09/01/11
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

Fly Fishing Strategy - Where to Fish This Weekend
Yesterday, I promised to provide a guide to where I think your odds are best for
fishing during the next few days.

Disclaimer: Keep in mind, the tips given below are based on the streams staying at
their very low water levels. If it rains and the streams rise, the strategy would change
from what I'm recommending. For today and Friday, that is unlikely to change.

I didn't make Little River look very good in yesterday's article, so maybe I should
qualify what I wrote. Yes, the water temperature was too warm to fish even at Elkmont
in the afternoon the day before yesterday, and little will change until it rains and/or the
air temperature drops down. Anywhere above Long Arm Bridge should be fine in the
mornings. Once the stream leaves the main road (at the turn to Elkmont) the stream is
mostly shaded and would be your best bet, but again, in the mornings before the
water gets too warm. If you want to fish Little River all day, or in the afternoon, I
suggest hiking upstream above Elkmont at least five miles. The water temperature
should be fine. Most all the stream above the campground is shaded although an old
road (trail) follows close by some of it.

Upper Little River is as good as it gets, so by all means fish it. Just keep the water
temperature in mind.

Side Note:
Anywhere a stream is exposed to the sun for a long distance, lets just say a hundred
yards or more, which is usually where it's closely followed by a road, it will get warmer.
The water will not get any cooler below that point even when it flows through woods
with plenty of shade below that point. Where a stream flows in and out of the shade
every few feet, the water temperature where it is exposed to the sun, and where it is in
the shade, will be the exact same. To fish the shady areas where it varies back and
forth from shady to exposed to the sun, for purposes of fishing cooler water, isn't
realistic.

Little Pigeon River, anywhere above the Chimney Picnic area, would be a good
choice. Just keep in mine, this is a very rough gorge type of area all the way to where
it splits into Walker's Camp Prong and Road Prong. The gorge below the campground
downstream for about four miles would be okay in the mornings.

Road Prong would be a good choice. Walkers Camp Prong would be a good choice
but I would tend to stay above the Alum Cave parking lot in the afternoons.

Anywhere above the little foot bridge on the Oconaluftee River should be fine all day.
The river is shaded most everywhere and the water temperature stays within the
preferred range. You can fish the river above the point it's directly accessible from the
road but you will need to do some hiking.

Anywhere well upstream of the campground on Bradley Fork, a tributary of
Oconaluftee, should be fine temperature wise, but keep in mind it may be crowded
during the holiday weekend. I suggest you hike upstream a good ways to avoid the
tourists. You may also want to try one of its tributaries.

Straight Fork should be okay temperature wise, but I suggest you wait about fishing it.
Flooding conditions hurt it some not long ago.

The Raven Fork would be a great choice along with Enloe Creek, but this requires a
steep, tough to do in a day, hike.

Note:
So that I don't need to repeat the same thing over and over, let me pause and say
that any of the headwater streams above 3000 feet that you could hike to would
probably be a good choice.

Cataloochee Creek should be fine. Even though it flows through a valley, the
elevation of the valley is rather high and the stream is well shaded. The tributaries
should all be good choices. The campground will probably be full.

Big Creek should be fine all day a few miles upstream of the campground. As with
other streams, the lower areas should be avoided in the afternoons. There's some
good brook trout streams in the upper areas.

Deep Creek should be fine upstream a few miles, even in the afternoons, but this
area can also get crowded during holiday weekends. If you fish it, you'll need to hike
upstream a good ways.

Anthony Creek, Abrams Creek, and the West Prong of Little River should be avoided.
Middle Prong of Little River should be avoided except for mornings and then only a
good ways upstream. The tributaries of upper Middle Prong should be fine.

Cosby Creek should be avoided except above the campground in the little brook trout
streams. .

The Middle Prong of Little Pigeon River should be fine in the mornings upstream
about five miles as well as above the Ramsay Prong trailhead in the afternoons.

Twentymile Creek should be okay all day upstream about three miles and in its lower
areas in the mornings. It wouldn't be a bad choice for rainbows and fewer people.

Hazel Creek will probably be crowded, but it's a good choice if your will to hike
upstream about five miles. Of course, hiking downhill to its tributaries and upper
sections would be a fine choice for those willing to backpack and put in a lot of effort.
This also goes for Eagle and Forney Creeks. These streams will be too warm near the
lake in the afternoons.

It's the same with Noland Creek. It should be fine near the lake, but only in the
mornings. Hiking upstream or downstream from the top of the mountain would be a
good destination for those willing to put in a lot of effort.

The bottom line is that if you want to fish near a road, you better do it in the mornings
and as high as there's road access, otherwise, there are only a few options for all day
fishing, unless you fish water that's too warm.

Now, let's hope this situation changes this weekend. Let's hope it rains.

Copyright 2011 James Marsh