Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 11/13/14
Yikes, they have dropped the forecast high and low daily temperatures from early
yesterday morning. I actually think they changed it sometimes during the day
yesterday, but I only post this once a day, and that's usually around 5 to 6 AM. The
difference in the forecast is going to make a difference in the water temperatures.
Instead of having water temps in the mid to high forties, it will be in the mid to high
thirties at least on Friday, and possibly on Saturday. Saturdays water temps in the
low elevations could reach the low forties but it will be late in the day if it does.
Some of you are probably wondering what's the big deal about that. I'll make it
simple. Water temps ranging in the mid to high thirties means the fish will be
somewhat lethargic and sluggish as well as hold in areas of the stream out of the
current where you are forced to fish small, isolated areas of slow water that in most
cases us below faster water in the upper water columns.
Water temperatures in the mid to high forties is a completely different thing.
You can catch trout and plenty of them, provided you can get a nymph in the slow
water where they are holding out of the current, and without the fly speeding through
the slow water. That's not easy and that's exactly why the few anglers that know what
they have to do to catch trout have a difficult time doing it. You usually catch fewer
fish because of the difficult presentations required, not so much because the trout
will not eat. You only need for them to eat one fly. You don't need for them to eat fifty
flies, so the amount of food they need due to a lower metabolism isn't the real
As the below article states (which I am leaving up for another day), fishing for fish you
can't see, with flies you can't see, isn't exactly easy, Doing that in isolated holes in
the bottom, or slack areas of water behind rocks on the bottom that are out of the
current, is even more difficult. It isn't that difficult to dredge the bottom, so to speak,
but it is when you need to keep the fly moving at the same slow speed of the water
the fish are holding in. The reason is most of the time there's much faster current
near the surface and upper sections of the water column. It isn't that the fish want
eat. The lower temps only affect the amount they eat a minimum amount. There is
far, too much emphasis placed on their lower metabolism. If I'm wrong, God bless the
thousand of ice fishermen this winter - they will be waisting their time.
Trout still eat when the water is in the high thirties and low forties, and eat plenty
enough to take your fly, but it has to be presented very near them, and moving slow
at the same speed of the water they are holding in. They are not going to move into
the current to feed. They will expend more energy than they can replenish with food.
I hope you will take the time to read the article linked below:
In our October issue of the Perfect Fly Fishing Journal, I wrote the following article
about "Fishing Nymphs - Fishing For Fish You Can't See With Flies You Can't See".
The next several days are going to be cold in the Smokies. By the way, you can sign
up for the Perfect Fly Journal just below here on your right. Also, if you click the
"Fishing Journal Index" link on the above article page, you can see the some other
articles in the October Issue.
Smoky Mountain Weather:
Today's high in Gatlinburg will be near 42. Northwest wind will range from 5 to 10
mph. Thursday night's low will be around 23.
Friday, will be mostly sunny with a high near 37. North wind will be around 5 mph.
Friday night's low will be around 22.
Saturday, will be sunny with a high near 43. Saturday night's low will be around 30.
Sunday, there's a 50 percent chance of showers. It will be mostly cloudy, with a high
near 48. Sunday night, we can expect rain and snow. The low will be around 35. I will
assure you that it will snow quite a bit in the higher elevations.
Smoky Mountain Stream Conditions:
The streams with links that have nearby USGS Station Real-time stream data:
Little River: Rate 170 cfs at 1.79 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 226 cfs at 1.33 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: Rate 43 cfs at 2.24 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 in very good shape.
Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Fontana Lake: I don't
have any reports but I'm almost positive it is about normal and in good shape.
Current Recommended Streams:
I recommend you fish the lower elevations. The brown trout are spawning, so please
leave them alone so they can raise some children for us to play with. Avoid wading
through their redds.
Recommended Trout Flies:
1. Blue-winged Olives:
Hook Size 20/18/16
2. Brown and White Belly Sculpins:
Hook Size 6
3. Cream Midges: 20/22
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.
If the water is below 43 degrees, I would switch to a Cream Midge larva and Cream
Midge Pupa tandem rig, with the larva the bottom fly and the pupa above it.
If you spot something hatching, it will most likely be Cream Midges or small
Blue-winged Olives. Switch to the adult Cream Midge, if it is midges hatching, or the
BWO Dun or emerger, if it is the BWOs.
Tips for Beginners:
Be careful wading and don't step on water covered with leaves where you cannot see
the bottom, don't wade through redds at the lower end of the pools where brown trout
are spawning and don't fall in. You could get familiar with hypothermia.
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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