Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 09/02/14
Looks like everything is going to remain in a summertime mode for at least the next
week. With all the football games starting, hunting season getting underway and
school in full swing, you would think it would be cool outside. That's not going to
happen anytime soon. The high temperatures are reaching into the nineties even in
the upper part of the Northeast. Today's headline weather says "Severe storms and
heavy rain possible from the Mid-south to upstate New York". Don't forget we are
also smack in the middle of the hurricane season. If you lived in Florida most of your
life like yours truly, there is no way you are going to forget it.

With regards to fly fishing in the Smokies, I often get asked what my personal favorite
month of the year is. My answer is always the same - October. I think that varies
from the normal Smoky Mountain angler answer of May. Certainly May is a good
month for fishing the park but with it comes the chance of severe weather and more
importantly, heavy rain. October weather is usually more stable and dependable. If
you live a good distance from the Smokies, this becomes an important consideration
in planning a fishing trip.

For those that rely mostly on luck, It may be a little easier to catch more fish in May
than October, but if you know what your doing, it doesn't make any difference. As far
as numbers of fish caught is concerned, I don't think there's any difference. As far as
size of fish is concerned, there can  be a difference. Your odds are a little better in
October due to venerability of pre-spawn brown trout out moving around with loving
on their mind. Even though you may not target them, you still have a much better
opportunity of hooking one than you do in the Spring. Don't get what I just wrote
wrong. You should never target spawning trout. That is really not any different than
spot lighting deer, or baiting turkey with corn.

October is also a beautiful time to fish the Smokies. The prime leaf-looking season is
usually around the first week of November in the foothills and lower elevations but the
higher elevations start changing colors much earlier than that.  

I really don't like writing on the subject of the best time to fish the Smokies. The
reason is, again, if you know what your doing, you can catch trout year-round, even
during the winter months. That is the real advantage of fishing the Smokies
compared to many, and in fact most, other trout streams in the nation.


Smoky Mountain Weather:
Showers and thunderstorms are likely this afternoon. It will be partly sunny with a
high near 88. South wind will be around 5 mph becoming northwest in the afternoon.
The chance of precipitation is 60%.

Wednesday, there's a 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. It will be
partly sunny with a high near 89. Calm wind will become northwest around 5 mph in
the afternoon.

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

Little River: Rate 79 cfs at 1.42 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)

Oconaluftee River: Rate 219 cfs at 1.33 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)

Cataloochee Creek: Rate 46 cfs at 2.26 ft
(good wading conditions up to 125 with extra caution up to 150 cfs)

Little Pigeon River doesn't have a station nearby. I didn't see it yesterday but the
amount of rain shown on the precip map shouldn't of affected it very much.

Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Fontana Lake: There isn't
a gauge but the precip map shows only a moderate amount of rain in the watershed.

Current Recommended Streams
The daily high temperatures will be as high as they get and I suggest you avoid the
low elevations and fish the high elevations above 2500

Recommended Trout Flies:
1. Eastern Blue-winged Olives:
Hook Size 14/16
nymphs
emergers
duns
spinners

2. Brown and White Belly Sculpins: Especially good in off color, high water &
early/late in the day
Hook Size 4/6

3. Slate Drakes
Hook Size 10/12
nymphs
spinners

4. Cream Cahills
Hook Size 16/14
nymphs
emergers
duns
spinners

5.
Green Sedge (Caddisfly):
Hook Size 14/16
larvae (Green Rock Worms)
pupae
adults

6.
Little Yellow Stoneflies:
Hook Size 14/16
nymphs
adults

7. Little Green Stoneflies
Hook Size 16
nymphs
adults

8.
Moth Larvae: (Inch Worms): 10/12/14

9. Carpenter Ants, Black
Hook Size 16/18

10. Japanese Beetles
Hook Size 16/14

11. 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
them.

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 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.

Cream Cahills have 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
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:
None

Tips for the Self Proclaimed Experts:
None

Whatever Hits Me:
Thank you for visiting our site.
Copyright 2014 James Marsh
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