Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 01/31/17
There are a couple days of warm weather ahead - today and tomorrow. If that
continued beyond tomorrow, I would think in the lowest elevations, that it would be
possible for Blue Quills and Little Brown stoneflies to hatch, and maybe some Quill
Gordons. I'm basing that on the fact we had two weeks or more of unusually warm
weather during the middle of this month, and the fact that the water temperature may
reach 50 degrees today and tomorrow. I would be more inclined to bet against it
happening, since this round of warm weather is only going to last a very short time. I do
think this could  happen outside the park. I still haven't taken the opportunity to check
on the status of that by checking the wing pads of the nymphs. That takes an hour or
two of hard, cold work that i had rather avoid. Angie and I did that ever year for several
years in the park, but it was usually more like the middle of February.

Few anglers realize it, but within this coming month, there will be more food in
the form of aquatic insects in the water than there will be all year.
Most think
that occurs in the Spring, or April and May, but that's not true. That is when there are
more hatches taking place, but each time one of the major species of insects hatch, it
reduces the total amount of food in the streams. That is because the particular species
of insect that hatches, dies. It most cases, with a few bi-brooded exceptions, it will be
another year before that insect becomes a full grown larvae and hatches again.

From a fishing standpoint, there is a problem with what I just wrote. Most all of the food
that will be in the water for the trout to eat within the next month will be in the form of
nymphs and larvae that is not available for the trout to eat. It will be underneath rocks
on the bottom or down between them. That is because most all the mayfly and all the
stonefly nymphs are "clinger" nymphs. The stay underneath and down between the
rocks where trout can't eat them until a couple of weeks prior to hatching. The crawler,
swimming, and burrower nymphs mayfly nymphs are few in comparison to the clingers.
You may read that there is little food in the water at this time of the year, and that is not
true. In fact, it is right the opposite of that.


Weather: (At Gatlinburg at about 1600 ft)  
Today, will be sunny, with a high near 59. West wind will be around 15 mph, with gusts
as high as 25 mph. Tonight, will be partly cloudy, with a low around 40.

Wednesday, there's a 20 percent chance of showers after 1pm. It will be partly sunny,
with a high near 57. West wind will range from 5 to 10 mph. Wednesday night's low will
be around 37.



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 222 cfs at 2.18 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs
)

Oconaluftee River: Rate 387 cfs at 1.69 ft.
(good wading up to 500 cfs and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)

Cataloochee Creek: Rate 87 cfs at 2.50 ft  
(good wading conditions up to 125 with extra caution up to 150 cfs)

Little Pigeon River: It is a little below normal.

Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Fontana Lake:
They are all a little below normal.

Recommended Trout Flies:
In addition to the two list below, you can always send us an email
(
sales@perfectflystore.com) or call us at 800 594 4726 providing the specific times
you plan on fishing the park, and we will provide a list of flies and other associated
gear and equipment you need.

Trout Flies Currently Needed:
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

NEW: Trout Flies You Will Need During The Next Month
(Through 2/2
8/17, in addition to the above list):
Little Brown Stoneflies: 14
nymphs
adults

Blue Quills: 18
nymphs
emergers
duns
spinners

Quill Gordons: 12/14
nymphs
emerging duns (wet fly)
duns
spinners

Little Black Caddis: 18
pupa
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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Options For Selecting Flies:
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and we will send you a list of our fly
suggestions. Please allow up to 24 hours for
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