Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report - 03/02/14
Today is going to be absolutely nice and warm for a change. That's great for those
fortunate enough to be here fishing today; however, it looks like the long range
forecast predictions were right on target and unfortunately agree with the groundhog.
I had much rather things would be a little more normal. The gigantic swings in the
temperatures aren't good news for anglers with hopes of great dry fly action in the
lower elevations during the next few days.
Keep in mind, wild trout don't exist in Knoxville or the valleys surrounding the
Smokies. The weather and water temperatures in those locations are of little value.
Gatlinburg's weather is taken at 1594 feet elevation which is about the lowest
elevations wild trout exist.
Smoky Mountain Weather:
Today will be mostly cloudy, with a high near 65. It will rain tonight with a low of 41.
Rain is forecast for Monday, along with sleet and snow, even freezing rain which
could be very bad news. They don't expect much accumulation of anything. The low
Monday night will be 23. As of now, they aren't predicting a high of over 49 at
Gatlinburg until Friday and that's is currently only 53 degrees. NWS Forecast
Smoky Mountain Stream Conditions:
The streams with links have nearby USGS Station Real-time stream data:
Little River: Rate 276 cfs at 2.05 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 488 cfs at 1.92 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: Rate 125 cfs at 2.69 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
looked near a normal level.
Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Cherokee Lake: My guess
is they will be flowing near normal levels.
Current Recommended Streams
Any of the streams where trout exist in the lower elevations.
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
White Belly Sculpin
3. Winter Stoneflies: 18/16
4. Little Brown Stoneflies: 14
5. Blue Quills: 18
6. Quill Gordons: 12/14
emerging duns (wet fly)
8. Little Black Caddis: 18
Recommended Fishing Strategy:
There are no changes from our yesterday's recommendations. There's probably a
chance you could see some Little Brown stoneflies laying eggs this afternoon. It is
also possible to see some Blue Quills hatching in the very lowest elevations trout
exist. I would fish the BWO nymph until about 3:00 PM and then switch to a Little
Brown 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 emerger or dun
imitation of that. The water is still going to be relatively cold but will probably warm to
as high as 50 degrees in some places by the late afternoon. 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,or Winter stoneflies laying eggs, switch to the adult pattern
of it. You will likely see some very small black caddis. I suggest you ignore them.
They crawl out of the water to hatch and we have always been unable to catch trout
trying to imitate them. Although it is probably possible, I think the BWO nymphs, or
even the Blue Quill nymphs which are out and about are far better options.
Tips for Beginners:
Purchase a stream thermometer and learn to relate water temperature to other
Tips for the Self Proclaimed Experts:
Although you "might" catch some trout on a dry fly, a tree might fall on you today and
you might drown. In other words, if catching fish is important to you, I would stick with
nymphs until I saw evidence of trout feeding on the surface. Fishing strategy based
on "mights" is purely for the less than mediocre anglers.
Whatever Hits Me:
Copyright 2014 James Marsh
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