Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 05/29/17
Happy Memorial Day! Thanks to the friends and families of all those brave soldiers that
lost their life serving our country.

They keep changing the long range weather forecast but I'm not complaining. They
have reduced the chances of rain for the next few days with the odd of precipitation for
most days showing up at about 30% or less. If that turns out to be true, conditions
should be very good for the next week. I hope you have the opportunity to fish soon.
The stream levels are down, the weather looks good, insects are hatching, and trout
are eating them.


Fish'n Tales: (New Series - we plan on replacing every two or three days)
Luck versus know-it-all local-guides
It was around the year 2003, when Angie and I had been on a month long trip to New
England fishing for trout in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, and were on our way
home when we decided we couldn't make the drive all the way to Panama City Beach.
Tired of driving, we decided we would visit my brother who lived in Laurel Valley near
Townsend, for a day or two. It was during the middle of the week and he was working,
so we decided we would make a sort trip into the park and fish until he got home in the
late afternoon. We had arrived late the night before and wanted to at least a little time
to spend with him.

We had fished the Smokies several times, but never in the month of August. We didn't
know that we were not supposed to fish the Middle Prong of Little River at that time of
year. Even the upper section on the dirt road is considered to be, and usually is, a little
too warm to fish during the dog days of August. I don't remember the temperature but it
was a hot day. We didn't take the water temperature that day, but I'm sure it would
have been hot, probably in the high sixties or maybe even seventy degrees of so. It
was just a short drive from my brothers home and it wasn't a serious trip. We had been
fly fishing about every day for an entire month, actually most of the entire year.

I had just purchased about every book that existed on aquatic insects, a lot of
professional entomology equipment, and had begin to study and learn about the
different species. Of course, Perfect Fly didn't exist at that time. We didn't get to the
stream until around noon, or at least well on up during the day, because we were tired
of traveling, and got some extra sleep. After we had fished for a while, with no success,
I started seeing some tiny mayflies in little swarms hovering over the water. I got the 8
foot long bug net out of the truck and caught some. They were little mayflies about a
size 18 or 20, with clear wings and an almost clear body except for the thorax. They
were not Tricos. We had just learned to identify them in New England. I captured some
and put them in a bottle to video later with our macro lens.

Searching through our fly boxes, all I could find that looked anything like them was a
spinner of some kind with clear wings, but the body was brown. I had them in a size 18.
I think they were probably a generic spinner I had purchased somewhere. We already
had accumulated about a dozen or more fly boxes full of about everything. I tied one on
and started catching rainbow trout. I caught a few and then let Angie fish while I video
taped her catching several. I don't remember the exact amount and don't have time to
dig out the tape logs, but we caught at least thirty trout that afternoon. We hooked or
missed one every two or three cast.

We went home the next morning and a few days later, I decided we would make a trip
back to the Smokies. It as still late August or maybe early September. I called one of
my friends who happened to be a guide to see if we could stop by and visit while when
we were back in Townsend, staying at my brothers. I told him about our trip to New
England and mentioned we stopped in Townsend on the way back home. I told him
where we fished and what we caught. In a round about, nice of a way as he could put it,
he outright called me a liar. He said the water was too hot to catch anything in the
Middle Prong and there wasn't any mayflies hatching. Maybe he thought I just didn't
know a mayfly from a June bug, but I don't think he thought I couldn't count. I had
known for years that guides and charter boat captains through they knew everything
there are to know about fishing. I asked Angie if she thought I was crazy and she said
that if I was, she was right there with me. So, either the guide was full of it, or we both
were crazy.

Oh, by the way, the insects were Mahogany Duns, in the same family and very similar
to Blue Quills except for the time of year they hatch. Their spinners are sometimes
called Jenny Spinners. They will be hatching all over the Smokies in August and
September.

Weather: (At Gatlinburg at about 1600 ft)  
Today, there is a 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. It will
be mostly cloudy, with a high near 77. Tonight's low will be around 60.

Tuesday, there's a 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly after
2pm. It will be partly sunny, with a high near 79. West west will be around 5 mph in the
morning.


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 345 cfs at 2.37 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs
)

Oconaluftee River: Rate 635 cfs at 2.07 ft.
(good wading up to 500 cfs and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)

Cataloochee Creek: Rate 128 cfs at 2.68 ft  
(good wading conditions up to 125 with extra caution up to 150 cfs)

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

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

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: 14 and 18 baetis BWOs,
nymphs
emergers
duns
spinners

Little Yellow Stoneflies: 16/14
nymphs
adults

American March Browns: 10/12
nymphs
emergers
duns
spinners

Short Horned Sedges: 20
pupa
adults

Green Sedges: 14/16
larva (green rock worms)
pupa
adults

Light Cahills: 14/16
nymphs
emergers
duns
spinners

Cinnamon Caddis: 16/18 (mostly Abrams Creek)
larva
pupa
adults

Eastern Pale Evening Duns: 14 (some call these Sulphurs)
nymphs
emergers
duns
spinners

Inch Worms: 10, 12, 14


New: Trout Flies You Will Need Soon (through 5/31/17, in addition to
those on the above list.

Sulphurs: 16/18
nymphs
emergers
duns
spinners

Golden Stoneflies: 10/12
nymphs
emergers
duns
spinners

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 or maybe the Light Cahill 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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