Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report - 01/27/14
Yesterday, I wrote about how happy I was the winds were settling down to 5 to 10
mph as forecast by the National Weather Service. Well, whoever posted that was
obviously on some heavy drugs. It blew all day from 15 to 20, with gust to 30 mph. I
cannot understand how that was so far off, but there's a lot I don't understand about
a lot of things.

Normally, local wintertime advice to anglers goes like this. "We suggest you wait until
later in the day for the water to warm up before fishing". Well, that is exactly
backwards advice for today. If you want to fish, you better go this morning as soon as
it turns daylight. Check out today's weather.

Smoky Mountain Weather:
The temperature is currently 49 degrees at 6:00 AM this morning but falling all day to
around 26 by 5:00 PM., and down all the way to 12 degrees tonight. The forecast say
there will be southwest wind around 10 mph becoming north in the afternoon but I am
having a difficult time believing it after yesterday's goof up.   The chance of
precipitation is 60%. Little to no snow accumulation is expected in Gatlinburg but that
probably isn't the case for the mountains. Some roads could be closed during the

Tuesday, the high will be near 23. Another lousy day in paradise.
NWS Forecast

Smoky Mountain Stream Conditions:
The streams with links have nearby USGS Station Real-time stream data:

Little River: Rate 254 cfs at 1.84 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)

Oconaluftee River: Rate 494 cfs at 1.88 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)

Cataloochee Creek: 121 cfs at 2.68 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. I assume it is still near a normal
level for this time of the year.

Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Cherokee Lake: My guess
is there are near normal levels.

Current Recommended Streams
Any of the lower streams in the lower elevations.

Recommended Trout Flies:
1. Blue-winged Olives:
Hook Size 18
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
Brown Sculpin
White Belly Sculpin

4. Winter Stoneflies: 18/16

Recommended Fishing Strategy:
Fish the Perfect Fly, hook size 18, BWO nymph. Early today, I would fish the hook
size 6, Brown Sculpin.

Tips for Beginners:
Keep your wading belt tight, have someone with you if at all possible. You will
probably do better using a strike indicator but if you want to improve your fishing,
practice fishing without an indicator or dropper. Just add a split shot a few inches
above the BWO nymph and watch your fly line and leader for any weird (unnatural)

Tips for the Self Proclaimed Experts:
Sight fish for larger size trout using the same nymph. No, using a larger size nymph
will not improve your odds of success at all. In fact, it may lower them some.

Whatever Hits Me:
Just a glimmer of hope, real or  false, that this lousy weather will be over in by the
end of this week.
Copyright 2014 James Marsh
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