Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report - 03/09/14
I did make it to the park and fished for about an hour in three different locations, all
on Little River. I caught trout in only one of the three locations but that did amount to
five, all rainbows, and all within a thirty yard stretch of water. The largest one was
about 7 inches. Those came on a BWO nymph. The water temperature was 46. I
guess (actually I know) I am not in very good shape. I felt like I had fished for 12
hours. I do intend to change that or die trying.
I talked to only one angler. He fished from mid-morning to near mid afternoon without
a hookup. He was fishing what he thought was a Quill Gordon dry fly but it actually
resembled one about as much as I resemble a 19 year-old, Japanese beauty queen.
Smoky Mountain Weather:
There could be an isolated shower this morning. It will be mostly cloudy, then
gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 60. The chance of precipitation is only
20%. Tonight's low will be around 38. Monday, should be sunny, with a high near 61.
Smoky Mountain Stream Conditions:
The streams with links that have nearby USGS Station Real-time stream data:
Little River: Rate 224 cfs at 1.90 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 419 cfs at 1.80 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: Rate 111 cfs at 2.63 ft
(good wading conditions up to 125 with extra caution up to 150 cfs)
Little Pigeon River doesn't have a station nearby. It is near a normal level.
Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Cherokee Lake: My guess
is they are near a normal level.
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's a chance you could see some Little Brown stoneflies laying eggs this
afternoon. It is also possible to see some Blue Quills and maybe even a Quill Gordon
hatching in the lower elevations. I would fish the BWO or Blue Quill 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 insect. The water temperature is
going to in the mid to high forties again today and could reach 50 is a few areas.
There is a good chance the Blue Quills will hatch in the low elevations. They are
usually a little ahead of the Quill Gordons and are more plentiful, but not as easy to
imitate. They are a size 18 mayfly. They hatch is the slower moving side of the
current seams, usually in the shallower pockets and edges of the fast water.
I would still avoid the fast water and fish the slow side of the current seams, pockets
and pools where there is less current. If you see any Little Brown stoneflies laying
eggs, switch to the adult pattern. 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. If you do spot a Quill Gordon, you should try the Emerging Quill
Gordon Dun (wet fly) or Quill Gordon nymph in that same area.
Tips for Beginners:
Good wading conditions exist but avoid getting up on the rocks or any high point.
The objective is to keep a low profile. The higher you are above the water, the better
the trout can spot you.
Tips for the Self Proclaimed Experts:
For numbers of trout, you still need to favor the nymph but I can't blame anyone for
wanting to get in on some possible dry fly action.
Whatever Hits Me:
Copyright 2014 James Marsh
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