Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 04/16/15
Right when you need them the most, the National Weather Service guys cop out on
us. I asked Biddie, our child dog, if it would rain from now thought the weekend and
she indicated it might rain, but it might not rain. She isn't getting paid a dime for her
The PhD's at the federal government's weather department are giving a fifty percent
chance of rain today for the Smokies. In other words, they don't know whether it will
rain or not. They are predicting It might rain or it might not rain.
What's important about that is this. The streams are for the most part "blown out",
right now at 5:30AM, this morning, but they are falling. If it didn't rain a drop today,
some of the small streams on the Tennessee side of the park, could possibly be
fished by wading late this afternoon. If it didn't rain at all for the next couple of days,
conditions would be perfect. If it rains very much more, the streams could be flooded.
The North Carolina side of the park is worse off. They received more rain and the
stream levels are higher.
For the benefit of those planning on coming to the Smokies to fish for the weekend,
as usual on Thursday, I will try to give as accurate of an assessment of the stream
conditions as possible. The current weather situation makes that difficult. I'll put it like
this. I think you have about a 75% chance of being able to wade streams and
fish on Saturday, and about a 50% chance of having to deal with streams that
will be blown out on Sunday. Of course, that also means it may not rain much
more, and the water levels may continue to fall, and the fly fishing opportunities may
be good all weekend. If I was planning a rather long distance trip to the Smokies for
this coming weekend and could easily re-schedule it for another time, I would do so. If
I wouldn't have another good opportunity to fish the Smokies for a month or two, I
would head this way.
Weather: (At Gatlinburg at about 1600 ft)
Today, there is a 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. It will be mostly
cloudy with a high near 68. Southeast wind will range from 5 to 10 mph becoming
light in the afternoon.
Friday, there is a slight chance of showers, with thunderstorms also possible after
noon. It will be partly sunny with a high near 75. Light north wind will increase to 5 to
10 mph in the afternoon. The chance of precipitation is 20%.
Saturday, there is a slight chance of showers, then a chance of showers and
thunderstorms after 2pm. It will be mostly cloudy, with a high near 74. East wind will
be around 5 mph becoming north in the afternoon. The chance of precipitation is
30%. Saturday night, there is a chance of showers and thunderstorms, then showers
likely and possibly a thunderstorm after 8pm. The chance of precipitation is 70%.
Sunday, you can expect showers and thunderstorms. The high will be near 71. The
chance of precipitation is 80%.
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: 685 cfs at 2.89 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 1670 cfs at 3.24 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: Rate 234 cfs at 3.05 ft (good wading conditions up to 125 with
extra caution up to 150 cfs)
Little Pigeon River doesn't have a station nearby. According to Angie, it was high,
too high to wade, yesterday afternoon.
Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Fontana Lake. Customers
are reporting they are blown out..
Current Recommended Streams: Only the very small streams at the higher
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
Hendricksons/Red Quills: 12/14
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.
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
Tips for Beginners:
Tips for the Self Proclaimed Experts:
Whatever Hits Me:
Copyright 2015 James Marsh
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