Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 11/07/14
It appears we will have a very good weekend ahead for fishing in the park. There is
no rain in the forecast and the temperatures will be about normal for this time of the
year. The weather guys said we would have gusts of wind up to 25 mph yesterday,
but I think it topped that several times. It took a toll on the beautiful leaves. Most of
them are on the ground now. I'm sure that's the situation in the park. If you see the
water covered solid with leaves and you are not very familiar with the exact spot you
are going to step, you better first test the depth of the water with the end of your fly
rod. Leaves can be floating on top of some very deep areas of water, covering your
view of the bottom. You may take a nasty fall, or if not, get your fly vest soaking wet. I
haven't done that over several dozen times. I'm preaching something I have yet
learned to do, so do as I say, not as I do.
Smoky Mountain Weather:
Today, will be partly sunny with a high near 53. North wind will range from 5 to 10
mph. Tonight's low will be around 32.
Saturday, will be mostly sunny with a high near 58. Calm wind will come out of the
south around 5 mph in the morning. Saturday night's low will be around 38.
Sunday, will be partly sunny with a high near 51. Calm wind will come out of the
northwest around 5 mph.
Smoky Mountain Stream Conditions:
The streams with links that have nearby USGS Station Real-time stream data:
Little River: Rate 379 cfs at 2.36 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 403 cfs at 1.72 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 it is probably a little high. I
won't see it until later this morning.
Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Fontana Lake: I don't
have any reports but it appears from the precipitation map it is probably just a little
on the high side.
Current Recommended Streams:
I recommend you fish the lower to middle elevations. Some streams are a little high
but falling, so be careful wading.
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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