Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 12/02/16
I could continue to write about the fires and update everyone on the rising number of
deaths and newly discovered fires, but I'm sure by now, you can get all the
information you need on that from the National news reports. They did find more
people that didn't make it yesterday, and there will probably be some more found.

On the Great Smoky Mountains National Park website, they are still showing most of
the roads closed on the Tennessee side of the park this morning. You can get
updates on this by
clicking this link. As far as I know, most all the streams on the
North Carolina side of the park are accessible.

The stream levels are falling back down very fast. I guess that shows how dry the soil
was and how low the water table was. Most of the streams are already low again. I
would think it will take a lot more rain to get things back to normal in that regard.
Hopefully, we will get some more starting Saturday night and from the looks of the
long range forecast, maybe most of next week.

Few anglers use Midges in the park during the winter months, although I will assure
you they work very well there. The streams are full of midges and I'm positive that in
terms of just numbers, they are the most plentiful aquatic insects in the park. Cream
midges are hatching right now. I have midges listed below in the fly list. Those that
don't use them in the park probably use them in the local tailwaters. If they don't, you
better take a good look at what you are doing. I mention this to bring up the fact that
we have a new product available at Perfect Fly many of you may be interest in. I call
it "Pre-rigged tandem Midge larva and pupa tippet". Just about everyday I hear one
or more anglers contending that they have a difficult time tying on the tiny little flies
call Midges, or members of the Chironomidae family of aquatic insects. We sell them
in hook sizes 20 and 22. They don't get any larger than that and actually, many of
them don't get that big. Let me explain why we often recommend "tandem" rigs.

Midge larvae are always found on the bottom of the stream. Some species are
burrowers and spend most of their life span in the soft soil of the bottom but most of
them stay on the bottom similarly to nymphs and caddisfly larvae. When they hatch,
they form a pupa that eventually accents to the surface of the water to emerge into
an adult midge or fly. Trout eat both the larvae and the pupae. The pupae are like
sitting ducks to the trout. They can remain in one current seam and eat a belly full
between the bottom and the surface of the stream during a hatch. The tandem rig
places the larva imitation on the bottom, and the pupa imitation about 16 inches
above the bottom fly. Most anglers fish that under an indicator. The problem many
have, including your's truly is, they can't see them well enough to tie them on the
small tippet size of 5X or 6X. For years, Angie has had to tie mine on for me. It is very
difficult for most anglers to do this in the field, under low light conditions. It is best to
pre-rig them before heading to the stream. The problem with that is keeping them
from getting all tangled up. I've solved that problem. Don't rig them. Let Perfect Fly
do it for you.

Here are all the details on our new Perfect Fly Pre-rigged Tandem Midge Lava and
Pupa Tippet. See the
Larva page. See the Pupa page.  By the way, we will soon
have a new Perfect Fly Pre-rigged Midge Tippet Holder, and a new Dropper Rig fly
box, that stores multi-fly rigs and prevents flies from getting tangled up.


Weather: (At Gatlinburg at about 1600 ft)  
Today, will be sunny with a high near 51. Light west wind will increase to 5 to 10 mph
in the afternoon. Tonight's low will be around 31.

Saturday, will be partly sunny with a high near 49. Calm wind will change to come
from the west around 5 mph in the morning. The low will be around 36 with a 50%
chance of rain.

Sunday, showers are likely. It will be cloudy with a high near 47. Calm wind. The
chance of precipitation is 70%.



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 80 cfs at 1.63 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs
)

Oconaluftee River: Rate 188 cfs at 1.22 ft.
(good wading up to 500 cfs and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)

Cataloochee Creek: Rate 25 cfs at 2.12 ft
(good wading conditions up to 125 with extra caution up to 150 cfs)

Little Pigeon River: It is back low already.

Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Fontana Lake:
We still don't have a report yet, but they are probably back low again.

Recommended Trout Flies:

Brown and White Belly Sculpins:
Hook Size 6

Black and/or Olive Matuka Sculpin:
Size 4, 6, 8

Blue-winged olives: 20, and 18
(Little BWOs,
Acentrella, Diphetor, Eastern
and baetis BWOs,
nymphs
emergers
duns
spinners

Cream Midges - size 20/22
larva
pupa
adults

Winter Stoneflies: 16/18
nymphs
Adults

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.

Strategy:
Not all of the insects you see above will be hatching in the same location. It is usually
only two or three. It varies with the elevation. Some are just starting in the low
elevations and some about finished in the higher elevations. 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 BWO nymph. If you spot something hatching (coming off the water),
change to the appropriate emerger, dun or adult imitations of the insect.

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:
None


Thank you for visiting our website

James Marsh
Copyright 2016 James Marsh
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