Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report - 04/09/14
The weather won't be so great today because of the blasted wind but look out for
some excellent fly fishing condition the rest of the week.
Smoky Mountain Weather:
There is a 30 percent chance of showers this morning, and then clearing up. It will be
partly sunny, with a high near 60. Winds will be out of th northwest 5 to 15 mph, with
gusts as high as 25 mph. Tonight will be mostly clear, with a low around 40.
Thursday will be sunny, with a high near 69. Southwest wind will only be 5 to 10 mph.
Smoky Mountain Stream Conditions:
The streams with links that have nearby USGS Station Real-time stream data:
Little River: Rate 645 cfs at 2.58 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 958 cfs at 2.96 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: Rate 224 cfs at 3.04 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 slightly high.
Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Cherokee Lake: My guess
is they are slightly high.
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
8. American March Browns: 10/12
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 of success. 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 and Quill Gordon hatching but
this will occur mostly in the middle to higher elevations. Until I spotted something
hatching, with the Quill Gordon exception mentioned below, I would fish the BWO or
Blue Quill 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 and then switch to an Emerging
Adult or dun. I would also make sure I fished the spinner fall late in the day near dark.
You can catch more trout on the spinner fall and in a much shorter time than you can
during the hatch.
The only time I would change from the nymphs mentioned above is when and if I saw
something hatching, and then I would go to the appropriate emerger or dun/adult
imitation of that insect.
There is a good chance Blue Quills, Quill Gordons, and Little Black Caddis will hatch
today. Any or all of them could hatch but this will only occur in the middle to higher
elevations. There not many of either of these insects in the higher elevations but
there are a some in the few larger, slower high elevation streams.
The Hendricksons/Red Quills are usually concentrated but only in isolated locations
consisting mostly of pools and slower moving water. Most Smoky Mountain anglers
don't have a clue as to how to fish pools. That can be a huge mistake. It is also a
huge mistake attempting to fish them with the poor, generic imitations sold by most fly
shops simply because the trout can see the flies in the slower water of the pools.
Little Brown stoneflies are also likely to 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
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. They
too, are nearing the end of their hatch period.
Tips for Beginners:
The water is still on the high side and you should exercise caution. You may try
fishing some of the smaller streams.
Tips for the Self Proclaimed Experts:
Whatever Hits Me:
The big pile of fly orders laying on the shipping desk. It is going to be very difficult for
the three of us to get them out today - something we insist on doing each day. As
soon as I get a chance to do so, I'm going to be looking for some extra help.
If Obama checks on our working hours, he will probably shut Perfect Fly down,
fine us, and put us on food stamps. Heck, I could be looking at time in a Federal
Prison for working so hard. Instead of "child labor", the next big thing will probably be
"old man labor".
I guess I could stop working. The problem as I see it is most folks that do that die.
Copyright 2014 James Marsh
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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
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.
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