Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 04/20/15
All the streams in the park are blown out this morning. It couldn't happen at a better
time for those who can only fish on weekends. I know it isn't good news for those who
selected this week for their fishing vacation, but that's the way it goes sometimes. All
the warnings were there. Let's hope the levels drop soon.
Derek Porter fished the Cataloochee Valley a few days about ten days ago, and I'm
just now posting some of the many fine images he sent me. Nothing changed for
Derek. He always manages to bring rain up from Atlanta each and every time he
comes up to fish the Smokies. He still always manages to catch plenty of trout when
many guys would rather use the high water as an excuse. Fishing the high water
levels isn't exactly easy, but he proved once again, it can be done successfully.
Weather: (At Gatlinburg at about 1600 ft)
Today, there is a 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly after
2pm. It will be mostly cloudy, with a high near 72. Southwest wind will range from 10
to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.
Tuesday, will be mostly sunny with a high near 65. West wind will range from 5 to 15
mph with gusts as high as 20 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: 1320 cfs at 3.71 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 2530 cfs at 3.95 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: Rate 398 cfs at 3.49 ft (good wading conditions up to 125 with
extra caution up to 150 cfs)
Little Pigeon River doesn't have a station nearby. I feel sure it is blown out this
Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Fontana Lake. I feel sure
they are blown out.
Current Recommended Streams: None
Recommended Trout Flies:
Hook Size 20/18
Blue Quills: 18
American March Browns: 10/12
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
Eastern Green Drakes: 4/6 (Abrams Creek Only)
Cinnamon Caddis: 16/18
Giant Black Stoneflies: 4/6
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-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.
Giant Black Stoneflies should begin to hatch any day now. Fishing a Giant Black
Stonefly nymph very late in the afternoon near sunset may produce a very large trout
for you. The nymphs are coming out from under their hiding places to fully develop
their wing pads.
Tips for Beginners:
Tips for the Self Proclaimed Experts:
Whatever Hits Me:
Copyright 2015 James Marsh
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If you look very closely, near the top of the stream on the left, you will see a person
fishing high water on Cataloochee Creek.
The above are thumbnail images, click to enlarge.
The upper left image shows that Little Brown
Stoneflies were still around.
Directly above image shows one of the fat
Upper right image shows a typical brookie in the
many small streams in the Cataloochee Valley.
The above image shows the smaller streams are easier to fish than the large ones
when the water levels are high.