Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report - 04/21/14
It looks like we will have a good week ahead for fly fishing the Smokies. As sure as I
write this, the forecast will change, and tomorrow, the bottom will fall out of the
clouds. As the forecast looks now, the amount of rain we get will be needed and
welcome. In others words, they are not predicting very much at all.
The high Wednesday will be in the mid sixties, which isn't bad at all, and the rest of
the week will have highs in the mid seventies. To be honest, It sounds too good to be
true. If it is true, anglers will have to dig deep to find an excuse for not loading the
boat. Yes, I know. That doesn't fit very well with fly fishing the park, but it is a saying
that just flies out of my small brain from having repeated it for many years.
Smoky Mountain Weather:
Today will be mostly sunny with a high near 77. Northwest wind will be about 5 to 10
mph. Tonight's low will be around 55.
There is a slight chance of showers early Tuesday morning. Showers and
thunderstorms are likely after 9am. It will be mostly cloudy with a high near 73. West
winds should blow about 5 to 10 mph. The chance of precipitation is 60%. There is
also a 50% chance of showers on Tuesday night with thunderstorms possible.
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 551 cfs at 1.96 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: Rate 118 cfs at 2.64 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)
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. Hendricksons and Red Quills: 12/14
5. American March Browns: 10/12
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.
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
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:
This week will be a good time for you to learn to fly fish. If you don't hang a few, you
need to start looking at the 101 basics again.
Tips for the Self Proclaimed Experts:
Whatever Hits Me:
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Copyright 2014 James Marsh
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