Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 12/04/14
We are enjoying great weather and good stream conditions. I've heard some good
"catch" reports. You should be able to catch some very good numbers of trout just
about anywhere in the park. With the cloud cover we have been having and most
likely will continue to have, I know for a fact a
sculpin pattern streamer would be a
great fly to use. Sculpin steal trout eggs and also make a good meal for mom and
dad. The streams are full of them.

The most plentiful and available insect at this time (other than midges) are little
Blue-winged Olives. Of course, these are mostly in their larva stage of life but there's
also a couple of species that could hatch during the warmest part of the day. None of
these are
baetis species, which some want to think are the only insects called
Blue-winged olives. There are
baetis species in the streams but only in their 2nd or
3rd instar. According to the latest books on aquatic insect entomology, there's about
sixty species called BWOs. This not only represents several genera, it includes
species from three different families of mayflies. So, when you hear Blue-winged
Olive, keep in mind, it is the most confusing and frustrating common name in the fly
angler's vocabulary. I suggest a hook size 20 or 18 BWO nymph, which are slim, little
swimming nymphs, not fat crawler nymphs like most of the old time generic nymph
patterns imitate.

To be perfectly honest, if you are driving from over a hundred miles to fly fish the
Smokies on Saturday, I hope you like spending money shopping or sitting in a cabin
or motel drinking. The odds don't look good right now BUT, it all depends on when
the rain starts and stops and of course, the most important thing -  the amount.
There's not a thing wrong with fishing in the rain. It is the stream levels I'm referring
too. I would check the latest weather reports at the last minute you have prior to
departing. I will update things tomorrow morning. I also have to mention, Saturday
could turn out to be the best day to fly fish the Smokies the entire month of
December. If it does rain a lot, just prior to the downpour is usually your best
opportunity. The trout, especially the browns, feed heavily on low pressure systems.
It isn't the pressure directly, rather the low light conditions associated with it.

Smoky Mountain Weather:
Today, there is a 30 percent chance of rain, mainly between 1pm and 4pm. It will be
mostly cloudy with a high near 59. Calm wind will come from the south around 5 mph.
Tonight, the rain chances go to 40 percent.

Friday, there's a 40 percent chance of showers. It will be mostly cloudy with a high
near 61. South wind will range from 5 to 10 mph. The chance of precipitation Friday
night is 70%.

Saturday's high will be near 57. South wind will be around 10 mph becoming west in
the afternoon. The chance of precipitation is 100%. They finally listened to me.

Sunday, will be mostly cloudy, with a high near 52.


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

Little River: Rate 162 cfs at 1.76 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)

Oconaluftee River: Rate 295 cfs at 1.50 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)

Cataloochee Creek: Rate 65 cfs at 2.38 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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