Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 07/31/14
This has been a tough month for yours truly. I'm not sure if I am bragging or if I am
complaining, but the sales at our Our Perfect Fly company have been unreal and
instead of slowing down near the end of July as normally expected, they increased. It
has left us time for nothing but a little sleep. Around the middle of last month, I
underwent some routine medical examinations for men past their prime, trying to do
what the doctors told me I should do, and I think one of the test almost killed me.
Although no one was able to diagnose the cause, the first of this month I was in
intensive care for 5 of a 6 day stay in the hospital. I lost a lot of blood (5 units) and it
has taken me much longer to recover than I expected.
I am proud of my wife Angie and yes, even my mother-in-law. They have both worked
well over 12 hours a day, seven days a week, for the last month and somehow
managed to stay on top of everything. Pardon me for writing this, but as an old friend
of mine, the fishing legend Tom Mann, often said,"getting old is hell, and then you
About the time the July ordeal happened, I was smack in the middle of making some
huge expansions at Perfect Fly. Although we sell some products manufactured by
others, our basic business plan is to manufacturer all fly fishing products and sell
them directly to anglers. I see the mom and pop fly shops rapidly heading in the
same direction other small niche market businesses have gone - to being a thing of
As they have been for my entire life, my big ideas still remain far ahead of my ability
to fully accomplish them; however, that fact hasn't and never will, keep me from
trying. Although we are already a month behind schedule, we will be coming out with
lots of new product, most of which we are manufacturing both directly and on an OEM
basis, depending on the product.
Perfect Fly Rods:
This will include several new fly rods - a Silver Line of our Perfect Fly Supreme
Four, Superb Five, Ultimate Six and Super Seven rods which are identical in
performance but with less expensive hardware. These will retail for $495. Our existing
Gold line rods retail at $795.00.
We are coming out with three new Switch rods and two new Spey rods.
There will also be a new Perfect Fly SW rod, an eight-weight rod for both salt and
Something we will heavily promote on this website is our new Perfect Fly Hi-Stick, a
10 foot, 5 weight, 4 piece rod designed specifically for high sticking and check nymph
fishing. I have been working on this one for almost two years.
Within the next two or three days, we will begin selling the Zako, a new Tenkara
Rod that will retail at $199.00 with case and two types of Tenkara fly lines. Although
tenkara fishing is new to both Angie and I, we will be using one in the Smokies for the
next few months to learn the method.
Perfect Fly Packs and Vest:
We will be introducing a new Perfect fly Ruck Pack.
We will also be introducing a new Perfect Fly fly fishing vest.
Hopefully, we will have these products available within the next two months.
New Perfect Fly "Best-Valu" line of products:
We have an entire new line of products we will call the "Best Val-U" line.
"Best Val-U" Fly Rods:
This line will include 3 new high modulus fly rods, 4 piece, 9 foot, 4, 5 and 6 weight
rods that will retail for $298.00. These will be on sale within the next month.
"Best Val-U" Fly Lines:
New Perfect Fly "Best Val-U" floating, weight-forward fly lines from 3 through 8
New Perfect Fly "Getting Started Fly Fishing Sets":
In addition to our very popular Getting Started set that retail for $175.00, we will be
offering two other sets with higher quality fly rods and reels and other added items.
These will retail at $395 and $495 respectively.
New Perfect Fly Landing Nets:
A new high quality, beautiful burl wood, catch and release landing net for trout
There are even a few more new products that we will announce later on.
Smoky Mountain Weather:
There is a 30 to a 60 percent chance of rain everyday for the next week.
Today, there is a 30 percent chance of showers mainly after 2pm. It will be partly
sunny with a high near 80 with calm winds. There is a 60% chance of rain tor tonight.
Friday, you can expect scattered showers and thunderstorms. It will be mostly cloudy
with a high near 79. Light east wind will become southeast at 5 to 10 mph in the
morning. The chance of precipitation is 50%.
Smoky Mountain Stream Conditions:
The streams with links that have nearby USGS Station Real-time stream data:
Little River: Rate 167 cfs at 1.8 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 403 cfs at 1.75 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: Rate 70 cfs at 2.41 ft
(good wading conditions up to 125 with extra caution up to 150 cfs)
Little Pigeon River doesn't have a station nearby but yesterday afternoon it was a
Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Fontana Lake:
According to one angler fishing it yesterday, it is flowing near a normal level.
