Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 09/10/14
When conditions are good, such as they are now, provided you keep your fly in the
moderate to fast water sections of the stream, you have a good chance of catching
some trout on the old, standard, generic fly patterns. If you match the most plentiful
food available at the time, meaning both larvae (nymphs) and adult insects, you can
increase your odds of success substantially. When conditions are not so good, you
can increase your odds of success to the point it makes the difference in success or
failure. Those are the times when most anglers say the fishing is slow, or not so
good. What they really mean is relying on generic fly patterns and trial and error
methods of fishing has become a big problem. They blame the fish when they should
blame the person they see when they look in a mirror.
At Perfect Fly, we sell all the standard, generic fly patterns that the mom and pop fly
shops sell. They represent about 20% of our total fly sells compared to 80% for our
own approximately 450, Perfect Fly (SKU) patterns. We sell them at an average of
$1.00 each, which is much lower than the fly shops. We can do that because sell
directly to anglers and don't buy from Umpqua and other fly importers. Our generic
fly patterns are also better in quality than those sold by the mom and pop fly shops
which they acquire mostly from the three major U.S. fly distributors, all of which import
Why do we sell the generic flies? We do it only to show the prices for our own Perfect
Fly patterns, which range from $1.95 to $2.25 each, isn't high. Our patterns take
about three times as long to tie as the generic flies, as well as require a few more
The other reason is simple. U. S. fly and fly fishing gear manufacturers have almost
all begin to sell directly to anglers. Of course, Orvis has been doing that for a few
years. Manufacturers are actually competing again their own retailers. It is no
big secret as to why mom and pop fly shops are all struggling to stay in business.
We are very proud of the fact that we are rapidly changing the fly business
nationwide. We are the only company in the World with specific imitations of all
the important aquatic insects in all stages of life that are applicable to fishing. In other
words, we have flies that look and behave like the real things and are actually named
after the real insects and other foods they imitate.
We have a huge return customer base that is growing at a tremendous rate. It has
more than doubled again this year. Twenty-seven full time tiers have struggled to
keep up with our sells. We plan on doubling the number of tiers for this coming
season, but it is all based on the number of tiers (mostly women) our managers can
train. We also plan on increasing our current basic fly inventory by over a 100,000
flies or more during the next four or five months.
Smoky Mountain Weather:
They have changed it again. Rather than most everything happening on Thursday,
they are now stringing out the substantial chances of rain from Thursday through
Saturday. I don't really think they know what this next cold front is going to do. Today,
there is a slight chance of Isolated showers and thunderstorms after 5pm. It will be
mostly sunny with a high near 85. South wind will range from 5 to 10 mph.
Thursday, there's a 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 9am. It
will be partly sunny with a high near 86. West wind will be 5 to 10 mph.
Smoky Mountain Stream Conditions:
The streams with links that have nearby USGS Station Real-time stream data:
Little River: Rate 89 cfs at 1.47 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 201 cfs at 1.28 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: Rate 50 cfs at 2.29 ft
(good wading conditions up to 125 with extra caution up to 150 cfs)
Little Pigeon River doesn't have a station nearby. Yesterday, it looked to be at a
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 has fell during the
past few days in their watersheds and the levels should be near normal. Keep in
mind, that normal levels for this time of the year is what many would call low water
Current Recommended Streams:
The daily high temperatures will remain in the mid 80's, so I still suggest you avoid
the low elevations and fish above 2000 feet. All the streams on both sides of the park
appear to be in good shape.
Recommended Trout Flies:
1. Blue-winged Olives:
Hook Size 20
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
4. Cream Cahills
Hook Size 16/14
5. Green Sedge (Caddisfly):
Hook Size 14/16
larvae (Green Rock Worms)
6. Little Yellow Stoneflies:
Hook Size 14/16
7. Little Green Stoneflies
Hook Size 16
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
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 still 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 are hatching. The duns leave the water very quickly but the spinner
fall can produce some very hot action.
Blue-winged Olives are hatching but they are very small. They are small baetis type
BWOs but also includes species from two other genera commonly called Small BWOs
and Little BWOs.
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
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:
Tips for the Self Proclaimed Experts:
Whatever Hits Me:
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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 Japanese method of
Tenkara fishing doesn't require a fly reel and is easy to learn. A 6 inch
Smoky Mountain native brook trout will probably feel more like a tarpon
than a trout.
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New Perfect Fly "Super Seven" Fly Rod
The new Super Seven fly rod was named the "Super Seven" because
it is a super rod for larger size trout and bass. It will cast large
nymphs, streamers and/or popping bug much further than you need
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use of the seven weight fly line and by that we mean better than a
Sage, Winston, Scott or any other manufacturer.
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New Richard Wheatley Water-Tite Fly Boxes
In a addition to our own line of Perfect Fly water-proof fly boxes
(which will be expanded greatly later this month) we are now
stocking the new Richard Wheatley Water-Tite fly boxes. They are
fairly new at it, having only been making fly
boxes since 1860.
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