Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report - 04/25/14
We have several customers planning on fishing the park during the next three or four
days and it looks like they have chose a good time to fish. Except for the gusting wind
taking place this morning, conditions look great.

Notice I have added the Giant Black Stoneflies to the list of insects below. These
should start hatching any time now. Keep in mind these big nymphs crawl out of the
water to hatch very late in the day and during the night. During the day, the adults
stay mostly high up in the trees and are rarely seen until very late in the day or at
night around campgrounds. The lay their eggs under very low light conditions. If
you spot some of the adults, you should try fishing the nymphs near the banks of the
stream very late in the day.

Smoky Mountain Weather:
Showers and thunderstorms are likely today, mainly before 2pm. The high will be
near 71. West winds will be around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. The
chance of precipitation is 60%. Tonight, there is a 10 percent chance of showers and
thunderstorms before 8pm. The low will be about 43.

Saturday will be sunny, with a high near 78. Light and variable winds will become
west at 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 221 cfs at 1.89 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)

Oconaluftee River: Rate 500 cfs at  1.87 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)

Cataloochee Creek: Rate 104 cfs at 2.58 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 a little low.

Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Cherokee Lake: My guess
is they are also below normal.

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

6.
Giant Black StoneflIies: 4/6
nymphs
adults


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:
The low water levels mean you need to use even more caution about keeping a low
profile.

Tips for the Self Proclaimed Experts:
If it does rain today, it could be a good day to focus on the big browns

Whatever Hits Me:
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Copyright 2014 James Marsh
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