Current Recommended Streams
I think you can fish about anywhere in the park. Water temperature shouldn't be a
problem anywhere there's trout. The high in Gatlinburg will only be 77.
Recommended Trout Flies:
1. Eastern Blue-winged Olives:
Hook Size 14/16
2. Brown and White Belly Sculpins: Especially good in off color, high water &
early/late in the day
Hook Size 4/6
3. Light Cahills:
Hook Size 16/14
4. Slate Drakes
Hook Size 10/12
5. Cream Cahills
Hook Size 16/14
6. Green Sedge (Caddisfly):
Hook Size 14/16
larvae (Green Rock Worms)
7. Little Yellow Stoneflies:
Hook Size 14/16
8. Little Green Stoneflies
Hook Size 16
9. Golden Stoneflies:
Hook Size 10/12
10. Moth Larvae: (Inch Worms): 10/12/14
11. Carpenter Ants, Black
Hook Size 16/18
12. Japanese Beetles
Hook Size 16/14
13. Grass Hoppers
Hook Size 10, 12, 14
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
The true Sulphurs are still hatching in the Smokies. They hatch in slower water but
often very near fast water runs and riffles. These mayflies are not 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
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 a Slate Drake nymph. These big
mayflies are plentiful throughout the streams of the Smokies. They are swimming
nymphs and represent a big meal for the trout that catch them. They have begin
congregating near the banks to crawl out of the water and hatch. That makes them
much easier for the trout to catch and gives you a good opportunity to catch some
nice trout. This will occur off and on from now into the month of November. The
hatches will increase in late September and early October.
Let me note that if you fish the day before, and know for a fact a certain mayfly listed
above is hatching in a certain area of the stream your fishing, by all means
fish the nymph of that mayfly the next morning up until you begin to see them hatch.
That will always give you the highest odds of success.
Little Yellow Stoneflies are hatching. If you see any adults during the day, it is a good
idea to fish an imitation of the nymph near the banks of the stream late in the day.
They crawl out of the water 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.
Little Green Stoneflies are also hatching. They tend to hatch in slower water at the
ends of pools, more so than the fast water runs and riffles. They are similar to the
Little Yellows, but have a bright green body and wings. They average a hook size 16.
Golden Stoneflies have been hatching. These will be found in good numbers but only
in isolated areas of some streams, usually where the water has some deep, fast runs.
Like all stoneflies, they crawl out of the water mostly at night. Fishing an imitations of
the nymph late in the day is a good idea, provided you know they are hatching in a
given area. Fish the adult when you see them laying eggs late in the afternoon.
Green Sedges have been hatching and will continue for a few more weeks. There
are several different species of them. 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.
Light Cahills have beem hatching and will continue for the next two or three weeks.
This is a good mayfly hatch for the Smokies and if you encounter any, you want to
make sure you fish it. If you encounter one today, you should fish the Light Cahill
nymph in the morning and for the next few days in the same area. If you see the
duns, you can expect the spinners to fall late in the afternoon. They are very difficult
to see and you probably won't see them. Just fish the Light Cahill spinner pattern at
the ends of the runs and riffles where they will congregate. If a hatch has occurred,
they will be there for certain but sometimes it is quite late near dark.
Cream Cahills, similar to the Light Cahills, but a much lighter color mayfly will begin to
hatch within the next few days. They tend to be more of these in the middle and
higher elevations. The duns leave the water very quickly but the spinner fall can
produce some very hot action.
There are plenty of moth larvae hanging from the tree limbs. The moth larvae fly also
imitates the green caddis larvae quite well and is one reason the fly works well in the
Carpenter ants are becoming very plentiful and getting as large as they will get.
There are both black and browns ones in the park but the blacks are more plentiful.
These ants tend to only get in the water when they are washed in by heavy
downpours. It is a good idea to fish them anytime after a thunderstorm.
The same heavy rain scenario applies to the Japanese Beetle. These insects are
very plentiful in the park. Fish our Perfect Fly imitation of them anytime, but they are
more effective after heavy downpours.
In areas where the streams in the park are surrounded by lots of grass, hoppers can
become a factor in the trout's diet. They are generally blown in the streams by high
wind, but can always accidentally jump in the water. They are not the smartest
creatures on earth.
Tips for Beginners:
Tips for the Self Proclaimed Experts:
Whatever Hits Me:
Thank you for visiting our site.
Copyright 2014 James Marsh
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