Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report - 01/10/14
I still think today is your best shot at fishing the park but not that tomorrow won't
provide some opportunity. I think it may be raining much of the day and the water
could be rising. If and when it isn't raining tomorrow, conditions should be good. It will
be a little warmer and that will help some. You should be able to catch plenty of trout
today IF you fish using the best techniques and strategy. The reason most anglers
wouldn't catch trout today has to do with their lack of knowledge and ability, not the
Many just add a lot of weight (which is to an extent necessary but only a small part of
what is needed); use too large of nymphs (imitating something the trout won't see for
a month or two): and fish current, fish current, fish current, ....should I write that
again - and fish current where trout are not holding.
You could probably tie on a larger size nymph, weight it down heavily and
fish all day today in the runs and other areas of the streams with current,
without catching a single trout. You could also probably tie on a size 20 nymph
that looked like the small swimming nymphs, fish it in deeper areas of the streams
where there is little to no current and catch twenty. Both Angie and I have done that
many times in water as cold as it is now. Don't be a thermal head angler. There is
a hell of a lot more to consistently catching trout than having an ideal water
temperature. The water will be around forty degrees this afternoon and tomorrow
and that is fine.
Smoky Mountain Weather:
Although there is only a thirty percent chance of rain today, it is currently raining
hard in Pigeon Forge. According to the radar, it is raining throughout the area and
the park. I think they missed the forecast pretty bad. It is only thirty seven degrees in
Pigeon Forge right now, so that means it is probably snowing in most of the park
rather than raining. They show a 60% chance of rain tonight and a 100 % change
of rain tomorrow, or Saturday.
The radar indicates the rain will end fairly soon this morning. This is a different line of
showers from those predicted to reach the area tonight. NWS Forecast
Smoky Mountain Stream Conditions:
The streams with links have nearby USGS Station Real-time stream data:
Little River: Rate 334 cfs at 2.39 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 677 cfs at 2.11 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: 156 cfs at 2.82 ft
(good wading conditions up to 125 cfs, and with extra caution up to 150 cfs)
Little Pigeon River doesn't have a station nearby but from looking at it yesterday, it
is near normal winter levels.
Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Cherokee Lake: My guess
is they are from about normal levels.
Current Recommended Streams
Abrams Creek would provide the best shot at catching some trout in the park today.
Other than Abrams, I recommend any of the lower elevations streams (in areas that
Recommended Trout Flies: (for when you can fish)
1. Blue-winged Olives:
Hook Size 20
nymphs (this would be the main fly)
2. Midges: Cream
Hook Size 20/22
3. Sculpins: Especially good in off color, high water & early/late in the day
Hook Size 6
White Belly Sculpin
4. Winter Stoneflies: 18/16
Recommended Fishing Strategy:
Fish the size 20 BWO nymph keeping it in holes on the bottom, deep pools or
pockets. You might change to a Winter Stonefly nymph but I wouldn't recommend it
until late in the day.
Tips for Beginners:
Fish light tippet, 5 or 6 X at the most. Fish very slow moving, deeper water using a
single size 20 nymph, keeping it right on the bottom.
Tips for the Self Proclaimed Experts:
If you can't catch a few trout today, you need to learn how to fish colder water.
Whatever Hits Me - How different Southern anglers are from those that fish cold
water in the other three-forths of the nation about half the time they are fly fishing for
trout. When it comes to fishing, Southerners are generally as lost as they are driving
with an inch of snow on the ground.
Copyright 2014 James Marsh
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