Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 07/31/15
I noticed some of the streams in the park got lucky and caught one of the isolated
showers yesterday. Little River and Oconaluftee River levels both rose some but are
back down near the same as yesterday morning. The showers help some though.
The National Weather Service isn't showing any chance of rain for the Smokies until
next Tuesday, and then it is only back to the 20% range. In case you haven't noticed,
this is the last day of the month, meaning tomorrow is the first day of August.
One thing often overlooked is the low nightly temperature. At Gatlinburg, at 1600 feet
elevation, the low tonight will be around 65 degrees. That is a huge factor is keeping
the water temperatures on the high side. The air temperature is the main thing that
controls the water temperature, and the low air temperature simply isn't low enough
to make any difference except at the high elevations.
I still think the best option is to stay around 3000 feet or higher. That way you don't
have to worry about the water temperature being on the high side. Of course, that
means mostly brook trout fishing, but I can't think of anything wrong with that.
Weather: (At Gatlinburg at about 1600 ft)
Today, will be sunny with a high near 87. Light and variable wind will come from the
northeast at 5 to 10 mph in the morning. Low tonight, will be 65 degrees.
Saturday, will be sunny, with a high near 86.
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: 114 cfs at 1.54 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 215 cfs at 1.31 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: Rate 36 cfs at 2.19 ft (good wading conditions up to 125 with
extra caution up to 150 cfs)
Little Pigeon River: It is a little low but still at a good level to fish.
Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Fontana Lake:
They are all a little low but still in good condition.
Current Recommended Streams:
Any of the streams above about the 3000 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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