Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 05/19/15
It looks like the North Carolina side of the park received the most rain. Most of the
streams on that side of the park rose above their normal levels and have fell back
down to about normal. Little River received very little and rose slightly, but remains
low. I'm not sure about the Little Pigeon, but it appeared to have received more than
Little River. Neither side of the park received enough rain and low water condition are
going to remain for while longer. No more rain of any consequence is predicted for
the next few days.
Tomorrow, I'll be making a few changes in the below recommended list of flies. I'll be
dropping some and adding others, but I'm too busy on other things to do much with it
Weather: (At Gatlinburg at about 1600 ft)
Today, there is a 30 percent chance of showers. It will be mostly cloudy with a high
near 79. West wind will be around 5 mph becoming northwest in the afternoon.
Wednesday, expect patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, it will be sunny with a high
near 79. Calm wind becoming north around 5 mph in the afternoon.
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: Rate: 164 cfs at 1.74 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 430 cfs at 1.78 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: Rate 83 cfs at 2.48 ft (good wading conditions up to 125 with
extra caution up to 150 cfs)
Little Pigeon River doesn't have a station nearby but as of yesterday afternoon it
appeared to be about normal.
Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Fontana Lake:
My guess, based on the precipitation may, is they are about normal.
Current Recommended Streams: All the streams are okay.
Recommended Trout Flies:
Hook Size 20/18
American March Browns: 10/12
Brown and White Belly Sculpins:
Hook Size 6
Eastern Green Drakes: 4/6 (Abrams Creek Only)
Cinnamon Caddis: (mostly Abrams but a few in all of the streams) 16/18
Green Caddis: 14/16
larva (green rock worms)
Giant Black Stoneflies: 4/6
Eastern Pale Evening Duns: 14 (called sulphurs by some)
Little Yellow Stoneflies: 16/14
Light Cahills: 16
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.
If you fished the day or two before and know where something is hatching, fish the
nymph or larva stage of it. If you haven't fished the day or two before, 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 still hatching. If
you spot something else hatching (coming off the water) that is relatively small, it will
most likely be Light Cahills. It it is relatively large, it will probably be an Eastern Pale
Evening Dun or American March Brown. Change to the appropriate emerger, dun or
adult imitations of the insect.
When March Browns, Light Cahills or Eastern Pale Evening Duns are 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
Giant Black Stoneflies and Little Yellow stoneflies are hatching, but of course, this
takes place during the evenings. Fishing a Giant Black Stonefly nymph or Little
Yellow Stonefly nymph very late in the afternoon near sunset should produce. If you
see the little stoneflies depositing their eggs on the surface of the water, switch to the
adult imitation of the Little Yellow stonefly.
Eastern Pale Evening Duns, often called Sulphurs but not true Sulphurs (which will
hatch later on), are still hatching in some areas. These are not any and everywhere,
but some of the larger pools. Sulphurs should begin to hatch anytime now. I will add
them to the list later this week.
As mentioned above, Light Cahills are hatching. Look for them in the faster water
areas. They will get caught up in the fast water runs and riffles.
Tips for Beginners:
Tips for the Self Proclaimed Experts:
Whatever Hits Me:
Copyright 2015 James Marsh
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