Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 07/21/15
Sorry, I'm running late this morning. Most of the streams in the park got a little rain
yesterday. Here are some more Brook Trout Streams for you to consider fishing.
Walkers Camp Prong (Tributary of the West Prong of Little Pigeon River)
This is the easiest to access brook trout stream in the park. Probably all of you that
have visited the Smokies to fish have heard of Walkers Camp Prong. It, along with
Road Prong, forms the West Prong of Little Pigeon River. It has a population of both
rainbows and brook trout. Most all of this stream flows along highway #441. Where it
does venture out of sight of the highway, it's only a short distance away.
This is an easy to fish brook trout stream because it's not that steep. It falls on a more
moderate declination and offers a few miles of good brook trout fishing. Most of the
brookies are small but there are some that may reach 9 inches or even more. You
will probably catch as many rainbows and you do brook trout, especially in the lower
and middle sections of the stream.
Walkers Camp Prong has a small tributary with brook trout - Alum Cave Creek. It
offers about a mile of trail access. It can be accessed at the \Alum Cave/Mt.LeConte
Tailhead on highway #441. I think it is something you may want to try, but I haven't
ever found it to be near as good as Walker's Camp.
West Prong of Little Pigeon River
The West Prong of the Little Pigeon River isn't a brook trout stream as such, but it
has brook trout from its beginning downstream to as low as the upper part of the
Chimney Picnic Area. It not only has some, it has some very large ones. I think the
reason is that it is just a product of the size of the stream, more than anything. It isn't
The river also has plenty of rainbow trout. There's far more of them than brook trout
but you will still pick up some brook trout and again, i will emphasize that you may
catch some very nice ones.
There's a good reason few anglers are aware of this. Few anglers have fished this
section of the West Prong of Little Pigeon River. It's in a deep gorge or canyon-like
area that's very difficult to access. You can access it from the Chimney Picnic area
but getting upstream is very tough. To wade within the stream is rough due to the
room size boulders and deep pools. Hiking upstream is tough because of the thick
undergrowth surrounding the stream and the steep declines of the banks. You want
find a trial.
When you try to get out of the area, you have a steep, tough climb up to highway
#441. It would be a tough challenge (to say the least) to fish from the Picnic Area to
the Chimney Tops Trail, which is the first official access point to the river from the
Picnic area upstream. That means you would need to climb out at some other point
along #441. From the Tennessee side of the park, as you drive up from the highway
from the entrance to the Picnic Area to the Chimney Top Trailhead, you can look
down off to your right and see the area the stream flows through. In the winter when
the leaves are gone, you can see some of the stream well below the road.
If you fish this area, I recommend you have someone along with you. If you happen to
have an accident in this area, you don't want to be by yourself. It could be days
before anyone just happened to come along and find you.
Weather: (At Gatlinburg at about 1600 ft)
Today, there is a 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. It will be partly
sunny with a high near 87. West wind will range from 5 to 15 mph, with gusts as high
as 20 mph.
Wednesday, there's a 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly after
2pm. It will be mostly sunny, with a high near 86. Wind will be calm to 5 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: Rate: 187 cfs at 1.82 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 304 cfs at 1.53 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: Rate 55 cfs at 2.32 ft (good wading conditions up to 125 with
extra caution up to 150 cfs)
Little Pigeon River: It is 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
Green Sedges (Caddis): 14/16
larva (green rock worms)
Slate Drakes: 10/12
Little Yellow Stoneflies: 14
Little Green Stoneflies: 16
Light Cahills: 14/16
Cream Cahills: 14/16
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.
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:
Tips for the Self Proclaimed Experts:
Whatever Hits Me:
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