Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report - 05/05/14
I want to leave the notes I've written below about some new hatches up for another
day. More people see this page of our website the first of the week than on the
I added the Little Yellow Stoneflies to the hatches taking place in the Smokies. They
usually start hatching about the first of May but may be a little slow due to the
recent cooler temperatures. From the looks of the weather forecast (it is going to be
in the 80s) they will be showing up very soon, if not already. There are several
species of them that hatch during the year and some anglers call all of them Yellow
Sallies. Actually, species of only one genus, the Isoperia genus, which is a hook size
14, should be called Yellow Sallies. The point is not of much importance because
they are all very similar and very plentiful in the Smokies. In my opinion, it is one of, if
not the most important hatch that takes place in the Smokies.
I'm also adding a list of Miscellaneous hatches and insects (See Below) because the
Smokies has a very large number of different species of aquatic insects, many of
which are very isolated in location and hatch in sparse quantities. I am doing this just
to point out we are well aware you may see some other insects that we don't list as
important insects that you should have imitations of.
Smoky Mountain Weather:
Today will be sunny, with a high near 83. West winds will be about 10 to 15 mph, with
gusts as high as 25 mph. After yesterday, i believe that. Winds were very strong at
times. Tonight's low will be around 55.
Tuesday will be mostly sunny, with a high near 84. West wind will only be around 5
Smoky Mountain Stream Conditions:
The streams with links that have nearby USGS Station Real-time stream data:
Little River: Rate 192 cfs at 1.80 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 430 cfs at 1.74 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: Rate 98 cfs at 2.55 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 just below normal.
Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Cherokee Lake: My guess
is they just below normal levels.
Current Recommended Streams
Any of the streams in the park. They are all in good shape.
Recommended Trout Flies:
1. Blue-winged Olives:
Hook Size 16/20
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. Light Cahills:
Hook Size 16/14
4. American March Browns: 10/12
5. Giant Black StoneflIies: 4/6
6. Green Sedge (Caddisfly):
Hook Size 14/16
larvae (Green Rock Worms)
7. Little Yellow Stoneflies:
Hook Size 14/16
Miscellaneous Hatches Occurring in the Smokies:
Cinnamon Caddis and Little Sister caddis:
I should mention that you may find some Cinnamon Caddis, sizes 18 and 16, about
the middle of the month of May, along with their Little Sister Caddis, size 18. These
are usually found in the slower sections of the larger streams but only in very small
quantities and only in isolated locations within the stream. Abrams Creek has plenty
of both of these caddisflies and if you fish Abrams I suggest you have imitations of
I previously mentioned that Eastern Green Drakes are hatching in Abrams Creek and
you shouldn't overlook that if you fish it. Starting to hatch any time now are the
Eastern Pale Evening Duns. These mayflies are called "Sulphurs" by local southern
anglers but are not true Sulphurs. They are a size 14 and slightly larger than the true
sulphurs and very common in nearby tailwaters such as the Clinch and South
Holston. The true Sulphurs will start to hatch about the middle of the month in the
Smokies and at times you may find both species. The Eastern Pale Evening Duns
have more of a tan colored body and hatch in faster water than the true Sulphurs.
The true Sulphurs have more of a sulphur colored body, are slightly smaller, and
hatch in slower water but often very near fast water runs and riffles. Neither of these
mayflies are plentiful in the Smokies. They are crawler nymphs and found mostly in
pockets and pools with areas of softer bottom. They can be plentiful but only in very
small, isolated sections of the larger streams.
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. Right now you have
two completely different size BWOs hatching, one a size 20 and another closer to a
size 16. The only time I would change from the nymphs just mentioned is when and if
I saw something hatching, and then I would go to the appropriate emerger or
dun/adult imitation of that insect.
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.
Giant Black stoneflies are also likely to hatch but the hatch occurs near or after dark.
Fishing the Giant Black stonefly nymph near the banks very late in the day should be
very effective. If you see any Giant Black stoneflies laying eggs, switch to the adult
Little Yellow Stoneflies will start to hatch very soon, if not already. If you see any
adults during the day, it is a good idea to fish an imitation of the nymph late in the
day and near the banks of the stream. They crawl out and hatch during the darkness
of the night. You may also spot some of the females laying eggs. This usually occurs
late afternoons and if so, be certain to fish an imitation of the adult.
Green Sedges should start to hatch in the lower elevation first, and then progress
upstream as the days go by. The do not hatch in big numbers but where they hatch,
trout will focus on eating them because they hatch at a time of day that is different
from other hatching insects at this time of the year. It usually occurs later in the day
near the same time the previously hatched adults are depositing their eggs. You
should concentrate far more on fishing the Green Rock Worm or larva stage of life of
the Green Sedge.
Tips for Beginners:
Conditions do not get much better.
Tips for the Self Proclaimed Experts:
Whatever Hits Me:
Thank you for your support
Copyright 2014 James Marsh
Please enter your e-mail address in
the box to sign up for a free
subscription to the Perfect Fly "Fishing
Journal". It includes feature articles on
blue-ribbon destinations , fly fishing
techniques, and many other types of
articles of interest to any fly angler. You
can opt out at any time. If you decide
you don't want to receive our
information, just change your status by
clicking at the bottom of an e-mail we
send you in the "Remove" box. We will
not sell or give your e-mail address to
New! If you haven't signed up
previously, please sign up for
our Free Perfect Fly Fishing
Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us (email@example.com)
with the dates you will be fishing the park and
we will send you a list of our fly suggestions.
Please allow up to 24 hours for a response.
2. Call us at 800-594-4726 and we will help
you decide which flies you need.
3. Call or email us (firstname.lastname@example.org)
with a budget for flies and we will select them
and get them to you in time for your trip.
Shipping is free in the U. S. for all orders of
any size. Orders over $50 are shipped free via