Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report - 02/24/14
Looks like the water temperature in the lower elevations is going to stay from the low
to the mid forties most of this week. Winter and Little Brown stoneflies could hatch
this week but other than Blue-winged Olives, the chances of anything else hatching
are slim to none.

There are some tiny black caddis hatching. These crawl up the rocks and banks out
of the water to emerge
. Don't confuse them with the Little Black Brachycentrus caddis
(chimney case caddis) that will hatch in the near future. The Little Black caddis hatch
mid-stream, almost like a mayfly.

Smoky Mountain Weather:
Today in Gatlinburg, there's a 30 percent chance of rain early this morning. It will be  
cloudy but gradually becoming sunny with a high near 51. Tonight's low will be about
30. Tuesday will be partly sunny, with a high near 53. There is a chance of rain
turning to snow Tuesday night and Wednesday. A glance at the weekend shows a
chance of rain/snow again on Saturday.
NWS Forecast

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

Little River: Rate 581 cfs at 2.70 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)

Oconaluftee River: Rate 803 cfs at 2.28 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)

Cataloochee Creek: Rate 221 cfs at 3.01 ft
(good wading conditions up to 125 with extra caution up to 150 cfs)

Little Pigeon River doesn't have a station nearby. Late yesterday afternoon, it was
flowing high.

Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Cherokee Lake: My guess
is they will be flowing high same as all the others.

Current Recommended Streams
Any of the small, lower elevation streams. The larger, lower elevation streams if
proper caution is used dealing with the high water levels.

Recommended Trout Flies:
1. Blue-winged Olives:
Hook Size 18
nymphs (this would be the main fly)

2. Sculpins: Especially good in off color, high water & early/late in the day
Hook Size 6
Brown Sculpin
White Belly Sculpin

3. Winter Stoneflies: 18/16

Little Brown Stoneflies: 14

Blue Quills: 18

Quill Gordons: 12/14
emerging duns (wet fly)

Little Black Caddis: 18

Recommended Fishing Strategy:
No changes from yesterday's recommendations. I would fish the BWO nymph until
about 3:00 PM and then switch to a Little Winter stonefly nymph. The only time I
would change that strategy is when and if I saw something hatching and then I would
go to the appropriate imitation of that. Fish the slow side of any current seams,
pockets and pools where there is little to no current. If you see any Little Brown
stoneflies, fish the nymph late in the afternoon. If you see any Little Brown or Winter
adult stoneflies laying eggs, switch to the adult pattern of the stonefly.

Tips for Beginners:
Fish a small stream with decent flows or stay out of the water today.

Tips for the Self Proclaimed Experts:
High sticking would still be my choice method of fishing today.

Whatever Hits Me:
We have been accused of not being very sociable; therefore, we have become so
sociable that I have been considering buying a pink and yellow VW bus and throwing
roses in everyone's front yard. Well, actually, I won't go that far, but we did join the
following social networks:
Facebook, to show we are not two-faced; Google +, to
show the whole world we don't have a clue what we are doing; and
Twitter, so we
don't have to use our pet carrier pigeon. Please check them out.
There are links to them just above on the right side of this page. Go on the sites and
tell the whole World that we are the best thing in fly fishing since automatic fly reels.
Your invited to retweet, repeat, reface our facebook, and giggle our google + as
much as you want to.

True story:
Several years ago, when I was living at Edgewater Beach Resort in Panama City
Beach, Florida, I noticed a large bird sitting on one of my patio chairs just outside the
sliding glass door. The bird continued to sit there for a couple of hours. I thought it
looked exactly like a carrier pigeon but the truth is, I had never seen one other than
in pictures and/or TV shows or movies. I finally decided to slowly open the sliding
door to see if I could get closer to the bird but I figured it would just fly away.

I slowly opened the door and it just sat there looking at me. I slowly stepped outside
to within about six feet of it. It just sat there looking at me. Step at a time, I advanced
towards the bird to within reach of it. It just sat there looking at me. Finally, I reached
my hand out to see if I could catch it and it jumped upon the top of my hand and just
sat there looking at me. It actually scared the heck out of me. I couldn't believe it. Of
course, I knew then, it had to be someone's pet bird. It didn't have a pouch or carrier
device attached to it. It would occasionally jump off my hand onto my shoulder.

I took the bird inside and sat it on a chair and looked up "carrier pigeon" on the
Internet. It was definitely a carrier pigeon. I didn't know what to do.

After thinking about it for a few hours, I figured the bird was lost because there are
lots of condos at Edgewater that look much alike from the outside, and he or she
must have just choose the wrong address. I was the only one with a 4 foot high
concrete sailfish statue. Knowing the bird was probably hungry, I took it back outside
to see if it would fly away. It wouldn't. It just jumped off my hand onto the back of a
patio chair when I tried to make it fly. I felt like it probably belonged to someone that
lived at Edgewater or possibly, a visitor on vacation, or maybe a CIA guy. I left it on
the chair and went back inside. It was still sitting there when I went to bed that night
but was gone the next morning when I woke up.

I called my buddy Rick Carrie and told him about it and he said I was an idiot for
letting it go. He said the bird was probably worth a lot of money. I just said, "well Rick,
you know me - easy come, easy go".  

Maybe it felt a connection to me. I understand some of my forefathers were jail birds.
Copyright 2014 James Marsh
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It was just like this one except it
was bare footed