Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 04/01/15
I don't think conditions for fly fishing the streams of the park could get any better in
the early spring season than they are right now. Notice, I have added Hendricksons
and Red Quills to the recommended trout fly list below. I feel sure they will start
hatching this week in the lower elevations of the park.

Although the crawler nymph Hendricksons/Red Quills are not all that plentiful overall,
where they do exist they are very important and plentiful. That is mostly pools with
slow to moderate flowing water. That should explain why there isn't a large overall
population of them. Most of the streams consist of fast, pocket water. By the way, the
Hendrickson is the female and the Red Quill the male. They have different common
names because both the dun and the spinner males and females are very different in
appearance. Also, you should be aware that the spinner fall can be even more
important than the duns during the hatch. They seem to all fall at about the same
time.

Weather: (At Gatlinburg at about 1600 ft)  
Today, will be sunny with a high near 71. North wind will be around 5 mph in the
afternoon. Tonight, there is a  20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms
after 3am. The low will be around 45.

Thursday, there's a 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly after
9am. It will be partly sunny with a high near 68. South wind will range from 5 to 10
mph. The low Thursday night will be around 56. The chance of precipitation is 40%.

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

Oconaluftee River: Rate 512 cfs at 1.92 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)

Cataloochee Creek: Rate 121 cfs at 2.65 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
afternoon.

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:
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

Hendricksons/Red Quills: 12/14
nymphs
emergers
duns - males and females
spinners - males and females

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, 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
hatching. If you happen to know where Quill Gordons are currently hatching, you
should start out in the morning fishing a Quill Gordon nymph.

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
the mayfly.

Tips for Beginners:
None

Tips for the Self Proclaimed Experts:
None

Whatever Hits Me:
Thank you

James Marsh
Copyright 2015 James Marsh
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