Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report - 03/20/14
Fishing is always great; however, as it should be, the catching is still left up to you. I
guess you have noticed, we don't use graphs that insult your intelligence. Imagine
passing a golf course and seeing a sign saying "the golfing is excellent today".
Smoky Mountain Weather:
Today will be sunny with a high near 59 and a low near 34. Friday should be sunny
with a high near 67 and a low of only 42. The winds have settled down to the normal
5 to 10 mph breezes.
The bottom line is, it doesn't get any better than this in March.
Smoky Mountain Stream Conditions:
The streams with links that have nearby USGS Station Real-time stream data:
Little River: Rate 269 cfs at 2.03 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 106 cfs at 2.61 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 a little on the low side.
Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Cherokee Lake: My guess
is they are a little low.
Current Recommended Streams
Any of the streams in the lower elevations where trout exist.
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:
Keep in mind, the strategies I am recommending is for the maximum odds of
catching numbers of fish. Many prefer or favor a dry fly and by all means there
isn't anything wrong with that. It's just a fact that if nothing is hatching at the time, it
reduces your odds. You can still probably hook some trout, just not as many as if you
fish subsurface. Of course, this is also based on using good techniques and the right
flies. Some guys don't know how to fish below the surface.
There's a chance you could see some Little Brown stoneflies laying eggs this
afternoon. It is also possible to see some Blue Quills, BWO and Quill Gordon
hatching. Until I spotted something hatching, With the Quill Gordon exception
mentioned below, I would fish the BWO or Blue Quill nymph. If I still hadn't witnessed
a hatch, about 3:00 PM, I would switch to a Little Brown stonefly nymph. In an area
where you spotted Quill Gordons hatching the previous day, you should fish the
Quill Gordon nymph until they begin to hatch. The odds are good they will continue
to hatch and the clinger nymphs are out from underneath the rocks exposed.
The only time I would change from the nymph is when and if I saw something
hatching, and then I would go to the appropriate emerger or dun/adult imitation of
that insect. In the Quill Gordon case, if the hatch is taking place and the trout are not
feeding on the surface very much, use the Emerging Quill Gordon wet fly.
There is a good chance the Blue Quills, Quill Gordons, Little Black Caddis and baetis
BWO's will hatch today. Any or all of them could hatch in the lower to middle
elevations. Little Brown stoneflies will likely hatch but the hatch occurs near or after
dark. Fishing the Little Brown stonefly nymph near the banks very late in the day
should be very effective. 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 are
about a size 20 to 22 and crawl out of the water to hatch and we have always been
unable to catch trout trying to imitate them. The Little Black Caddis Brachycentrus
(American Grannoms) (size 18) hatch mid water like many mayflies. They don't crawl
out of the water. They fly off the water. Use an imitation of the pupa during the hatch,
and adults during egg laying.
Tips for Beginners:
The water levels and weather is as good as it gets in March.
Tips for the Self Proclaimed Experts:
Quit work and go fishing everyday. It seems everything has turned in favor of those
who rather live off of those that do work. Well, I just thought I would throw that in.
Whatever Hits Me:
I've probably said too much already.
Copyright 2014 James Marsh
More Options For Selecting Flies:
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fishing the park and we will send
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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