Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 01/15/15
The weather forecast for the weekend looks look, with a high Saturday in Gatlinburg
of around 56. The low Friday night will be around 28, so it will take a little while for the
water to warm up on Saturday. It will be comfortable to fish, for a change. The water
temperature in the lower elevation streams should be in the mid and maybe the high
forties by mid Saturday afternoon.
Sorry, but even more old pictures to bore you.
Smoky Mountain Weather:
Today, there is a 40 percent chance of rain after 1pm. It will be cloudy with a high
near 41. Light and variable wind will become west at 5 to 10 mph in the afternoon.
Tonight, there's aA slight chance of rain before 8pm, then a slight chance of snow
between 8pm and 10pm. The low will be around 24. The chance of precipitation is
Friday, should be sunny with a high near 47. Wind will be north at 5mph. The low
Friday night will be around 28.
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 ?????..26 ft.(The system is still not working)
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 441 cfs at 1.79 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: Rate 95 cfs at 2.54 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 about normal yesterday
Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Fontana Lake. My guess
is they are about normal 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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The top picture is of my father, Cecil Marsh, who is more responsible for my 40 year full-time
fishing habit than anyone, and my brother, Dennis Marsh. Denny has a huge home in Laurel
Valley near Townsend, but spends most of his time at his lake cabin on Guntersville Lake.
Dad left us in 1998. He loved red snapper fishing and took me to Florida deep sea fishing many
times as a kid. That's him in the bottom picture standing in front of one of my 25 foot Ranger
boats that we caught the red snapper on that day. It had twin 200 mercs and I could run 45
miles offshore Panama City Beach in about an hour and a half to some natural bottom ledges
near the continental shelf. Within a mile of there, the water drops to over a thousand feet deep
but it is only 150 feet where I had some ledges plotted. It took charter boats far to long to make
that same run, so the area was rarely fished. I was always able to catch a limit of red and black
snapper and usually some blackfin tuna. I'm sure we caught a limit that day for all three of us.
That Ranger had over $75,000.00 of electronics onboard and a tower I had custom built. For
years, Raytheon provided my electronics at no charge. I did instructional videos on how to
operate marine electronics for them and many other electronic companies. Raytheon was a
major sponsor of saltwater tournaments that I fished. That boat had it all, including radar, so I
could run 50MPH at night. It had a 9 foot beam which is as large as you can legally tow. It had a
200 gallon fuel tank and took it all to make the run I just described. Imagine that before fuel
For years, I also had a 27 foot twin inboard Sportscraft cabin cruiser that I completely rebuilt for
bottom fishing. Dad liked it the best. I rebuilt is from the hull up. I stripped down the entire back
deck so several people could bottom fish at the same time. For many years. I had from one to
as many as eight boats at a time.