Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 09/01/15
I have changed the recommended trout flies listed below. I'm actually a couple of
weeks behind on two of them. Notice, I put the Blue-winged olives back on the list.
Blue-winged olive is the single biggest catch-all common name of all the mayflies you
will find in a trout stream. Not only do they include the Baetis species which you
commonly hear about, they include several other genera (sub-family groups) and
even a completely different family than the Baetis species are in. The Drunella genus
is an Ephemereellid. Those are the Eastern Blue Olives that are, by the way, in the
same family as the large Western Green Drakes.
They all look much alike but are different sizes and prefer different types of water.
You will see the big Eastern Blue-winged olives on cloudy, overcast days during
September and early October, but they are usually sparse hatches. You will find the
duns, upside down, under the large leafs on the trees and bushes. You would have
to be looking for them. They will mate over the water and the spinners fall just about
The Little Blue-winged olives are Acentrella and Diphetor species. I'm not going to
name any of the species because that will just add to the confusion and isn't
important other than for you to know there several of them. Most fly fishing books
calls these Small BWOs, and sometimes Little BWOs. They hatch in large numbers
and on cloudy, overcast days, can sometimes be seen in large swarms when the
spinners are mating over the water. They are very hard to tell from the Mahogany
Duns which also hatch during the next month. They are not swimming nymphs, rather
crawlers. So are the larger Eastern Blue Winged Olives, so there are actually two
different types of nymphs that are called Blue-winged olives. What difference does it
make? For one thing,l they don't live in the same type of water. You won't find them
in the same places in the streams.
I also added the Little Yellow Quills and Needle Stoneflies. There are large
populations of these but they are mostly in the middle to high elevations in moderate
flowing water. You will find them in many of the brook trout streams. You will probably
think the Needle stoneflies are caddis. They resemble them a lot when they are
flying, but not when they stop beating their wings. When they are hatching in the
brook trout streams, you can catch a brook trout on just about every cast if you are
using a good imitation of them.
Weather: (At Gatlinburg at about 1600 ft)
Today, there's a slight chance of showers between 8am and noon, then a slight
chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. Partly sunny, with a high near 84.
The chance of precipitation is 20%.
Wednesday, there is a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 2pm.
It will be mostly sunny with a high near 87.
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: 40 cfs at 1.14 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 135 cfs at 1.05 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: Rate 25 cfs at 2.10 ft (good wading conditions up to 125 with
extra caution up to 150 cfs)
Little Pigeon River: It is low, but not to low to fish.
Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Fontana Lake:
Hazel is low again, but still okay to fish.
Current Recommended Streams:
Any of the streams above about the 2500 foot elevation. I think you should avoid the
Little River watershed. It is very low.
Recommended Trout Flies:
Brown and White Belly Sculpins:
Hook Size 6
Blue-winged olives: 18/20 and 14
(Little BWOs, Acentrella, Diphetor 20/18's and Eastern BWOs, Drunella 14s
Slate Drakes: 10/12
Little Yellow Stoneflies: 14/16
Little Yellow Quills: 16
Needle Stoneflies: 16/18
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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