Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report - 03/10/14
It is highly possible there could be some good hatches take place in the low
elevations today and tomorrow, especially tomorrow. It was warm last night and will be
tonight. I hope some of you have the opportunity to fish. An approaching cold front
will affect the conditions again on Wednesday night.
Within the last few days, I both read and heard anglers with the "you can get by with"
mind set. You can get by with a gray parachute Adams for a mahogany Quill Gordon,
etc., etc. That is true. You can. You can't tie a fly that won't eventually fool a trout,
especially if your fishing faster flowing water. It all gets down to the odds of success
or how often it will fool them.
I'll put it this way. The closer the fly looks and behaves like the real thing, the higher
the odds it will successful. If there is anyone reading this that doesn't
understand that, I'm sure an IQ test will reveal the reason why.
Smoky Mountain Weather:
Today should be sunny with a high near 66. It will be a little windy with gust up to 20
mph. Tonight's low will be around 41.
Tuesday will be mostly sunny with a high near 67. It will be another windy day with
gusts up to 20 mph. Showers are likely Tuesday night. The low will only go down to
53 degrees. The chance of precipitation is 70%.
There is an 80% chance of rain on Wednesday, with a high of 61. Rain and snow is
forecast for Wednesday night, with a low of 23 degrees. NWS Forecast
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:
Plenty is on my mind but unfortunately, It is all work. Today is going to be a very busy
Copyright 2014 James Marsh
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