Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report - 01/18/14
There is little to report on fly fishing in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I do
know the mountains are covered with snow and beautiful. The stream levels are back
down to reasonable levels and the water is very cold and clear. It is a good time to
stalk and sight cast to fish if you enjoy hunting them.
Smoky Mountain Weather:
At Gatlinburg, it is currently 21 degrees and only going up to 36 degrees today.
There is a 60% chance of snow for tonight and tomorrow. They are expecting less
than a half inch. The low tonight will be about 25 and high tomorrow 41. That's not
going to make much difference in water temperature. It will remain in the thirties.
Smoky Mountain Stream Conditions:
The streams with links have nearby USGS Station Real-time stream data:
Little River: Rate 4400 cfs at 2.43 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 735 cfs at 2.19 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: 159 cfs at 2.83 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 it is back near normal level.
Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Cherokee Lake: My guess
is they are approaching normal levels.
Current Recommended Streams
You better check the road situation in the park prior to traveling there to fish. For
today and Sunday, I recommend Abrams Creek. The water will be slightly warmer
Recommended Trout Flies:
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. You might change to a Winter Stonefly nymph but I
wouldn't recommend it until late in the day. High stick or otherwise, keep the fly on
the bottom. Fish just downstream from the Abrams Fall trailhead. The farther you
travel downstream, the lower the water temperature will be.
You can fish the upper spring creek section above the little walk bridge but you
better stay well hidden. It is best to stay back away from the banks and stay in a
keeled down position. You might try hiding behind some of the big trees if they are in
the right position for you to hide. Usually, the trout run off and hide before you can
get into position to see them. It isn't easy fishing, but it is fun and you can catch them
if you work hard at it. Fish it from the Abrams Fall trailhead bridge upstream as far as
a few hundred yards above the bridge at the loop road.
Tips for Beginners:
Make sure someone is along with you. Slipping and/or falling in the water is
dangerous. Stay near your vehicle.
Tips for the Self Proclaimed Experts:
Try the spring creek section of Abrams as mentioned above. If you can catch a few
trout there today, you are certainly not a novice.
Whatever Hits Me - I had several people email and ask what I did that was so bad
I got thrown out of a country. Well, a short answer is, I tossed a 3/4 inch video tape of
a marlin fishing tournament awards banquet (that my cameraman had shot that
belonged to my company) into the ocean. Oh, I forgot, I did that in front of one of the
twelve man Board of Governors for the Cayman Islands, a British Crown Colony that
are better known as Caymaniacs.
Copyright 2014 James Marsh
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.
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