Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 03/30/15
I'm up very early this morning in order to get to a hospital in Knoxville by 7:00 AM to
do a little stressing out. They want to make sure the old heart is still working well
enough for them to put the old man to sleep, so they can blast out a kidney stone the
size of a Big Creek boulder. They put it off because my pre-operation EKG looked
like a school of crappie on a chart recorder.
The past weekend's weather wasn't exactly the ideal picture perfect Smoky Mountain
fly fishing photo day. With temperatures well below freezing, struggling mom and pop
fly shops failed to mention the word snow, and made Saturday appear that it would
be a great day to start wet wading. The mountains were beautiful all weekend and
the weather sure didn't keep the traffic on the Pigeon Forge strip from being bumper
The Bradford Pear winter is over and some very nice spring weather is on the way.
Along with warming temperatures comes spring showers, and we can expect some
more of that, but the stream levels are below normal, so everything looks as if it is
lining up very well for this coming week and weekend. I hope everyone gets an
opportunity to catch some Smoky Mountain wild trout during the next few days.
Back during the winter, for something to write about when ice covered the banks of
our streams, I posted some old family fishing pictures. I think one of them was this
picture of my youngest daughter Carla, sitting in one of my many Ranger bass boats.
Weather: (At Gatlinburg at about 1600 ft)
Today, expect more showers, mainly before 8am this morning. The high will be near
60 degrees. West wind will be from 5 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. The
chance of precipitation is 80%. Tonight's low will be around 35.
Tuesday, will be sunny with a high near 68. West wind will be from 5 to 10 mph.
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: 260 cfs at 2.08 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 488 cfs at 1.88 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: Rate 113 cfs at 2.62 ft (good wading conditions up to 125 with
extra caution up to 150 cfs)
Little Pigeon River doesn't have a station nearby. It was in good shape yesterday
Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Fontana Lake. My guess
is they are in good shape.
Current Recommended Streams: You should be able to fish any lower to
medium elevation stream.
Recommended Trout Flies:
Hook Size 20/18
Blue Quills: 18
Quill Gordons: 12/14
Little Black Caddis: 18
Brown and White Belly Sculpins:
Hook Size 6
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, I would fish a size 18 Blue Quill Nymph. They are
little crawler nymphs that are easily caught and eaten by trout and are currently
If you spot something hatching (coming off the water) that is relatively small, it will
most likely be Blue Quills, Blue-winged Olives,or Little Black Caddis. It it is relatively
large, it will be a Quill Gordon. Change to the appropriate emerger, dun or adult
imitations of the insect. If you see Blue Quills, BWOs, or Quill Gordons hatching,
there will be a spinner fall late in the day. Often, you can catch more trout fishing the
spinner fall quicker than you can during the hatch. Change to the spinner imitation of
Tips for Beginners:
Tips for the Self Proclaimed Experts:
Whatever Hits Me:
Copyright 2015 James Marsh
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Yesterday, her older sister Stacy, sent me this picture of Carla, with a huge bass
she caught this past week fishing on Lay Lake near her home in Sylacauga,
Alabama. No, it wasn't caught on a fly but I'm showing it, well, probably because I
can show whatever I want to show. It is a very large bass and I'm proud of her.
These days, Carla Bowden, fishes with her husband from their Ranger Bass
boat. Carla is a special education teacher at B. B. Comer Memorial High