Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 08/25/14
I hope you read the "how to catch a fish" article that I left up at the top of the last
three reports. If so, I'm sure you noticed that I firmly believe that the more the fly
looks like the real food (or threat) the fish are eating, the higher your odds of
success. Even so, you may not have understood how fishing for saltwater species
and other species of freshwater fish has anything to do with fishing for trout. To make
this plain, let me just say that
most of the saltwater species and other
freshwater species, clearly illustrate just how important it is to have a fly or
lure that imitates the most plentiful and available food at the particular time
and place you are fishing.

There are three basic types of salwater fish - the reef species, pelagic species, and
migratory species. The migratory species will move hundreds and sometimes even
thousands of miles to feed on a certain food. Blue marlin have been tagged and
released and re-captured feeding on schools of tuna thousands of miles from where
they were released. In these cases, they obviously moved to intercept the annual
migrations of large schools of the tuna. In fact, that is exactly why they migrate - to
intercept the food.

The pelagic species do the same thing, just in a more regional area. For example,
king mackerel will move miles to feed on a certain species of baitfish such as
menhaden, scad or ribbonfish. The locations of this food is almost always in different
areas of the sea. It is clearly obvious they choose the most plentiful and available
source of food and as a matter of fact, if you are not using that particular food, or a
close imitation of it, you are usually waisting your time.

The reef fish that spend their life-time on a natural or artificial reef will usually key in
on one food that's available on the reef at the particular time and season. It is
usually either one of the permanent resident baitfish or crustaceans, or baitfish or
crustaceans that use the reef as a temporary stopping off point in their movements
from shallow to deeper water. A reef in a hundred feet of water, for example, has
three basic types of baitfish that inhibit it. There are baiftish that swim over and
around the reef's structure near the surface, swim around it at the mid-depths of the
reef, and those that stay hidden within the cover of the reef,  Again, it becomes
clearly apparent that if your not using or imitating the particular food that is most
plentiful and available on that reef, your odds of success are always lower.

Trout are no different. Their exact location within a stream is almost always at a
location where they can acquire the most food with the least amount of effort. When
a particular insect is hatching, the point at which the insects emerge is usually that
specific location. If an insect has already emerged, it is usually the specific location
where that same insect is depositing its eggs to sustain its species, or where it has
died on surface of the water.

If nothing is hatching, it is usually a location within the stream where aquatic insects
have come out of their hiding places getting ready to hatch in the near future.
Stonefly and mayfly clinger nymphs, most plentiful in the Smokies, stay hidden most
of their life and only become easy to acquire food within a week to two prior to the
hatch. Believe it or not, it is rather rare when nothing is hatching or at least within a
week or two of hatching. Midges hatch on the coldest days of Winter. If may also be
the case that at times, the easiest to acquire food may be sculpins, baitfish or
crustaceans. After high wind and heavy rains, it may be terrestrial insects.
Irrespective, It becomes important to not only have a good imitation of that food, but
to be placing the fly in the exact location the trout are looking for the particular food it
imitates. Confining your presentations to the right area of the stream as relates to
that particular food, also substantially increases your odds of success.

I hope this helps explain how one type of fishing can closely relate to another.
the way you catch a fish is to either use the most plentiful and available food
the fish is eating for bait, or acquire something that closely imitates the
appearance and behavior of that same food.
The only exception to that,
regardless of the species of fish, has to do with the spawn and/or territorial protection
and defense.

There are three basic ways you can go about fishing.
You can choose to copy
other anglers (example - go in a fly shop and ask a salesman what Joe Blow
is catching fish on); strictly use trial and error methods relying on pure luck;
or learn all about the fish and the food they rely on for survival to the point
you know what your doing.

Smoky Mountain Weather:
Today, will be mostly sunny, with a high near 86. Southeast wind will be from 5 to 10
mph, becoming north in the afternoon.

Tuesday will be sunny with a high near 87. South wind will be around 5 mph
becoming north in the morning.

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

Little River: Rate 96 cfs at 1.50 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)

Oconaluftee River: Rate 245 cfs at 1.40 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)

Cataloochee Creek: Rate 53 cfs at 2.31 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
appeared near a normal level.

Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Fontana Lake: There isn't
a gauge but reports indicate Hazel Creek is in good shape.

Current Recommended Streams
The daily high temperatures won't be quite as warm as they have been recently, but I
still suggest you avoid the low elevations and fish the mid too high elevations.

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

Light Cahills:
Hook Size 16/14

4. Slate Drakes
Hook Size 10/12

5. Cream Cahills
Hook Size 16/14

Green Sedge (Caddisfly):
Hook Size 14/16
larvae (Green Rock Worms)

Little Yellow Stoneflies:
Hook Size 14/16

8. Little Green Stoneflies
Hook Size 16

Moth Larvae: (Inch Worms): 10/12/14

10. Carpenter Ants, Black
Hook Size 16/18

11. Japanese Beetles
Hook Size 16/14

12. 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

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.

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 been 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, have also
started hatching. The duns leave the water very quickly but the spinner fall can
produce some very hot action.

Eastern Blue-winged Olives are rather large size BWOs that hatch in sparse
quantities in the lower and middle elevations during the late summer. They are not
baetis type BWOs, rather members of the Drunella genus that happen to have olive
color bodies and bluish tinted gray wings. You will usually find the duns, upside down
underneath the leaves of the trees in the shade during the day. If you see a few of
them, you should fish the spinner fall late that afternoon. They tend to hatch in the
late mornings, rather than afternoons until the weather becomes cooler.

There are still 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 Smokies.

Carpenter ants are very plentiful. 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

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:
Heavy rain tends to wash the terrestrials in the streams. It also stains the water and is
a big aid in increasing the effectiveness of streamers.

Tips for the Self Proclaimed Experts:

Whatever Hits Me:
Thank you for visiting our site.
Copyright 2014 James Marsh
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New Tenkara Fly Fishing Rod
The new Tenkara Fly Rod is a 12 foot long fly rod that
telescopes down to only 19 inches long. The age old
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Headed to Yellowstone Country?
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Here for an August 14th report on all the major streams
New Perfect Fly "Super Seven" Fly Rod
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New Richard Wheatley Water-Tite Fly Boxes
In a addition to our own line of Perfect Fly water-proof fly
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Japanese Beetle: Click Image to see
the detail and compare to any other
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