Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 02/26/15
We got several more inches of snow last night, on top of about 4 or 5 inches. I'm not
sure what the depth is. I'm not going out to check it. Regardless of where you live,
you are probably experiencing the same thing or worse. After all, there is over twenty
more days of winter left. The only good news is there is a warming trend coming for
the first of next week, but along with it, probably a lot of rain. There's also a lot of
snow to melt in the mountains.
I will continue to keep the below fly recommendations posted - It is getting a
very good response:
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
Quill Gordons: 12/14
Little Black Caddis: 18
Weather: (At Gatlinburg at about 1600 ft)
As I normally do, I will give the forecast through the weekend for those who may be
considering a trip to the Smokies. There is a 20 percent chance of snow showers
today. It will be cloudy with a high near 35. Light west wind will come from the
northwest at 5 to 10 mph in the afternoon. Tonight, there's a 20 percent chance of
snow showers. The low will be around 22.
Friday, there's a 20 percent chance of snow showers before 11am. It will be mostly
cloudy with a high near 32. North wind will be from 5 to 10 mph. Friday night's low will
be around 18.
Saturday, will be partly sunny with a high near 39. The wind will be around 5 mph.
Saturday night's low will be around 27.
Sunday, there's a chance of snow between 8am and 10am, then a chance of rain
after 10am. It will be mostly cloudy with a high near 47. The chance of precipitation is
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: 465 cfs at 2.34 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 403 cfs at 1.73 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: Rate 109 cfs at 2.60 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 a little above
Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Fontana Lake. Probably
just above normal.
Current Recommended Streams: None, all the roads will be closed
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
5. Little Brown Stoneflies: 14
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 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
Tips for the Self Proclaimed Experts:
Whatever Hits Me:
Copyright 2015 James Marsh
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