Copyright 2013 James Marsh
New Schedule of Daily
Mondays: Weather and Stream
Conditions Forecast - Coming Week
Tuesdays: Fly Fishing Strategies -
Which Flies To Use - Coming Week
Wednesday: Fishing Tales
Thursday: Smoky Mountains Fishing
Friday: Getting Started
Saturday: Fly Fishing School
Sunday: This Week's Featured Trout
More Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us with the dates you will be
fishing the park and we will send
you a list of our fly suggestions.
Please allow up to 24 hours for a
2. Call us at 800-594-4726 and we
will help you decide which flies you
3. Call or email us with a budget for
flies and we will select them and get
them to you in time for your trip.
Shipping is free in the U. S. for all
orders of any size. Orders over $50
are shipped free via Priority Mail.
Insects and other foods the trout
should be eating:
1. BWOs (Little BWOs)
2. Light Cahills
3. Cinnamon Caddis
4. Eastern Pale Evening Duns
5. Little Short-horned Sedges
7. Green Sedges
8. Little Yellow Stoneflies
9. Golden Stoneflies
10. Slate Drakes
11. Little Green Stoneflies
Most available - Other types of food:
12. Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)
13. Inch Worms
Fly Fishing Strategies - Which Flies To Use - Coming Week
First, an update on the weather and stream conditions:
Currently, Some of the streams in the park are blown out and some are in great shape. The good news is that
for the first time in a long time, most all of the streams in the park should be in good shape within the next two
to three days.
The NWS Precipitation Map gives a good view of the amounts of rain that fell in various sections of the park,
Enter Great Smoky Mountains in the "go to location" field and check "last 2 days" under the time duration.
Zoom into where the map covers all but only the park. You can see where the amounts of rain varies greatly
from area to area. U.S. Hwy. 441 crosses near the center of the park. You can see where the east to northeast
section got only a little rain and the western and southwestern end received substantial amounts.
On the East/Northeast side of the park: The Cataloochee Valley received less than a half inch on the
average. The streams in that area of the park are in good shape to wade and fish this morning. The
Oconaluftee and Straight Fork, Raven Fork area got a little more than Cataloochee but are still in good
shape. The Cosby Creek area should be in good shape. The West and Middle Prongs of the Little Pigeon
River are high now but should fall enough to be in good shape within a day or two.
On the West/Southwest Side of the park: An area from Clingman's Dome west, received over 2 inches of
rain. It looks like the streams draining into Cherokee Lake received from 1 to 2 inches. Little River and Abrams
Creek drainages got from 1 to 2 inches with isolated areas over 2 inches. At 5:00 AM this Wednesday morning,
Little River is flowing at 994 cfs. All of the streams in this area were already high and therefore in the worst
shape this morning. It will take two to three days without substantial amounts of rain for these streams to get
into good shape.
As mentioned above, the good news is the forecast calls for an average of about 30% of having isolated
thunderstorms from today through next Monday. This is more of a Summer weather pattern and although
the rain could be heavy at times in certain areas of the park, the odds are very good that most all of
the streams that are now running high will be in very good shape for fishing by this weekend. I think
it is the best outlook we have had in a long time. If your fishing today or tomorrow, you should fish the North
Carolina side of the park from highway #441 east, or possibly the Cosby or Big Creek area on the Tennessee
side. The best option right now is the Cataloochee Valley.
Note: This is based on your fishing streams that can be safely waded:
As you can see from the above list, there are still a lot of aquatic insects hatching at this time. The long list can
be a little deceptive in that certainly not all of them will hatch at any certain location in a stream, and some, not
even in all the streams. The type of water and the elevation varies the hatches a great deal.
The strategy will vary greatly depending on the type of water you choose to fish. I would suggest you eliminate
the lowest elevations. When the streams become safe to wade (some are now) we think your best odds of
success exist in the streams in the middle to higher elevations with fast, pocket water.
Start out in the morning using a Light Cahill nymph. The reason for that is there are more clinger nymphs than
swimmers or crawlers in the fast, pocket water. Continue to fish the nymph until you see something hatching.
Most likely that would be Light Cahills but possibly, Sulphurs or Slate Drakes. The Light Cahills and Sulphurs
usually start hatching around 2:00 to 3:00 PM but the Slate Drakes can hatch anytime of the day. Sulphurs will
usually hatch in the moderate to slower flows and edges and ends of the pools.
If and when you see the Light Cahills or Sulphurs begin to hatch, switch to an emerger or dun pattern of it. If
it's a Slate Drake you see flying around, they have crawled out of the water to hatch and will not do you any
good to imitate except with a nymph. If you spot any on, or dipping down on the water near dark, fish an
imitation of the Slate Drake spinner.
The dry fly action may continue until very late in the day even after the hatch has ended because the trout
may continue to look for food on the surface. If it subsides, switch to a Little Yellow or a Golden Stonefly
nymph. Fish it near the banks of the stream. Even though they won't be crawling out of the water to hatch until
near dark, there may be plenty of them in the water very near the banks. Fish the nymph until you start seeing
stoneflies depositing their eggs on the surface of the water.
Note: Even though you may see a lot of stoneflies throughout the morning and the middle of the day, you can
rest assured they won't be hatching at that time. They will be adults that hatched previously and unless they
are on the surface of the water depositing eggs, and even though you may be able to catch a trout or two
imitating the adults, for the best results, you should ignore them and fish the nymph. Little Yellow Stoneflies,
Little Greens and/or Golden Stoneflies will not begin to emerge (crawl out of the water to hatch) until very late
in the day. If the stoneflies are dropping down and laying eggs on the water, you should fish an adult imitation
of the stonefly, but that probably won't happen until late in the afternoon.
Late in the day, after the dry fly activity slows down and hatches subside, you should also keep an eye out for
a spinner fall. If you saw mayflies hatching, rest assured their spinners will fall late in the day or early evening.
If you see one beginning to take place (mayflies mating - dancing up and down above the water) or spot the
spinners on the water, by all means switch to a spinner pattern of that mayfly. Again, most likely, that would be
LIght Cahills or Slate Drakes. If the skies are clear, the spinner falls will occur very late, after sunset.
Very late in the day, it's possible, and maybe even likely, that spinners may be falling and stoneflies may be
laying eggs at the same time. If you stay hidden, and use either a spinner imitation or adult stonefly imitation
under those circumstances, you should be able to catch trout about as fast as you can cast, hook and release
Perfect Fly "Light Cahill" nymph
Perfect Fly "Sulphur" dun
Perfect Fly "Little Yellow Stonefly" Adult