Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 03/04/15
Today, will be nice and warm, but the streams are all blown out. The levels shown
below were posted at 4:30 AM this morning and they will continue to rise. You may
possibly find a small stream low enough to wade, but I seriously doubt it. Tomorrow,
will be even worse, with high water and turning cold again with temps dropping to 30
by mid afternoon with sleet possible.

During the high water times, if you chose to fish in spite of the poor conditions (and I
have always enjoyed doing just that), keep in mind our Perfect Fly
Brown Sculpin and
White Belly Sculpin streamers are always a good choice due to the large number of
sculpins in the streams. If the water gets stained and off color, and it most likely
already is, the Yellow Marabou Sculpin streamer, or Black Marabou Streamer works
better.

Weather: (At Gatlinburg at about 1600 ft)  
Showers are likely today. It will be mostly cloudy with a high near 61. Southwest wind
will be from 5 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. The chance of precipitation is
70%. Tonight, more rain with a low of around 35. The chance of precipitation is 90%.

Thursday, more rain, freezing rain, and sleet before 2pm, then freezing rain and sleet
is likely. The temperature will be falling to around 30 by 4pm. North wind will be
around 10 mph. The chance of precipitation is 100%. New ice accumulation of less
than a 0.1 of an inch is possible. New sleet accumulation of less than a half inch is
possible. Thursday night, there's a 30 percent chance of snow showers, mainly
before 8pm. The low will be around 18.

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: 1250 cfs at 3.24 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)

Oconaluftee River: Rate 1370 cfs at 2.95 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)

Cataloochee Creek: Rate 306 cfs at 3265 ft (good wading conditions up to 125 with
extra caution up to 150 cfs)

Little Pigeon River doesn't have a station nearby. I'm sure it is blown out.

Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Fontana Lake. Probably
blown out


Current Recommended Streams:  Any low elevation stream but only for fishing
from the bank. I don't think any of the small streams will be suitable for wading but I
guess it is possible some are.

Recommended Trout Flies:
Blue-winged Olives:
Hook Size 20/18
nymphs
emergers
duns
spinners

Blue Quills: 18
nymphs
emergers
duns
spinners

Quill Gordons: 12/14
nymphs
emerging duns
duns
spinners

Little Black Caddis: 18
pupa
adults

Brown and White Belly Sculpins:
Hook Size 6

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 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. Little Brown stoneflies are crawling out of the water to
hatch.

If the water is below 43 degrees, I would stick with the BWO nymph. It it is above that,
I would change to a Blue Quill nymphs. They are little crawler nymphs that are easily
caught and eaten by trout and should be nearing their hatch times.

If you spot something hatching, it will most likely be Cream Midges, Little Brown
stoneflies or small Blue-winged Olives. Little Winter stoneflies could also still be
around hatching. Switch to the adult Little Brown 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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