Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 12/03/14
We didn't get enough rain yesterday, to keep the streams from falling lower. It was
cloudy most of the time and there were several showers that occurred in Pigeon
Forge, but the precipitation map shows very little accumulation took place in the park.
The chances of rain will continue for the next few days and the fly fishing
opportunities couldn't be any better for this time of the year. It looks like we are
making up for some of the early fall cold weather.

Mentioning cold weather reminds me that I should inform you that as soon as it turns
cold again, and you can bet it will, I will be doing a series of reports on some of the
tailwaters that are near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. By near, I mean
within a day's drive. We have several very good tailwater trout streams than provide
an option to fly fishing the streams of the Smokies. When the water temperatures are
down in the mid-thirties in the freestone streams of the Smokies, the water
temperature of the bottom discharges from the many tailwaters in both Tennessee
and North Carolina, usually stay within the mid to high forties.

Some of the better nearby ones in North Carolina are the Tuckasege, Nantahala,
Raven Fork, Davidson, and the upper Watauga River. In Tennessee, you have the
Clinch, Holston (below Cherokee), South Holston (one of  the best in the eastern
United. States), Watauga, Hiwassee, Caney Fork and even more. Many of these
have delayed harvest regulations. I will be writing about these streams in detail
during the coldest winter days.

Smoky Mountain Weather:
Today, there is a 30 percent chance of rain, mainly before 4pm. The high will be near
61. Southwest wind will be from 5 to 10 mph becoming west in the afternoon.
Tonight's low will be around 40.

Thursday, there's a 30 percent chance of showers, mainly after 1pm. The high will be
near 55. The wind will be calm.

Smoky Mountain Stream Conditions:
The streams with links that have nearby USGS Station Real-time stream data:

Little River: Rate 167 cfs at 1.78 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)

Oconaluftee River: Rate 313 cfs at 1.54 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)

Cataloochee Creek: Rate 68 cfs at 2.40 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 was in good shape
yesterday afternoon.

Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Fontana Lake: They are
in good shape.

Current Recommended Streams: I would fish the lower elevation streams

Recommended Trout Flies:
1. Blue-winged Olives:
Hook Size 20/18/16
nymphs
emergers
duns
spinners

2. Brown and White Belly Sculpins:
Hook Size 6

3. Cream Midges: 20/22
larva
pupa
adults

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.
Strategy:
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:
None

Tips for the Self Proclaimed Experts:
None

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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