Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 10/21/14
I thought I could show pictures of our new Perfect Fly Snake River fishing vest today,
but we got very busy in the office again yesterday and were not able to finish our
photography. The weather has cleared up across the nation and the phone and
websites were red hot all day. If and when things slow down, I will be making plans to
get some extra help. I intend to keep the 27 fly tiers working for us full time all winter
and adding some help in the rod manufacturing end of it, so we are well ahead next
Spring. We planned on substantial growth for this year, but it turned out to be far
more than we anticipated.
I have been accused of about everything short of stealing and murder, but I've never
be accused of not refunding money for guiding. We frequently get inquires for
guiding in the Smokies and sometimes several a day for other locations on our
Perfect Fly website. Up until this year, I tried to help those calling or sending email by
helping them line up guides only as a favor. It got to where it was taking too much of
my time and now we don't as much as even recommend guides.
I have never guided or chartered any of my many boats, although I could have done
that successfully for many years. I dropped my USCG license several years ago to
keep from being called or known as a charter boat captain. It's isn't there is anything
wrong with that. That just hasn't ever been my thing. Since 1980, I have made my
living teaching people to fish through TV and video. The five years prior to that, I
fished the national BASS circuit but was also a general contractor during that time. I
have been involved with Perfect Fly for the past five years. I have been hired as a
consultant a few times for setting up and critiquing big game fishing teams for large
boat owners, but other than that, I have never taken a cent from anyone for helping
them learn to fish. I wrote for some national fishing magazines for a few years and
refused to accept payment from them because I didn't want to be know as an outdoor
Yesterday, I received this email on our Smoky Mountain website:
I booked three different fly fishing trips with your organization this year. One was
great. The other two I couldn't make it due to bad weather - thunderstorms in the
area and heavy fog. I called to cancel both times based on the weather but you still
insist upon billing me for those trips. I prepaid for the trips. Your policy is to refund
for bad weather. You need to honor that policy ! I go to the Western NC mountains
often and love to fly fish this great area. I promise you I will never book you guys
again and I will tell all of my fly fishing friends not to book you!
Steve (I'm omitting his last name)
Of course, I answered and explained he had us mixed up with someone else.
Of course, this made my blood boil, but I finally realized, it wasn't intentional, or at
least I don't think it was. He never replied back. I'll just leave it for you to judge.
Smoky Mountain Weather:
Today will be partly sunny with a high near 65. Light west wind will become northwest
at 5 to 10 mph in the morning. Tonight's low will be around 40.
For Wednesday, there's a chance of sprinkles before 9am. It will be mostly sunny,
with a high near 58. North wind will be around 5 to 10 mph.
Smoky Mountain Stream Conditions:
The streams with links that have nearby USGS Station Real-time stream data:
Little River: Rate 230 cfs at 1.98 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 322 cfs at 1.56 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: Rate 63 cfs at 2.37 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 good shape.
Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Fontana Lake: Customers
reported Hazel is okay to wade.
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
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
4. Little Yellow Quills
Hook Size 16
5. Great Autumn Brown Sedge:
Hook Size 10
6. Needle Stoneflies
Hook Size 16/18
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.
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
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
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
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
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
Tips for the Self Proclaimed Experts:
Whatever Hits Me:
Thank you for visiting our site. James Marsh, Pending CFO (Chief Fishing Officer)
Copyright 2014 James Marsh
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New Perfect Fly "Pro Line" Fly Rods
The Perfect Fly "Pro Line" Fly Rods are the best fly rods you can buy
for the money. Don't let the low price ($195.00) fool you. These high
modulus fly rods not only perform well, they are designed to look nice
and feel good. http://www.perfectflystore.com/fly-rod-5vu.html
Four New Perfect Fly Boxes:
We have two new models of "Two Clear" fly boxes - a small, ultra
compact box that will fit in a shirt pocket and a giant size 81/2
X 11 X 2 inch box, with two sides to store flies on.
Our new HD Boat Fly Box will carry all the large flies you need
for saltwater fishing, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, stripped
bass, salmon and steelhead flies.
Our new Master Fly Box is a large home or vehicle base
storage fly box where you can store all your Perfect Flies for an
entire season. It lets you select and take only those you need in
a smaller size fly box for a specific trip at any specific time of the
year. Click Here For More Information
New Perfect Fly Val-U Fly Line:
Perfect Fly Val-U product is our OEM fly fishing gear and equipment
that represents the best value for the money.
The Val-U Fly lines are floating, weight-forward, 85 ft length, in 3 to
7 weight sizes. This $39.95 fly line is comparable to most lines in the
$79.00 and up fly lines on the market. Click to Read how we cut
We also sell Scientific Anglers Mastery Series, Rio Gold, and AirFlow
Super Dry Elite fly lines. Click here for information
Coming very soon!
A new Perfect Fly Snake River Fly Fishing Vest
A new Perfect Fly Slough Creek Fly Fishing Vest and
A new Perfect Fly "Catch and Release" Landing Net
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.