Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report - 04/03/14
We have had several request this past week for fly suggestions for Abrams Creek. I
should point out that it is very different than the other streams in the park due mostly
to its higher pH. The aquatic insect population is different and in general, there is
more food for the trout to choose from.
The fly selections below will all work for Abrams at this time but there would be others
I would suggest along with them. This would be mostly Cinnamon caddis and Green
Sedges (caddis). About the third week of April, you will find Eastern Green Drakes
hatching in Abrams.
Smoky Mountain Weather:
There is a 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly before noon
today. It will be mostly cloudy with a high near 79. Tonight's low will be around 56.
Showers and thunderstorms, mainly after noon, are likely on Friday. The high will be
near 74 with wind 10 to 15 mph and with gusts as high as 25 mph. The chance of
precipitation is 80%. NWS Forecast
Smoky Mountain Stream Conditions:
The streams with links that have nearby USGS Station Real-time stream data:
Little River: Rate 397 cfs at 2.34 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 621 cfs at 2.08 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 but It is near normal.
Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Cherokee Lake: My guess
is they are near normal levels.
Current Recommended Streams
Any of the streams in the lower to middle 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 4/6/8
Black Matuka Sculpin
Olive Matuka Sculpin
3. Little Brown Stoneflies: 14
4. Blue Quills: 18
5. Quill Gordons: 12/14
emerging duns (wet fly)
6. Little Black Caddis: 18
7. Hendricksons and Red Quills: 12/14
Recommended Fishing Strategy: NO CHANGES
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.
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:
I'm leaving this up for another day; Fish nymphs until you see surface activity and
then switch to your dry fly imitation of what you think is hatching. It will be one of
the above insects.
Some quick tips on identifying them.
Mayfly duns have upright wings. The Quill Gordons are big, size 12 to 14, with dark
bodies and wings, the Blue Quills have very dark wings and bodies and are little, a
size 18, and the Blue-winged Olives have olive bodies and light wings and are little,
size 18. The Little Black Caddis are dark and little, a size 18, with tent shaped down
wings. The Little Brown Stoneflies will be small for stoneflies but fairly large compared
to the other insects other than the Quill Gordons. They are a size 14 with flat down
wings. You will sometimes see them dipping down to touch the water late in the day.
Tips for the Self Proclaimed Experts:
There should be some very good dry fly fishing today.
Whatever Hits Me:
Thanks for visiting our website.
Copyright 2014 James Marsh
More Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us with the dates you will be
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.
Shipping is free in the U. S. for all
orders of any size. Orders over $50
are shipped free via Priority Mail.
Please enter your e-mail address in
the box to sign up for a free
subscription to the Perfect Fly "Fishing
Journal". It includes feature articles on
blue-ribbon destinations , fly fishing
techniques, and many other types of
articles of interest to any fly angler. You
can opt out at any time. If you decide
you don't want to receive our
information, just change your status by
clicking at the bottom of an e-mail we
send you in the "Remove" box. We will
not sell or give your e-mail address to
New! If you haven't signed up
previously, please sign up for
our Free Perfect Fly Fishing
Little Brown Stonefly
Blue Quill Dun
Quill Gordon Dun
Little Black Caddis
Male Hendrickson Dun, has a redish olive body, big tomato eyes
Female Hendrickson, has little eyes and cream/tan body.
American March Brown dun (This one is a late season male a little
darker than you will find them early in the season and the one that
was at one time called a Gray Fox.