Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 10/19/14
Although I have hired a couple of part time employees to do website work for our
Perfect Fly company, we are still far behind in getting new product online. I worked on
that (our new landing nets, fly vest and vest/backpacks combos) yesterday, and was
able to actually make a few cast while doing it. I hooked a nice rainbow about ten
inches long on our Brown Sculpin but lost it at my feet. I was fishing from the bank.

We will make a few more shots needed this morning and then I am going to try to
watch the big one - that is the big wreck at Talladega. I have never been to a race
and I am not a race fan as such, but I have met some of the drivers and a couple of
the team owners and keep a check on it. I've taken a couple of them saltwater
fishing before and was surprised that I scared them to death with my boat driving.
They are scared of anything they aren't driving themselves. Talladega brings up
memories for a variety of reasons, but one that stands out is the following one.

This is a hunting trip story, not a fly fishing story, but some of you may find it
interesting. I was a rather large general commercial building contractor early in my
younger days. In the early 1970's, I purchased a twin engine beechcraft so I could
visit my many jobs more frequently. I had a few hundred employees and a full time
pilot that also helped with our estimating. One of his friends was another pilot and
construction company owner named Bill Moss, of Moss-Thornton Contractors.
State of Alabama, Engineering Hall of Fame

Bill had recently designed and built Talladega speedway for its owner and claimed to
be the first one to drive around it and that was before it was paved. For those not
familiar, its banks are so steep, he had to hang the paving machines with cranes to
keep them from sliding or falling off the banks. We were going antelope hunting in
Wyoming and Bill wanted to go along with us to help Jim co-pilot the plane. I agreed,
not knowing at the time the reason. He had crashed his own airplane trying to land it
on a 4 lane highway he was building before it was paved.

To make this short, my pilot Jim, encouraged by Moss, lied to me about the
weather and almost got us killed getting to Lust, Wyoming in a snow storm.
We traveled the last hundred miles below a thousand feet in a driving snow storm.
We made it, but James Marsh, rented a car, drove to Rapid City, South Dakota, and
flew back to Birmingham, Alabama, on a commercial airline. They did get my airplane
back in one piece.

There's more. Bill owned a race car that he was still owed money on that was
wrecked at the same Talledaga race coming up today. We watched it get wrecked on
the little TV in my motel room in Lust, Wyoming. He got off the couch and threw the
TV in the floor, breaking the tube to pieces. Yes, I was billed for a TV later.

That's not all. Bill got arrested for killing two antelopes, one on his wife's permit who
was never there. It took all of our cash to bond him out of jail. Two years later, with
stupid me in his car, he tried to jump a twenty foot wide creek, after a heavy rain
washed the road out, to show me a new coal mine he was opening. We ended up in
the middle of the creek with water up to the top of the doors. I survived that ordeal
and needless to say, that was the last time I saw Bill.


Smoky Mountain Weather:
Today will be mostly sunny, with a high near 61. Northeast wind will be around 5 mph.

Monday, will be mostly sunny with a high near 65. Light and variable wind will come
form the west at 5 to 10 mph in the morning.



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

Little River: Rate 319 cfs at 2.22 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)

Oconaluftee River: Rate 392 cfs at 1.70 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)

Cataloochee Creek: Rate 72 cfs at 2.42 ft
(good wading conditions up to 125 with extra caution up to 150 cfs)

Little Pigeon River doesn't have a station nearby but is back in decent shape.

Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Fontana Lake: Customers
reported they are okay to wade with caution.

Current Recommended Streams:
I think you can fish about anywhere you wish today but still use caution. The water
levels are still on the high side.

Recommended Trout Flies:
1. Blue-winged Olives:
Hook Size 20/18/16
nymphs
emergers
duns
spinners

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

3. Slate Drakes
Hook Size 10/12
nymphs
spinners

4.
Little Yellow Quills
Hook Size 16
nymphs
emergers
duns
spinners

5.
Great Autumn Brown Sedge:
Hook Size 10
pupa
adults

6.
Needle Stoneflies
Hook Size 16/18
nymphs
adults

7. Carpenter Ants, Black
Hook Size 16/18

8. Japanese Beetles
Hook Size 16/14

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, assuming I was fishing a low to mid elevation
stream, I would fish a size 18 Blue-winged Olive nymph. Many of the species of
mayflies called Blue-winged Olives are bi-brooded, meaning they hatch twice a year.
The life cycle is still a year long but there's a spring and fall hatch that occcurs.
These, along with some size 20 and 16 BWO nymphs, are plentiful throughout the
lower to middle elevation streams of the Smokies. They are swimming nymphs that
dart around in short spurts and hide wherever they can. They don't stay wedged up
under the rocks like most of the other mayfly nymphs, the majority of which are
clingers.

There are still some Slate Drakes hatching in the lower elevations. This will occur off
and on from now into the month of November. If you spot their shucks on the rocks,
switch to a Slate Drake nymph.

Little Yellow Quills are still hatching in some of the higher elevation streams. These
are mostly a mid to high elevation insect, often confused with Light Cahills, but quite
different.

Needle Stoneflies will still be hatching in the mid to high elevations. These are very
narrow, long shaped stoneflies that when in flight, look more like a caddifly than a
stonefly. Like all stoneflies they crawl out of the water in low light conditions to hatch.
The egg layers can provide some great action in the late afternoons.

Great Autumn Brown Sedges, or caddiflies, are hatching. These are large caddis that
hatch during the evening and lay their eggs late in the day and early evenings. If you
camp, you will probably see them around your lights.

Carpenter ants are still 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.

Tips for Beginners:
First learn what food it is you need to be imitating, that should determine what flies
you should be using. It isn't really that complicated. Trout will always focus on and
position themselves in the stream to eat the most plentiful and most available food.
It's natures way for them to expend the least amount of energy to acquire the most  
food.

Many anglers, in fact most anglers, try to short cut the process and first try
to determine what flies they need to be using. It's the difference in knowing what you
are doing, and just relying on pure trial and error. It makes the difference in being
consistently successful or having to blame the lack of success on the fish or
environmental conditions.

Tips for the Self Proclaimed Experts:
None

Whatever Hits Me:
Thank you for visiting our site. James Marsh, Pending CFO (Chief Fishing Officer)
Perfect Fly
Copyright 2014 James Marsh
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A new Perfect Fly Snake River Fly Fishing Vest

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and even more new product
The photo above shows a collection of flies we put together for a
gentleman in our new Master fly box for some Maryland and
Pennsylvania trout streams that he fishes. In this case there are 140
flies that range from a hook size 20 up to a hook size 6. He will use the
fly box as a home storage base and take only the flies he needs at a
particular time with him to a stream in a small fly box. As you can see,
there is plenty of space left in the box for more flies. Not shown is a map
or plan of the fly box that identifies the flies left to right by line. It stays
inside the box so that he can identify each fly until he becomes familiar
with all of them. Example, the top line, left to right,:2 each #14
BWO nymphs, BWO duns, #16 BWO nymphs, BWO emergers, BWO
duns, BWO spinners, #18 BWO nymphs, BWO emergers, BWO duns,
BWO spinners, #20 BWO nymphs and BWO duns or a total of 14
different flies or 28 in total. As an additional advantage, on our website
there is a full page of information on each type of fly, a total of 70 in this
particular case, that explains how, when and where to fish each fly.