08/18/11
Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1.    Blue-winged Olives (Little Eastern BWOs)
2.    Mahogany Duns
3.    Little Yellow Quills (
Heptagenia Group)
4.    Little Yellow Stoneflies (Little Summer Stones)
5.    Needle Stoneflies
6.    Slate Drakes
7.    Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)
8.    Grasshoppers
9.    Ants (includes Flying Ants)
10.  Beetles
11.  Craneflies

Current Stream and Weather Conditions In The Smokies
You probably noticed that I didn't post an article yesterday. That's because the day
before yesterday, I failed to link the "articles" page of the site correctly. The home
page was done correctly but many, and maybe even most of the readers use the
articles page to access the daily articles. I decided to leave the article from the day
before (on our new strategy series) posted for another day in the event you missed it.

Although thunderclouds threatened rain near our home in Pigeon Forge yesterday, I
don't think it rained anywhere nearby. For the past month or so, I have made fun of
the National Weather Service's 20% rain forecast because we got more rain with it
than we did when the percentages were predicted to be much higher. I can't say the
same about the recent forecast. The 20 and 30 percent forecast haven't worked out
very well lately. The streams in the park are getting very low.

Although I like low water from a fishing standpoint, most anglers don't. It does make it
more difficult to fool the trout. At the same time it makes it easier to move around in
the streams. I have more of a difficult time getting around in the streams when the
water is high than I do catching trout when the water is low, so I prefer the low water.
When the water gets too low, I certainly don't like it from a fish survival standpoint. So
far, we have been in relatively good shape in that regard. The water temperatures
have remained fairly low for this time of the year, thanks to the recent cool spell. The
daily highs are sneaking back up though and the low stream levels are becoming
more of a concern. This is probably normal and I'm just over-worried. I guess the
drought situation of two and three years ago is responsible for my over concern.

Now that I've probably over expressed the problem, let me mention that I caught just
as many trout this past Saturday and Sunday as I ever have in the middle of the
summer. Catching from five to ten trout an hour is good anytime of the year and I was
able to do that both days during the time I fished. It also didn't seem to matter which
species I fished for. I caught just as many brown trout as rainbows and only a very few
brook trout because I didn't fish brook trout streams as such. As previously
mentioned, I only spotted one guy fishing during both days. I only fished a short time
each day and that may have been the reason.

Little River seems to be in the worst shape. It's down to 60 cfs. Even so, I was able to
catch trout in the stream when it was only slightly higher this past weekend.
Cataloochee Creek isn't doing too well either. The Oconaluftee drainage seems to be
doing the best at this time, but keep in mind that's the only USGS streamflow data we
can access for the park's streams. I haven't visited the streams on the park side of
Fontana.

Lets hope rain changes the low water conditions within the next couple of days. If not,
I suggest you fish the higher elevations this coming weekend. If you fish the better
brook trout streams and use good strategies, you should be able to catch brook trout
at a fast pace. The daily highs will approach the low nineties by Sunday but at the
same time, the chances of rain increase some.

Copyright 2011 James Marsh