Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 07/20/15
We are back to having to deal with the kind of weather forecast that makes me proud
of our National Weather Service and all the advances in technology. We have come
a long way. In essence, today, we can expect it might rain but on the other hand, it
might not rain. There is a 50% chance it might rain and a 50% chance in might not.

Since we are dealing with hot air temperatures and fishing in the higher elevations is
popular at this time of the year, I will provide a little more information on some of the
park's brook trout streams. Here are three to get started with.

LeConte Creek:
Some of you may not know that LeConte Creek that flows along Cherokee Orchard
Road just outside the city limits of Gatlinburg has brook trout. In fact, I think it was the
first stream that the park fishery people restored with native brook trout.

It's very easy to access and probably quite fragile in the sense that it could easily be
over-fished. If you do fish it, please keep that in mind. It can be accessed from the
Rainbow Falls Trail.

Road Prong (Tributary of West Prong of Little Pigeon River)
Road Prong is one of the best brook trout streams in the park that's fairly easily to  
access. It can be reached from the same popular trail that leads to the Chimney
Tops. When I say, easy to access, I'm only referring to getting to the stream. I'm not
referring to fishing it once you are there. That is an entirely different thing.

The Chimney Tops trail leads to the Road Prong Trail. It is about a mile from the
highway #441 Chimney Tops trailhead. There are points where the trail cross the
creek just about the entire length of Road Prong, and that's where most anglers
access the stream. In most places, the creek is very difficult to reach from the trail.
The trail is high above the stream in many areas, and about impossible to reach in
most places except at the trail crossings.

This isn't exactly a very small stream. If the water is at a normal level or higher, it's
tough to wade, and must be done within the stream. It requires a lot of boulder
climbing. The upper sections are generally steeper and even tougher to maneuver
but there's plenty of beautiful brook trout in the stream for those willing to go to a little
extra effort. Most people that fish this stream fish it from the first two or three points
where the trails cross the stream. Few venture farther than the first mile or two
upstream of its beginning.

The Raven Fork:
Of all the serious anglers that fish the Smokies that I have had the privilege to talk to,
there's one thing they all seem to agree on. They think the Raven Fork is the best
brook trout stream in the Smokies. Now, don't get this wrong, because they all have
other places they consider their favorite personal choice to fish, but it isn't because
they don't think the Raven Fork has more, larger brook trout than any stream in the
park. It's for other reasons.

One reason the "plenty of big brook trout story" is true is the fact the Raven Fork is
the largest pure brook trout stream in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. There's
just more water and more food for the brook trout. It's also very well protected, and
by that I mean it's difficult enough to access to get to keep most anglers away from it.

Even when you get to the stream, access is limited to basically only one general area
and that's the one and only point a trail crosses the stream. Below that point is
considered one of the roughest, most difficult to access areas in the park. The
stream flows through an almost impossible to access canyon, or gorge.

I have talked to some local Cherokee residents that have lived near the stream
where it exits the park their entire life. They all told me that at one point or another
they have ventured into the gorge, and they all seem rather happy they did. They will
quickly tell you the reason why they're glad they "climbed" into the gorge is that they
know not to ever go back there again. Seriously, there are some ways to get there by
crossing private property, but I'm told it's of little or no value because it is almost
impossible to get down to the creek and when you do, you cannot transverse it and
maneuver around well enough to fish it other than at the particular point you reach it.
According to the ones that have tried it, it's getting back out that the problem.

The reason I was so inquisitive about it was I tried to find an easier way to fish it than
via the Hyatt Ridge Trail. From what I can determine, an easier access just doesn't
exist. To get there, you need to enter the park on the Straight Fork Creek gravel
road. The entrance is just above the confluence of Raven Fork and Straight Fork
Creeks. Travel up the gravel road to the Hyatt Ridge Trailhead.

Now, here's the easy part. Walk 1.9 miles up the mountain to the Enloe Creek Trail.
Then walk down the mountain to the Raven Fork, a distance of about a mile. There,
you'll find a bridge across the Raven Fork and campsite #47. You can venture
though the campsite and up an angler made trial for a short ways and fish, but
there's not a trail that follows the Raven Fork. You have to fish up or downstream,
and of course, fishing downstream usually spooks a lot of fish.

Fishing through and around the deep pools isn't easy. Climbing over the huge
boulders and though the thick undergrowth isn't easy. If the water is a little high,
forget wading the stream. You probably won't be able to do that, at least not safely.
It's best fished under low water conditions.

In other words, fishing the Raven Fork isn't easy, even when you're there. My guess
is that about 90% of the brook trout in the stream doesn't see a fly the entire season
and that's a full calendar year in the Smokies.


Weather: (At Gatlinburg at about 1600 ft)  
Today, there's a 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly after
noon. It will be partly sunny with a high near 89. Light west wind will range from 5 to
10 mph.

Tuesday, showers and thunderstorms are likely, mainly after 2pm. It will be partly
sunny with a high near 86. West wind will be 5 to 10 mph. The chance of precipitation
is 60%.


