Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report - 01/31/14
All the streams in the park have risen slightly except the Oconaluftee River. I think
that is only because it was very high and slow to get back to normal levels. The
streams are all getting extra water from melting snow and that will continue through
today, big time. I am so glad to see a break in this cold weather. i don't like it at all.
It is strange how Angie and I have planned trips to the western states when the
weather was very cold and we knew it. We have fished as much as a month at a time
at several different locations when the water temperature never exceeded 45
degrees and often was less than 40. That happened an entire month a few years
ago in Colorado. The water never exceeded 40 the entire time. We caught lots of fish
every day except two, and that was only because we were stuck at a resort hotel due
to road conditions. Often the air never went above freezing.
We fished three weeks in Yellowstone National Park one Fall when the air
temperature never exceeded 32 degrees. The big difference is, we planned on it
being very cold, dressed for it every day with the proper clothing, and enjoyed it.
There is just something that seems to make a big difference when it is cold during
your normal everyday life at home. I guess it is going in and out, having to constantly
change clothes, or maybe it is pure mental. It has to be mostly a mental thing.
Dressing for the cold and staying in the same clothes all day fishing is one thing, and
constantly changing clothes, or either being stuck in the house, just isn't the same
thing. If it turns real cold again this winter, maybe we should dress for it each and go
Now that you have read this, would you believe I thought of this great solution as I
was typing this. The only thing wrong with it is a lot of customers will have to go
without flies and other fishing gear until it turns warm again, and we quit fishing and
start shipping again. I guess this is my pay back for fishing most of my entire lifetime.
Smoky Mountain Weather:
Today will be mostly sunny with a high near 46. South winds will be around 5 mph
becoming calm in the morning. That is making me angry. Why does the wind stop
blowing when it gets back above freezing and blow when it is zero? Hum, on second
thought, I'll leave that alone since man doesn't control it at all.
Tonight's low will be around 28. Saturday will have Increasing clouds with a high
near 55. NWS Forecast
Smoky Mountain Stream Conditions:
The streams with links have nearby USGS Station Real-time stream data:
Little River: Rate 265 cfs at 2.02 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 425 cfs at 1.72 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: 156 cfs at 2.79 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 a little below
normal level for this time of the year.
Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Cherokee Lake: My guess
is they are a little below normal levels.
Current Recommended Streams
I'm sticking to Abrams Creek for today but maybe late today you may want to stop
and fish a lower elevation stream. Or, if you are in North Carolina and don't want to
travel over the hill, fish Straight Fork Creek, the biggest sleeper in the park.
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
White Belly Sculpin
4. Winter Stoneflies: 18/16
Recommended Fishing Strategy:
Sight fishing above the foot bridge in upper Abrams Creek or nymphing just below
Tips for Beginners:
Although the air will be warmer today, stick a thermometer in the water and you will
see the there's a huge difference. It takes time for the water temperature to change
and little change will occur before late tomorrow afternoon. Don't tie on a dry fly and
get very excited. Tomorrow, with increased clouds, that may be possible but not
Tips for the Self Proclaimed Experts:
I'm not sure that at least some of you (especially those that like to lie about their skill
and knowledge) shouldn't read the tip above.
Whatever Hits Me:
Yesterday, I got a call from a man that is the father of a Rhodes Scholar that has
been bitten by the fly fishing bug. He kiddingly said I was a little hard on the Self
Proclaimed Experts. I remind him it included the words "self proclaimed". I didn't tell
him that I had to use the spell checker to spell Rhodes Scholar, but he must have
thought I fell off a turnip green truck. He tried to convince me his son got all his
smarts from his mother. He wasn't aware I am a self-proclaimed generics specialist. I
Copyright 2014 James Marsh
More Options For Selecting Flies:
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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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