Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report - 01/19/14
At the time I am writing this report (5:00 AM), the radar shows it is snowing
throughout 95% of the park. It is misting rain in Pigeon Forge. What is really wild
about today's weather is the temperature in Gatlinburg is currently 41 degrees.
Today's predictied high is 41 degrees. Please see the bottom of the page.
Smoky Mountain Weather:
There will be scattered snow showers, mainly before 10 AM today. As mentioned
above, today's high will be 41 degrees. Winds will gust to as high as 20 mph.
Tonight's low will be around 25 degrees. Monday's high will be near 50 with west wind
from 5 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.
Tomorrow will provide about the best opportunity we will have for fishing in the park
for the next several days. Melting snow will hamper the opportunity to some
appreciable extent. NWS Forecast
Smoky Mountain Stream Conditions:
The streams with links have nearby USGS Station Real-time stream data:
Little River: Rate 440 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 about normal levels.
Current Recommended Streams
You better check the road situation in the park prior to traveling there to fish. They
may close and open depending on the current situation. The National Park's twitter
deal should show the status, if you care to use the social media crap.
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 out of the current. 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:
Stay near your vehicle and keep your wading belt tight..
Tips for the Self Proclaimed Experts:
Try the spring creek section of Abrams. If you can catch a few trout there today, you
are certainly not a novice.
Whatever Hits Me - If your going to fish cold water, I suggest you either grasp the
following or stay at home. I keep hearing and reading where guys stress adding
weight and keeping your fly on the bottom of the stream. That's to some extent
correct and good advise, but there is much, much more to it than that. You
should keep the fly on or near the bottom BUT only in areas of the stream where
there is very little to no current.
That's only a small percentage of the streams bottom. It is usually where there is a
smaller size hole in the bottom or substrate that is lower in elevation than the majority
of the stream's bottom area. It is always the slow side of any current seam. It can also
be the bottom is certain areas of the pools and pockets within the stream.
The key is to keep the fly in areas of the water that's out of the current. This
may be areas of the water column that is below current but that makes it difficult to
control the speed of the fly because the speed of the upper level current tending to
drag your fly. You could keep the fly on the bottom of the stream
all day long today and never get a strike.
Trout will not hold in current when the water temperature is in the low to upper
thirties. They get out of the current to keep from expending energy they cannot
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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