Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 01/14/17
I was asked by two different people via email, how we or anyone else, could
determine what the average temperature of a stream or area was over a period of
time. I had mentioned that is isn't just the instantaneous water temperature that
trigger hatches, it was also the average water temperature during the one year life
cycle of the aquatic insects. Both are a factor. In freestone streams, the water
temperature is a direct product of the air temperature.

At Perfect Fly, we generally just look at the big picture, and by that I mean it doesn't
take rocket science to know if it has been a very warm month or season, or maybe a
very cold month or season. These variations are more important in the late winter
and early spring than other times when the weather is much more stable. The
variations in degrees are usually much greater in March than July, for example.

Of course, there are other variations that can be a factor, such as the elevation of a
particular section of water. Quill Gordons won't start hatching ten miles upstream
from Elkmont campground as soon as they will in Metcalf Bottoms on Little River, for
example, because the water will usually be a few degrees colder.

However, for those who want to know more weather details, in this case far more
information than is necessary,
check this out. This same information is available
nationwide for any area. It gives detailed weather history, month by month in
comparison to data acquired as long as records have been recorded. In this case,
eastern Tennesse, for Chattanooga, Knoxville and the Tri-cities. My point is, the
information is available, and in fact, a lot more than is needed.

What you want to try to accomplish, anytime you plan to show up to fly fish a stream,
is that you have imitations of the aquatic insects, terrestrial insects, crustaceans, and
other foods, that could hatch. In other words, have a built in safety factor. You also
should include the nymphs and larvae imitations of those insects that may hatch two
weeks or so later that the time you will be fishing. The larvae and nymphs of aquatic
insects come out of their hiding places to fully develop a week or three, prior to
emerging.

The more your flies imitate the behavior and appearance of the most
plentiful and available foods the trout have to eat at the time you are
fishing, the higher your odds of success.
That is what you want to focus on. Not
what Joe Blow caught four trout on yesterday. If Joe had fished the best fly choice,
he may have caught twenty. If he fished the same thing all day long the next day, he
may not catch a fish.

Latest Perfect Fly Journal:
We have linked the December, 2016, issue of the Perfect Fly Journal on your far
right and
we are linking it here. It contains some articles that should be of prime
interest to you at this time of the year, especially the article on tailwaters. If you
haven't signed up for it, please do. When you do, you will receive new journals as
soon as new issues are released. We hope to increase the number of them this new
year.

Weather: (At Gatlinburg at about 1600 ft)  
Today, there is a 30 percent chance of showers, mainly after 2pm. It will be cloudy
with a high near 63. Light southwest wind will change to the west at 5 to 10 mph in
the morning. Saturday night, there's a 40 percent chance of showers. The low will be
around 51.

Sunday, there's a 40 percent chance of showers. It will be cloud, with a high near 59.
West wind will be around 5 mph. Sunday low will be around 48.

M.L.King Day, there's a 20 percent chance of showers. It will be mostly cloudy, with a
high near 62.



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 134 cfs at 1.87 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs
)

Oconaluftee River: Rate 282 cfs at 1.47 ft.
(good wading up to 500 cfs and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)

Cataloochee Creek: Rate 47 cfs at 2.27 ft  
(good wading conditions up to 125 with extra caution up to 150 cfs)

Little Pigeon River: It is flowing a little below a normal level.

Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Fontana Lake:
They should be flowing a little below a normal level.

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 2017 James Marsh
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