Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report - 04/04/14
At 5:35 AM this morning, it is 65 degrees outside and we have the both A/C units
running trying to cool the house from yesterday afternoon.
Smoky Mountain Weather:
Showers and thunderstorms are expected today, mainly after noon. The high will be
near 76. It will be a little windy with gust up to 30 mph. The chance of precipitation is
Tonight, expect showers and thunderstormswith a low around 47. The chance of
precipitation is 60%.
Saturday should be sunny, with a high near 63 and a low around 40. North wind will
be around 5 mph to calm.
There is a 40 percent chance of showers on Sunday, after 2pm. The high will be
near 63 with a southeast wind 5 to 10 mph. NWS Forecast
Smoky Mountain Stream Conditions:
The streams with links that have nearby USGS Station Real-time stream data:
Little River: Rate 348 cfs at 2.23 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 565 cfs at 1.99 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:
Warning: Derek Porter is headed to Cataloochee on Monday, so you can expect a
flood. He will still wade the creeks if he has to float downstream on a log. Last year
when he visited the Cat, mud slides closed the roads to the valley and he was
stranded, or at least that is what he told his wife.
Whatever Hits Me:
Thanks for visiting our website.
Copyright 2014 James Marsh
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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
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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.