Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 10/02/15
There is a flood warning for Saturday and Sunday. It wouldn't be a good idea to
make a trip to the Smokies to fish the park. All the streams, except Cataloochee
Creek are too high to wade right now, and I don't think the decent levels there will last
past noon today. We need the water, so I think all in all, it is a good thing so far, just
as long as it really doesn't flood to the point it damages anyone's property. There are
a lot worse things to worry about.
Other than the giant screw up with the national defense situation in the east, a crisis
yet to reveal itself to the American public at face value, there are local things
happening to close for comfort that are difficult to conceive. I turned on the news
yesterday afternoon and noticed all the news guys were trying to explain where the
little town of Roseburg, Oregon is. They didn't need to use descriptions such as 180
miles south of Portland to inform me where it is. I was well aware it was on one of the
best trout, salmon, steelhead and smallmouth bass rivers in the nation, the Umpqua
I couldn't imagine what happened there taking place any more than I could it taking
place at a little community college in Townsend, Tennessee, if there were such a
thing. It would be similar to the same thing taking place in Bryson, City, North
Carolina, for example. In other words, a quite, lovely place to live and raise a family in
a setting others spend big dollars to visit to enjoy the beautiful scenery and maybe
None of it made any sense to me. You see, I update website pages on the main
Umpqua River and the famous North Fork Umpqua River, the finest wild steelhead
stream in the nation on a weekly basis. I talk to anglers fishing there, our local
contact that lives there, on a regular basis. We sell a lot of Perfect Fly steelehead
flies to anglers fishing there. The steelhead fishing is so good that the excellent trout
fishing in the headwaters and excellent smallmouth bass fishing in the lower rivers is
almost overlooked, except for those who have been and there and done it.
I guess what I am saying, or writing rather, is that is was very difficult to conceive it
happening in such a tranquil, peaceful place, or that is until this morning. This
morning I learned from the news, that the guy that did the damage and family, was
originally from Los Angeles, a few hundred miles to the south. Now that made perfect
sense. I feel very sorry for the good people that this completely blindsided. I am well
aware the exact same thing could happen right where you or i live.
Weather: (At Gatlinburg at about 1600 ft)
Today, expect showers with thunderstorms also possible after 8am. The high will be
near 63. The chance of precipitation is 90%.
Saturday, you can expect rain before 8am, then showers after 8am. The rain could
be heavy at times. The high will be near 63. The chance of precipitation is 100%.
Smoky Mountain Stream Conditions:
The streams with links that have nearby USGS Station Real-time stream data: Click
the links to see updates:
Little River: Rate: 447 cfs at 2.42 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 924 cfs at 2.48 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: Rate 116 cfs at 2.64 ft (good wading conditions up to 125 with
extra caution up to 150 cfs)
Little Pigeon River: It was very high yesterday afternoon.
Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Fontana Lake:
My guess is, based on the precipitation map, all the stream are high, too high to
Current Recommended Streams:
The highest elevations will be about the only shot other than Cataloochee Creek and
tributaries. I don't think the decent levels will last there much longer though..
Recommended Trout Flies:
Brown and White Belly Sculpins:
Hook Size 6
Blue-winged olives: 20 and 14
(Little BWOs, Acentrella, Diphetor 20s 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
Great Autumn Brown Sedges: 10
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 Little Yellow
Quill. Change to the appropriate emerger, dun or adult imitations of the insect.
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.
The big fall caddis, Great Autumn Brown sedges, hatch very late in the afternoon
and mostly early evenings. The egg laying occurs anywhere from mid afternoon until
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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