Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 01/12/15
It looks like the Smokies will be getting rain showers throughout most of the day. I
think we have finally broken the very cold weather streak. Today should be a good
day to fish. The showers will help warm the water a little. I'm still recommending
Abrams Creek for the best destination at this time but when there is a lot of runoff
from rain, the springs in the upper part of Abrams seem to have little effect on the
water temperature. Normally, the upper section is slightly warmer than the pure
I will continue to bore you with some old photographs.
Smoky Mountain Weather:
Today, we can expect rain with a high near 48. South wind will be around 5 mph
becoming calm later this morning. The chance of precipitation is 100%. Tonight,
expect more rain, mainly before 1am. The low will be around 37. The chance of
precipitation is 90%.
Tuesday, there's a 30 percent chance of rain, mainly after 1pm. It will be cloudy with
a high near 38. North wind will be around 5 mph.
Smoky Mountain Stream Conditions:
The streams with links that have nearby USGS Station Real-time stream data: Click
to links to see updates:
Little River: Rate 284 cfs at ?????..26 ft.(I think ice is affecting it at this time)
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 458 cfs at 1.82 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: Rate 111 cfs at 2.61 ft (This gauge is also messed up due to
(good wading conditions up to 125 with extra caution up to 150 cfs)
Little Pigeon River doesn't have a station nearby. It is near normal.
Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Fontana Lake. My guess
is they are near normal but I have no reports.
Current Recommended Streams: Abrams Creek up until it rain a lot. Rain
runoff kills the slightly warmer water from the springs in the upper part of Abrams but
for now, it is your best destination for catching trout.
Recommended Trout Flies:
1. Blue-winged Olives:
Hook Size 20/18
2. Brown and White Belly Sculpins:
Hook Size 6
3. Cream Midges: 20/22
4. Winter Stoneflies: 16/18
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. Winter stoneflies should begin crawling
out of the water to hatch within the next few days.
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:
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 2015 James Marsh
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The top picture is from an 1980 article in the Mobile Press Register. Notice, these are
not landlocked stripped bass. They are saltwater stripped bass that made their way
upriver about 30 miles from the Gulf of Mexico to spawn.
The bottom picture is of myself (middle), Ed Catrett (your right), and my cameraman
(I cannot remember his name). We had to get him to help us hold them up for
the shot and the fish camp owner to take this picture. This catch was featured on one
of my weekly TV shows which started in 1980. It was the first ever syndicated TV
series (52 weeks a year) on saltwater fishing that ran nationally on 26 stations in its
second year. I produced and hosted the programs until 1985 and from then on,
produced 46 instructional videos on saltwater fishing, and 26 on boating and
navigation. They are still being sold today by Bennett Media Group of Venice,
California. The very first video was "Fishing the Gulf of Mexico". My last quarter royalty
report (third quarter of this year) showed it (now on DVD and digital formats) sold 845
copies. It has over 40 different species of saltwater fish being caught from the Gulf. It,
as well as my other programs (produced from 1986 until about four years ago) have
been sold since 1986. Of the group, my top selling video is an instructional DVD on
obtaining a Coast Guard Captains License The other DVD on this page are also my