The wild rainbows aren't that easy to catch, thank goodness, but they are there for
those who are willing to accept the challenge. I'll give it an "A minus" and the minus
is there only because of the stocked brown trout.
White River Arkansas
This is the White River mentioned above that everyone is familiar with. Of course it's
part of the same White River system that flows from Missouri into Arkansas in the
Ozark Mountains but its water comes from a different fork of the North River. It's a
huge tailwater that supports trout for forty-four miles. Some anglers will tell you it's
even farther than that. It has three good things going for it in my opinion. One is its
huge size and sheer amount of water available to fish. Another thing is the
limestone bed of the stream which keeps a good pH level of good quality water that
supports lots of food for the trout. Yet another good thing is the fact is has a good
population of wild brown trout.
It also has some huge size brown trout. It's also stocked with a huge number of
rainbows and brown trout. I'll reluctantly give it an "A minus" simply because of it's
large population of wild brown trout and its huge amount of water available to fish.
Little Red River Arkansas
The Little Red River isn't nearly as popular or as large as the White River tailwater
and although it has had its problems over the years, it's still a very good tailwater
fishery. It flows from Greer's Ferry Lake in Central Arkansas. The bottom discharge
dam provides water that stays cold enough to support trout for almost thirty miles.
Years ago, I spent many days on the lake fishing for bass and anyone that's ever
done that will tell you its water is also very, very clear. The Little Red's claim to fame
is also its big, brown trout but more importantly, they are wild. The river has plenty
of wild browns (they are not stocked) and is also heavily stocked with rainbows,
cutthroat and brook trout. Its cold, clear water maintains an excellent population of
holdovers. I'll give it an "A minus" and the minus is only because most of its trout are
While the cold, winter weather still hangs around the Smokies, I will be getting to
some other destinations that some of you may want to include in your plans this
coming season in addition to fishing Great Smoky Mountains National Park. If you
have noticed, so far, I haven't given a single stream an "A" rating, much less and "A"
plus rating, yet I have covered the entire Eastern and Mid Western United States
except for the Smokies. Although there's been some "A minus" streams, there's a
very good reason for the lack of "A"'s and "A" plus streams. I haven't covered any of
the trout streams in the Western states. As long as there's streams as long as fifty
miles and longer,with good populations of large native and wild, stream-bred trout,
(many of which the average angler hasn't even heard of) it certainly wouldn't be
right to give any stream that's stocked with trout or that has with any short comings
an equal rating. For example, some of the many trout streams of the state of
Montana, none of which are stocked. Stay tunned for more. Unlike one highly
renounced angler that's far, far better known that I, it's my intension to
remain non-partial and honest. I hope everyone appreciates that, otherwise,
you're waisting time reading what I have to say about anything.
Copyright 2011 James Marsh