Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 09/19/15
Surprise, Surprise! I sat down at my computer this early morning, clicked on the
Smoky website, clicked on the Little River USGS link (wondering just how low the
streams were going to get before it rained) and noticed it was up 2 cfs from
yesterday morning. I knew immediately, the tubers couldn't possible spill or otherwise
do away with that much beer in a day, so, I checked the precipitation map. It shows it
actually rained on most of the Tennessee side of the park and the surrounding
foothills. The great majority was shown less than a tenth of an inch, but one area
near Gatlinburg, shows over a tenth of an inch. Granted, I used more water than that
watering the lawn, but it was enough to increase the reading of the USGS gauge..
This data is collected from radar, and I suspect can be distorted a little by rain above
the ground that evaporates prior to reaching the ground, but according to the
weather experts, not near to the extent that would measure a tenth of an inch. Why
did the Little River USGS gauge show and increase? It rained in the park within the
As you probably know, the National Weather Service showed a zero chance of rain
yesterday, and day before yesterday, but it actually rained some both days. Here is
the point of my long explanation, other than to just have something to write about. I
have been looking forward to the rain they have been predicting for the most all of
next week; however, I just noticed they have drastically reduced the percentages
(chances of rain) they have been giving all week down to ten to a maximum of thirty
percent chance. In other words, they are now saying, there isn't much chance of rain
next week. Isn't is great that they don't know what the XXX they are doing?
I'm counting on Mother Nature. She is the only one qualified to say anything about
Weather: (At Gatlinburg at about 1600 ft)
Today, it shouldn't rain but probably will.
Tomorrow, it shouldn't rain but probably will.
I'm kidding, but you can click the link above if you want some more worthless
Smoky Mountain Stream Conditions:
The streams with links that have nearby USGS Station Real-time stream data: Click
the links to see updates: Interesting: The Little River gauge is now shown 3 cfs
below what it showed 30 minutes ago.
Little River: Rate: 33 cfs at 1.05 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 109 cfs at 0.94 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: Rate 20 cfs at 2.05 ft (good wading conditions up to 125 with
extra caution up to 150 cfs)
Little Pigeon River: It is flowing low, below a normal level.
Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Fontana Lake:
Hazel and other streams draining into Cherokee Lake are low, well below normal.
Current Recommended Streams:
Any of the middle to higher elevations. It is going to be in the low eighties today, so
except for early in the morning, I suggest you avoid the lower elevations.
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 a Cream Cahill or
Little Yellow Quill. Change to the appropriate emerger, dun or adult imitations of the
When the Slate Drakes, Mahogany Duns, and BWOs 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 stoneflies are hatching, but of course, these hatches take place during
the evenings. All stoneflies crawl out of the water to hatch. Fishing a 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.
Tips for Beginners:
Don't let anyone intimidate you by contending that fly fishing is more difficult to learn
and master than other types of fishing. It isn't.
Tips for the Self Proclaimed Experts:
Whatever Hits Me:
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