Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 02/21/15
I'm not sure what the forecast will look like beyond the next ten days, but it doesn't
look very good for the next week. There are a few days it will be possible to fish after
about the middle of next week, but the water will still probably be at best in the high
thirties or very low forties. It will be possible to fish this afternoon and tomorrow but
conditions will be lousy, with cold water and wind. March should bring a much better
picture and will definitely include some hatches of larger aquatic insects. Exactly
when in March, remains a question, but my guess is within the first or second week.

As I have mentioned before, the "recommended trout flies" and "recommended
fishing strategies" listed below are for the current date, not future dates. That isn't
much help to those who want to know what to purchase for the next week, month, or
quarter of the year. We prefer you call or send us an email at Perfect Fly for that
information. The "options for selecting flies" box on your right has the toll free
number and email address for that.

For a change, today, I'm going to list the flies you will need for the month of March in
addition to those listed below except you shouldn't need the midges, or Winter
stoneflies much past the first two weeks of March. You will need the BWOs, Brown
Sculpin and Little Brown Stoneflies:

Blue Quills: 18
nymphs
emergers
duns
spinners

Quill Gordons: 12/14
nymphs
emerging duns
duns
spinners

Little Black Caddis: 18
pupa
adults

Weather: (At Gatlinburg at about 1600 ft)
Today, freezing rain is likely before 10am, then rain likely. It will be mostly cloudy with
a high near 46. It will be breezy, with a south wind 20 to 25 mph, with gusts as high as
35 mph. The chance of precipitation is 70%. Total daytime ice accumulation of less
than a 0.1 of an inch possible. Tonight, expect more rain. Tonight's low will be around
38. The chance of precipitation is 100%.

Sunday, more rain is likely, mainly before 1pm. It will be cloudy, with a high near 47.
Wind will be around 5 mph. The chance of precipitation is 60%.

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: 319 cfs at 2.02 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)

Oconaluftee River: Rate 351 cfs at 1.63 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)

Cataloochee Creek: Rate 1xxx cfs (ice) NOT Working at 2.49 ft (good wading
conditions up to 125 with extra caution up to 150 cfs)

Little Pigeon River doesn't have a station nearby. Yesterday, it was about normal

Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Fontana Lake. Probably
about normal.


Current Recommended Streams: Abrams Creek, but check the road access at
the park's Tweeter postings.

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

5.
Little Brown Stoneflies: 14
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 and Little Brown stoneflies will start very soon, if not already.

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, Winter stoneflies
or small Blue-winged Olives. Switch to the adult Cream Midge, if it is midges
hatching, Winter stonefly, 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

James Marsh
Copyright 2015 James Marsh
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