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: 159 cfs at 1.72 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs
)

Oconaluftee River: Rate 291 cfs at 1.50 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)

Cataloochee Creek: Rate 50 cfs at 2.29 ft (good wading conditions up to 125 with
extra caution up to 150 cfs)

Little Pigeon River: It is back at a good level to fish.

Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Fontana Lake:
They are back in good condition.

Current Recommended Streams:
Any of the streams above about the 2500 foot elevation. It is going to be hot again
today. This is summertime.

Recommended Trout Flies:

Brown and White Belly Sculpins:
Hook Size 6

Cinnamon Caddis: (mostly Abrams but a few in all of the streams) 16/18
larva
pupa
adults

Green Sedges (Caddis): 14/16
larva (green rock worms)
pupa
adults

Slate Drakes: 10/12
nymphs
emergers

Little Yellow Stoneflies: 14
nymphs
adults

Little Green Stoneflies: 16
nymphs
adults

Light Cahills: 14/16
nymphs
emergers
duns
spinners

Cream Cahills: 14/16
nymphs
emergers
duns
spinners

Inch Worms: Hook size : 10/12/14

Green/Tan/Orange Hoppers: 10/12

Black Carpenter Ants: 16/18

Japanese Beetles: 16/14

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:
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 the Slate Drake nymph. They are big swimming
nymphs that are easily caught and eaten by trout and are still hatching. If you spot
something else hatching (coming off the water), it will most likely be Light or Cream
Cahills. Change to the appropriate emerger, dun or adult imitations of the insect.

When the Slate Drakes, Light or Cream Cahills 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 the mayfly.

Little Yellow and Little Green stoneflies are hatching, but of course, these hatches
take place during the evenings. Both species of stoneflies crawl out of the water to
hatch. Fishing a Little Green Stonefly nymph or Little Yellow Stonefly nymph, very
late in the afternoon near sunset should produce. If you see the stoneflies depositing
their eggs on the surface of the water, switch to the adult imitation of the stonefly.

As mentioned above, Light and Cream 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:
None

Tips for the Self Proclaimed Experts:
None

Whatever Hits Me:
Thank you for visiting our website

James Marsh
Copyright 2015 James Marsh
Sign Up For a FREE subscription to the Perfect Fly "Fishing Journal"

* required

*



Email & Social Media Marketing by VerticalResponse
Please enter your e-mail address in
the box to sign up for a free
subscription to the Perfect Fly "Fishing
Journal". It  includes feature articles on
blue-ribbon destinations , fly fishing
techniques, and many other types of
articles of interest to any fly angler. You
can opt out at any time. If you decide
you don't want to receive our
information, just change your status by
clicking at the bottom of an e-mail we
send you in the "Remove" box. We will
not sell or give your e-mail address to
anyone
If you haven't signed up
previously, please sign up for our
Free Perfect Fly Fishing Journal.
Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us (sales@perfectflystore.com)
with the dates you will be fishing the park
and we will send you a list of our fly
suggestions. Please allow up to 24 hours for
a response.

2. Call us at 800-594-4726 and we will help
you decide which flies you need.

3. Call or
email us
(sales@perfectflystore.com)
with a budget for flies and we will select
them and get them to you in time for your trip.

Shipping is free in the U. S. for all orders of
any size. Orders over $50 are shipped free
via Priority Mail.
New Perfect Fly Snake River Fly Vest and
Backpack Combination.
Click Here for the Details
NEW Perfect Fly "Pro Line" Fly Rods:
I will assure you, that you cannot buy a finer fly rod than this for the price.
It is $195.00 including the case
, in 4, 5 and 6 weight. It is a 4 piece, 9 foot
fly rod that is equal or better than most $400.00 fly rods on the market.
Click Here To Check Out The Details
Fly Fishing The Great Smoky
Mountains National Park:
(Year-round Dry Fly Fishing) This new
DVD (2 Disc Set) provides over 4 hours
of fly fishing for trout in the park.  See
all of the streams and witness the
action. Learn everything you need to
know in order to  successfully catch
brown, brook  and rainbow trout on the
fly. Fishing methods, strategies and
much more are covered. Learn all
about the insects and other food the
trout eat and how to imitate it.  
Techniques for each season of the
year are covered.
Chick Here For More Information
Perfect Fly "Fly Boxes"
Over ten (10) different models of fly
boxes from very small to very large sizes
for all types of flies.  
Click Here To Check Out The Details
Perfect Fly "Leaders"
Over fourteen (14) different sizes
and types of leaders. We also
have 71/2 foot small stream
leaders in several sizes.  
Click Here To Check Out The
Details
Perfect Fly "Getting Started " Fly Fishing Set.
This set has everything you need to get started fly fishing at at
a very low price of $175.00 including shipping. It contains over
$300.00 of fly fishing items if purchased separately.  
Click Here For Detailed Information.  
Perfect Fly Fishing
Journal Archive -
Sign
up below to receive
current issues:
April, 2015
January, 2015
October, 2014
June, 2014
March, 2015
November, 2013
August, 2013