Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 10/28/14
Sorry about yesterday's missing fishing report. Two things came up that prevented
me from providing it. Just when we thought things would be slowing down, Perfect Fly
orders came in over the weekend in unexpected high numbers. A large number of
orders continued to come in on Monday morning. We guarantee orders placed by
2:00 PM Eastern time will be shipped the same day. It seems like everybody and their
brother is going fishing this week some where in the U.S.. We had five orders that
had to be shipped out next day air.
When I started to work Monday morning about 5:00 AM as I normally do, I checked
the orders and immediately knew the three of us would be hard pressed to get them
all out. We managed it by making UPS, FedX and the Post office stops within minutes
of their normal closing time. I am sure not complaining, just giving an explanation.
This is a lot of writing about nothing to do with fly fishing the Smokies, but I guess it is
a way for me to get things off of my chest. The other unexpected thing that occurred
was I learned Monday morning that one of my best friends from my high school and
early college days passed away about two months ago. Although I haven't seen him
in years, it brought tears to my eyes and I stayed upset all day. It just didn't seem
right. Don (Mousy) Morton was 71 years old, the same age as I, and probably
weighted a 120 pounds soaking wet. He just didn't fit the model of a person that
would leave this earth too soon.
From a scrap book, I pulled out an old Arab Tribune newspaper article from our
hometown of Arab, Alabama, about Don. He had attended one of our high school
reunions that I didn't make. Actually, I only made the first one in 1966. When I
finished high school, they gave me a one way bus ticket and a free box lunch to get
out of town. My mother cut the article out and sent it to me in Florida, where I lived
most of my grown life. The paper had an article about him in which he listed me as
his best friend in high school. He never told me that and I guess that is how it goes
with many people. They don't think about such things until they are not around any
Don spent over 30 years as the drummer for the Statler Brothers band, retiring when
the band retired (scroll down to the Utube video). This video has some shots of Don
playing the drums, at their farewell concert. I can remember going to night clubs with
Don when he played for various bands and especially, sitting on stage with him and
the great Jerry Lee Lewis. He filled in as the drummer on one of Jerry Lee's concerts
and I got to go up on stage after it was over and listen to Jerry Lee sing gospel
music. He didn't do that at the concert, only his popular stuff like Great Balls of Fire,
but he sang gospel music for a couple of hours after the concert. A lady from Arab,
Gail, is the mother of one of Jerry's children. I'm not sure if they ever married or not.
He was an outlaw of a man back then, but loved to sing gospel music. Thanks to
Don, it was a real treat to be able to sit at the end of his piano and hear him play and
sing for a couple of hours.
A few years ago, I wrote an article about Don and I going on one of our many fishing
trips that I called "Going up Short Creek without a Paddle". Actually, we had a paddle
but we lost the outboard motor I had borrowed from my girlfriend's dad. We were
crappie fishing, it was the month of March and a very windy day. We rented a small
aluminum boat and put the little outboard on it and took off up Short Creek on
Guntersville Lake that morning. About mid morning, Don wanted to run the boat and
while we were running upstream, we swapped positions. When I let go of the engine
handle, before Don could grab it, it went down to the bottom in about 30 feet of
water. We tried to mark our position on the creek by trianglization but not accurately
enough for us to know exactly where it came off. We dragged for it the next day and
never found the engine. It took both of us about a year to pay my girlfriend's dad for
the motor. If I remember right, it was about $600.00, which was a fortune to us. I can
remember some of our fishing trips together as if they were yesterday. Rest in peace,
Smoky Mountain Weather:
Today will be sunny with a high near 76. Southwest wind will be around 5 to 10 mph.
Tonight, showers are likely and possibly a thunderstorm, mainly after 2am. The low
will be around 54. The chance of precipitation is 60%.
Wednesday, showers are likely mainly before 11am. It will be cloudy, then gradually
becoming mostly sunny with a high near 63. North wind will be around 5 mph. The
chance of precipitation is 60%.
Smoky Mountain Stream Conditions:
The streams with links that have nearby USGS Station Real-time stream data:
Little River: Rate 122 cfs at 1.62 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 230 cfs at 1.34 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 but is in good shape.
Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Fontana Lake: Customers
reported Hazel is in good shape.
Current Recommended Streams:
I think you can fish about anywhere you wish today.
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.
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
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.
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) Perfect Fly
Copyright 2014 James Marsh
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