Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 01/21/15
It didn't get near as warm as I expected it to get in my yesterday's forecast. The water
didn't get close to what I expected. I got a little too optimistic and failed to take into
consideration just how short of a time span the air temperature stays warm. I don't
think the water temps got above the low forties anywhere trout exist in the park.

It is 37 degrees outside as I am writing this at 6:30 this morning. I'm quite sure the
average temperature for a 24 hour time span would not be over the low forties, so
there's no way the water is going to get any warmer than that Mr. Marsh. That
doesn't mean you shouldn't be able to catch trout and if you know what your doing,
plenty of them. I just wanted to correct my yesterday's over optimism.  

Today will be sunny with a high near 54. West wind will range from 5 to 10 mph in the
afternoon. Tonight's low will be around 31.

Thursday will be partly sunny with a high near 49. The wind will be around 5 mph in
the afternoon. There is a 30 percent chance of rain after 2am. The water
temperature will likely not exceed the low forties for the next two days and then, well,
we will be looking at normal wintertime temps and a chance of snow for the weekend.

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 185 cfs at 1.84 ft..
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)

Oconaluftee River: Rate 337 cfs at 1.60 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)

Cataloochee Creek: Rate 77 cfs at 2.45 ft (This gauge is also messed up due to
ice)
(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
afternoon.

Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Fontana Lake. My guess
is they are about normal but I still have no reports.

Current Recommended Streams: Any of the lower elevation streams with trout.
Certainly, Abrams Creek would be a good one.

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

4. Winter Stoneflies: 16/18
nymphs
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. 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:
Learn to imitate the most plentiful and available insects and other foods at the time
you are fishing, or continue to use trial and error methods and forever be a mediocre
angler.

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 2015 James Marsh
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