Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 10/31/14
I received a full report from Derek Porter last night with lots of beautiful pictures of
streams in the Smokies and trout caught on his trip this week. I'm going to show a few
of the pictures today, tomorrow and Sunday but I will be doing a full report on it this
coming Monday. I have to complete several other projects I have under way this
weekend, and as Jerry Reed says,"I have a long way to go and a short time to get
Email from Derek
Just got out of the woods and we are driving home. We had a great trip. We caught
dozens and dozens of browns. And many nice rainbows but so many browns. Caught
a 20" brown Tuesday! David filmed the whole thing including the cast and the take.
Best day in the park ever.
The autumn sedge pupa was on fire. I burned through 6 of them. They just got
shredded. Saw the caddis laying eggs each day. I'll send some pics once I get them
I had another 20" today pop off at my feet as I was fumbling for my net. We also
caught at least 60 browns that 3-4" long. Only caught 1 rainbow that size. The
browns are taking over that place. There are gonna be plenty of fun sized browns to
catch in a few years.
Never saw any fish on beds - I think they are still staging for the spawn. Water temp
was between 50-54 each time I checked over the 3 days.
Smoky Mountain Weather:
Today, showers are likely, mainly after 4pm. It will be mostly cloudy with a high near
54. Calm wind will come out of the northwest around 5 mph in the afternoon. The
chance of precipitation is 60%. Tonight's low will be around 32. The chance of
precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of less than one inch is possible.
Saturday, expect snow showers before noon, then rain showers. The high will be
near 40. Northwest wind will be around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. The
chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of less than one inch
Smoky Mountain Stream Conditions:
The streams with links that have nearby USGS Station Real-time stream data:
Little River: Rate 107 cfs at 1.56 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 215 cfs at 1.30 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: Rate470 cfs at 2.27 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 but got a
little higher (see picture below).
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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Another brown showing the Great Autumn Brown sedge pupa fly.
Derek's 20 inch brown. He lost another about the same size at his feet. He was
using a Perfect Fly 12 foot, 5X leader. He changed from a 9 foot because his fly line
was spooking fish.
One of many browns he caught on our Perfect Fly Great Autumn Brown Sedge
Pupa, shown in the fish's mouth.