Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 01/13/15
From a weather standpoint, about the only good thing we have to look forward to is
they are predicting temperatures in the low fifties for the Gatlinburg area this coming
weekend. It is going to be a little cold today, and then gradually warm up a little. I'll be
surprised if any of the roads in the park are open tomorrow morning, at least in the
The possibility of freezing rain is a little scary to me. I can still remember a couple of
ice storms (that's what they use to call them) from the 1950's, that brought down
most all of the power lines in my little hometown of Arab, Alabama. We had to walk
several blocks to my grandparents house and stay there for a week because they
had a fireplace and we didn't. We had electric heat, no cooking with an electric stove,
and not even any water. It was frozen. Driving anywhere was impossible. The streets
were covered solid in ice as well as tree limbs that had broken off due to the weight
of ice. The only good thing about it was we didn't have to go to school. We have
both gas and electric heat, so at least we don't have to worry about that.
More old photos to bore you:
Smoky Mountain Weather:
Today, there is a 30 percent chance of rain. It will be cloudy with a high near 37.
North wind will be around 5 mph. Tonight, there is a chance of rain before midnight,
then a chance of freezing rain. The low will be around 32. The chance of precipitation
Wednesday, there is a slight chance of freezing rain and sleet before 10am, then a
slight chance of rain between 10am and 11am. It will be mostly cloudy with a high
near 43. The chance of precipitation is 20%.
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.(The gauge is still not working)
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 601 cfs at 2.04 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: Rate 121 cfs at 2.65 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 was a little high yesterday
Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Fontana Lake. My guess
is they are just a little high but I have no reports.
Current Recommended Streams: Any of the lower elevation streams with 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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Off hand, you may think the picture above indicates I showed country music star
John Anderson how to catch red snapper, but it was exactly the opposite of that.
John taught me a few things about fishing the oil rigs off the coast of Alabama. He
can fish as well as he can sing and that's saying a lot. He won the lifetime
achievement award in country music the same year this picture was taken.