Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 08/26/15
When is a good time to go fishing?. That's a simple question and the correct answer
is, "anytime you can". The reason it's a simple question with a simple answer is the
time one has for such enjoyable recreational activities will not only be limited by work
and other important responsibilities, there will be times you won't be physically able to
fish. I was planning on posting a good Smoky Mountain fishing report from my friend
Harvey this morning, but instead, he let his doctor go gallbladder fishing. The Doc
caught it and didn't release it. Now, Harvey is laid up in the bed dreaming about
native Appalachian brook trout rising to his dry fly.
In 1980, when the very first television station accepted my pilot fishing program, that
at the time was called "The Gulf Coast Angler", the production manager at the station
informed me that I needed to write a script for the opening and closing of the
program. I had less than a week to write and produce it. I went to my home in Mobile
from the station in Pensacola, sat down on the couch, and wrote the following.
"I hope you enjoyed the program folks. Do yourself a favor and take a child fishing.
You will gain a friend for a lifetime, but teach the youngsters to protect our wonderful
natural resources so that future generations have the same opportunities that we
have. If God didn't intend for us to spend more time fishing than working, he wouldn't
have put more water here than land. So enjoy your fishing and keep what you need,
but release the rest for me to catch. Until next week, this is James Marsh, wishing you
the best of luck."
A couple of years later, my friend Ed Katric, called and said he had heard a new
song that I should use for the opening and closing of the program - "Lord I hope this
day is good", by Don Williams. I did use it and in fact, used it for the next three years.
It became the very first national syndicated television series devoted primarily to
By the way, I had to change the name of the Program from "The Gulf Coat Angler", to
"Fishing with James Marsh", after the first year because I expanded the program to
several more stations and was producing programs on the Atlantic and Caribbean as
well as the Gulf. Before the second year ended, we were shooting programs on the
Pacific as well. It ended up airing for five years on 26 stations, 52 weeks a year, at a
time when there were only three networks and a few independent TV stations. I never
had a reason to change the closing or the background music.
Weather: (At Gatlinburg at about 1600 ft)
Today, will be sunny with a high near 80. Light and variable wind will come fromthe
north at 5 to 10 mph.
Thursday, will be sunny with a high near 82.
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: 52 cfs at 1.22 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 154 cfs at 1.12 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: Rate 27 cfs at 2.11 ft (good wading conditions up to 125 with
extra caution up to 150 cfs)
Little Pigeon River: It is a low, but not to low to fish.
Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Fontana Lake:
According to customers, Hazel is low again, but still okay to fish.
Current Recommended Streams:
Any of the streams above about the 2000 foot elevation.
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
Mahogany Duns: 18
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.
Cream Cahills are hatching. Look for them in the faster water areas. They will get
caught up in the fast water runs and riffles. Mahogany Duns should start hatching
Tips for Beginners:
Tips for the Self Proclaimed Experts:
Whatever Hits Me:
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Copyright 2015 James Marsh
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