Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 12/22/14
The National Weather Service is giving a 100% chance of rain for Wednesday. I
promise you that when they do that, they are either already on the egg nog, or they
feel 200% sure it is going to rain. That's good news because we need more water in
the streams. They are getting rather low.

From now until the bottom falls out on Wednesday, we have very good fishing
conditions in the Smokies, so if you have an opportunity to go today or tomorrow, you
would be wise to take it.

Holston River, Tennessee:
The Holston River tailwater I am writing about today, is the one below Cherokee Dam
near Jefferson City, Tennessee. It is easily confused with the South Holston River
near Bristol, Tennessee. It is so easily confused, it confuses the Google gigabots. It
would confuse the North Koreans hackers if they tried to hack it. The only thing you
won't confuse about the two similarly named streams, is the quality of fishing. It
doesn't compare to the South Holston in that respect, but neither does any other
southern tailwater.

As with most tailwaters, this Holston River relies strictly on discharges from the dam
for the trout's survival. As far as I can determine, some trout holdover that live in the
waters near the dam, but I'm not sure this is always true. I understand, there have
been problems with the discharges as relates to keeping the fish alive. I am not
familiar enough with the details of that to comment much further. I do know the water
often gets too warm for fishing during the hottest summer months.

During the fall and winter months, after the state stocks the Holston River, anglers
usually catch trout in very high numbers. By the way, I should also mention that it is
an excellent smallmouth bass stream. I should also mention, it is more of a drift boat
stream than a wading-from-the-bank stream. There is very little public access and
only a few places you can wade.

I'm not going to write much about the Holston. Please don't take this to mean I don't
consider a tailwater worth fishing, because I do. I would just be duplicating what I
have already written on the
Perfect Fly website pages for the river. You can find
information as to where you can access the river to wade along with a lot of other
information about it by clicking the above link.

As with any TVA tailwater, getting the discharge schedule is of prime importance. It
lets you know if you will be able to wade the stream. It will tell you if you need to drift
the river in a boat, or choose another location to fish.

Smoky Mountain Weather:
Today, there is a 20 percent chance of showers before 10am. It will be cloudy with a
high near 53. South wind will be around 5 mph becoming east in the afternoon.
Tonight, there's a 30 percent chance of showers, mainly after 1am. The low will be
around 43.

Tuesday,showers are likely with thunderstorms also possible after 4pm. It will be
cloudy with a high near 61. South wind will be around 10 mph. The chance of
precipitation is 70%. Tuesday night, the odds go up to 100%. The low will only go
down to about 50 degrees.

Wednesday,the chance of precipitation is 100%.

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

Little River: Rate 128 cfs at 1.64 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)

Oconaluftee River: Rate 257 cfs at 1.41 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)

Cataloochee Creek: Rate 55 cfs at 2.32 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 low, butin good shape
yesterday afternoon.

Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Fontana Lake: They are a
little low, but in good shape.

Current Recommended Streams: I would fish the lower elevation streams

Recommended Trout Flies:
1. Blue-winged Olives:
Hook Size 20/18
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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