Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
2. Little Winter Stoneflies
3. Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)
Outlook For February's Fishing Conditions
Why don't I just write something about a subject I know as much about as Biddie (our Cocker
Spaniel child) knows about politics. Why don't I predict the weather in the Great Smoky
Mountains and the resultant fishing conditions for the month of February. I have at least a 50%
chance of being right.
I'm already getting off the subject but think about this. I've been saying for months now, that
Biddie would make a good U.S. President. She wouldn't be biased. She doesn't belong to a
political party. I wouldn't even call her an independent.
I could rig up an electronic keyboard with a "yes" and a "no" button that to Biddie, (she doesn't
read very well) would both look exactly the same. She could just put her paw on either the "yes"
or the "no" button, whichever she chose, to make a decision as to whether or not to do something
such as build an oil pipeline across the country, or repeal a law congress passed, etc. The odds
are at least half of her decisions would be the best ones for our country. I think we would be far
better off than we have been for the past 8 years and notice I said 8 years.
Anyway, back to something else I know nothing about, I think the very mild weather conditions we
have had so far this Winter, and what's predicted for the remainer of this month, we could be in
for early aquatic insect hatches. All of the larvae that are normally struggling to grow in water
that's very cold have got to be growing like they have been on steroids. We could have earlier
than normal Blue Quill and Quill Gordon hatches. Little Black Grannom caddisflies will hit the air
earlier than normal. If the warm weather pattern continues, the Little Brown Stoneflies that
normally show up in early April, may appear in early March.
Well, in order to at least appear to be "scientific", I pulled up the Farmers' Almanac for
our region of the nation: By the way, we're in the north part of this region.
"FEBRUARY 2012: temperature 43° (3° below avg.); precipitation 4" (1" above avg. north, 3"
below south); Feb 1-3: Sunny, cool; Feb 4-8: Showers, then sunny, mild; Feb 9-13: Rain and
snow north; t-storms, warm south; Feb 14-19: Sunny, cold; Feb 20-25: Rain, then sunny, warm;
Feb 26-29: Rain, then cold."
The best I can determine, this doesn't reveal anything other than the weather is going to be warm
and cold, and the rainfall amounts are going to be above and below normal depending on the
date. Looks like they mean everything will average out to be just below normal temperature wise,
but I doubt the farmer that did this was on top of old Smoky when he made the predictions.
Next, I asked the official "National Weather Service". Surely our Federal Government knows what
the weather will be like in February. It probably cost at least a billion bucks a day to know this.
Here's the official long range weather forecast of the Climate Prediction Center for the coming
If you click on "February", you will get this map. It shows above normal temperatures for the
month of February and that prediction was made today, meaning at the current date in time.
I asked Biddle to click her imaginary "electronic button for "above" or "below" normal
temperatures and she clicked the "above" button. That does it as far as I'm concerned.
February's weather will be warmer than it usually is and you can expect earlier than normal
hatches to occur from the streams of the Smokies. The trout will even be larger than they
Looking into the outer limits, the only thing Biddle and I see that no one else sees, even the
National Weather Service, is a huge, cold front moving in about the first to the middle of
February. It will drop a lot of rain and snow. Then things will warm back up again.
A word of caution. If you drive into the park near the end of February, make sure your windshield
wipers work good and your reservoir of windshield washing fluid is full. You will be violating the
park's rules and killing insects by the thousands just driving down the road. The only thing you
can legally kill are trout. Make sure you destroy the evidence of bugs on your windshield and
drive careful. It will be difficult to see for the bugs.
Trout will be jumping so high out of the water to eat them, you could possibly hit a trout. If your
driving down Little River with your best friend fishing out of the bed of your pickup truck, be
careful. We're in for a banner year of fly fishing in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Copyright 2012 James Marsh