Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report - 04/19/14
There is only a 30% chance of rain this morning but according to the radar, at 8:30
AM, it is raining throughout the Smoky Mountains as well as most of the surrounding
communities. It doesn't show anything heavy and shouldn't do anything but help the
fishing today. Conditions are excellent for fly fishing the park today and I hope you
get to enjoy it.

If you happen to fish Abrams Creek this weekend, be advised the insect population
will be quite different from what I recommend below. There are a few
Cinnamon Caddis hatching in most all streams but other than Abrams, they are very
sparse hatches. I suggest you have some pupa and adults for Abrams though.

Eastern Green Drakes should start hatching very soon on Abrams, if not already.
These are big mayflies. The best part of a Green Drake hatch is the spinner fall but
that usually happens after legal fishing hours in the park. With the cloud cover today,
provided they have started hatching, you may be able to catch the spinner fall. It
takes place earlier in the afternoon on heavily overcast days. Of course, you can
also do well with imitations of the dun.
Here are the flies you need for them.

Smoky Mountain Weather:
As just mentioned, there's a 30 percent chance of rain today. It will be cloudy with a
high near 62. Northeast wind will be about 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20
mph. Tonight's low will be about 48.

Easter Sunday should be mostly sunny, with a high near 72. Winds will be very light.
The low tomorrow night will be about 49.
NWS Forecast

Smoky Mountain Stream Conditions:
The streams with links that have nearby USGS Station Real-time stream data:

Little River: Rate 299 cfs at 2.11 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)

Oconaluftee River: Rate 601 cfs at 2.04 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)

Cataloochee Creek: Rate 130 cfs at 2.69 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 about normal.

Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Cherokee Lake: My guess
is they about 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)
emergers
duns
spinners

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
nymphs
adults

4.
Hendricksons and Red Quills: 12/14
nymphs
emergers
duns
spinners

5.
American March Browns: 10/12
nymphs
emergers
duns
spinners

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 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.
Strategy:
Until I spotted something hatching, I would fish the BWO nymph. 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.

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
pattern.

American March Browns are hatching but they are always sporadic hatches that are
difficult to predict in terms of the time of day. They will hatch off and on over a long
period of time, for the next couple of months. If you see any duns emerging, change
to an American March Brown emerger or dun. That also means there will be a
spinner fall late in the day near dark and that always concentrates them. You can
catch several trout very fast if you catch that right. It will be the same with the
Hendricksons but in a completely different type of water. The AMBs will fall in the
riffles and runs and the Hendricksons/RQ spinners in the end of the pools.

Tips for Beginners:
If you stop worrying about things you have no control over and take care of those
things you can control, you will succeed in catching trout.

Tips for the Self Proclaimed Experts:
Read the tip for beginners.

Whatever Hits Me:
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Copyright 2014 James Marsh
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