Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 04/18/15
Today, looks like a good day for fly fishing the streams of the Smokies provided you
choose some of the easy to wade smaller streams. The large streams have heavy
current and will be much more difficult and less safe to wade. The streams on the
Tennessee side of the park are in better shape than those on the North Carolina
side of the park right now, but there are plenty of small ones that you can fish on the
North Carolina side.

Another reason to fish the smaller streams is, in general, they are at higher
elevations and have more aquatic insects hatching at this time. I'm not referring to
those in the high elevation. By higher elevations, I mean the smaller size streams in
the middle elevations of the park where you may still find some little brown stoneflies
and maybe even some Blue Quills hatching. The lower elevations have fewer
hatches taking place right now but that will change within the next few days. There
are Hendricksons and Red Quills hatching in the lower elevations, but they hatch in
pools, and those will be tough to fish today. American March Browns have also
started to hatch and I'm guilty of not listing them below on schedule. I added them
this morning.

Weather: (At Gatlinburg at about 1600 ft)  
Today, there is a 20 percent chance of showers. It will be partly sunny with a high
near 78. Northeast wind will be around 5 mph. Tonight, there is a chance of showers
and thunderstorms, then showers and possibly a thunderstorm after 11pm. The low
will be around 60. The chance of precipitation is 80%.

Sunday, expect showers and possibly a thunderstorm. The high will be near 77.
Southwest wind will range from 5 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. The
chance of precipitation is 90%.

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: 502 cfs at 2.60 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)

Oconaluftee River: Rate 1060 cfs at 2.63 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. It was too high to wade, as of
yesterday afternoon.

Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Fontana Lake. Customers
are reporting they high but falling. Currently, too high too wade.

Current Recommended Streams:  Small streams at the middle to higher
elevations..

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

Blue Quills: 18
nymphs
emergers
duns
spinners

American March Browns: 10/12
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-winged Olive Nymph.
They are little swimming nymphs that are easily caught and eaten by trout and are
currently hatching. 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 Hendrickson or American March Brown.
Change to the appropriate emerger, dun or adult imitations of the insect. If you see
Blue Quills, BWOs, March Browns or Hendricksons/Red Quills 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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