Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 06/14/17
From looking at the USGS stations on streams that exit the park, it appears there was a
little more rainfall amounts than the forecast was predicting last night. I noticed when
we did get a couple of thunderstorms last night in Pigeon Forge, the rainfall seemed
very heavy. The precipitation map shows most of the Tennessee side of the park
received from an inch to 1 1/2 inches. Most of the North Carolina side had about 3/4
inch to an inch of rain. So far, that is all well and fine.
After looking at the forecast for the next day or two, I won't be surprised if the streams
become a little too high to wade safely. It will be a wait and see thing. The forecast
shows up to 60 and 70 percent chances of rain on Thursday and Friday. Knowing that
it is getting near summertime, I don't think high water levels are all bad. There will be
less rain in the late summer and early fall months and having a high water table will
only help prevent having low water levels at that time.
Fish'n Tales: (New Series - we plan on replacing every two or three days. Note that
this is something I am just sitting down and writing mostly off the top of my head, with
no editing. It isn't intended to be professionally done release of any kind )
Learning the Different Types of Trout and the Water They Live In- Part Three - Please
read part One & Two, or this may not make a lot of sense to you.
I mentioned in part two, that after fishing the clear, spring creeks of Virginia and
Pennsylvania, I became a little frustrated. In many cases, I knew the trout I was trying to
catch could not see me, and I knew I had made a good presentation, yet they
approached my fly but turned away from it at the last second to two. Of course, I had
experienced similar occurrences over the years fishing for many other species in very
clear water. It was obvious to me, they did not accept the lures, or in the spring creek
cases, the fly for food.
The next few trips we made to fish, in the fall of that year, was either back in the
Smokies, or fishing some tailwaters in the Southeast. Tailwaters were something we
had not yet experienced. In the Smokies, Angie and I had been seeing a lot of trout in
the pools, but we had been advised by many local anglers not to spend time fishing for
them, that we wouldn't be able to catch them. Noticing a similarity between the clear,
spring creeks and the clear pools of the Smokies, I tried to catch trout from them by
staying hidden from them as best I could. I noticed the same thing usually happened.
The trout would approach my fly and turn away from it the last second or two. On trips
with my brother to the Clinch River, I noticed the exact same thing happening.
Angie and I were doing our best to get familiar with all the strange to us, names of the
many trout flies we were hearing about that first year or two. We begin to purchase
books on fly fishing for trout as well as some videos. We subscribed to all the fly fishing
magazines. The names and types of flies seemed endless, but we did notice some of
them mentioned the food or insect they were made to imitate. We could not find what
many or actually most of them were intended to imitate. We were constantly hearing
the names of insects, many of which were new and strange to us.
We begin to purchase all the books we could find about insects and other foods trout
eat. It didn't take long for us to end up with over a hundred books. In a couple of years,
we ended up with about all of the books ever written on insects trout ate. We fished
during the day, and I studied the books at night. I knew I may have bitten off more than
I could chew, but the more I studied it, the faster I begin to see it really wasn't rocket
science. It was just a matter of getting familiar with a lot of new names and for the most
part, the tiny creatures they named.
We begin to purchase flies at the different places we visited to fish and in the catalogs
of fly fishing companies, whether we knew we needed them or not. Keep in mind, my
objective was to make instruction videos on fly fishing and I couldn't possibly do a good
job of that not knowing all about flies and the food they imitated. As I have mentioned in
previous parts of this series, I had known for years that in order to know how to catch
any species of fish, that in addition to knowing all about the fish, you needed to know
all about the food it relied on to survive. Catching any of them was a matter of offering
it what it was feeding on with a hook in it, or something that looked and acted like what
is was eating with a hook in it.
Seeing pictures of, and reading all about insects in the water that I wasn't familiar with
made me want to see the real things. We begin to pick up rocks and look at nymphs
and larvae under them. We started watching the water closely for any signs of food.
We learned from the books, aquatic entomologist used kick nets, insect traps and nets
to catch and acquire them. I begin to purchase a lot of the equipment to do that.
I also noticed something else. Prior to the 1970's, there were very few mentions or
books on the food trout ate. It seemed the book "Matching the hatch", in 1955, was at
least one of the first ones to start pointing out that matching what was hatching made a
big difference. After reading that, and several others with bits and pieces on the
subject, we begin to try to do that by catching flying insects on the stream and
matching them up to hundreds of flies we had purchased, trying to get a fly as close as
possible to them. Angie spent a lot more time than I doing that. After acquiring al the
books, equipment and information, the process of fishing and matching the food with
our flies became a day to day thing. Eventually, that became a big problem. We were
finding out, that out of thousands of flies, there wasn't flies that matched many and
maybe even most of the items of food that trout eat. We collected the insects in special
containers we had purchased, and made macro video and slides of them. Some of this
was done on the water and some at night in our motel or cabin room. We were in our
second or third year of fly fishing for trout on a full time basis.
Weather: (At Gatlinburg at about 1600 ft)
Today, there is a 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. It will be partly
sunny, with a high near 84. Southwest wind will be around 5 mph becoming northwest
in the afternoon. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch are
expected, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms. Tonight, there is a 50
percent chance of showers and thunderstorms with a low around 65.
Thursday, there's a 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly after
9am. It will be partly sunny, with a high near 85. A South wind around 5 mph becoming
northwest in the afternoon is expected. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and
quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms, is expected..
Thursday night, expect more showers and thunderstorms. The low will be around 64.
The chance of precipitation is 60%.
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 395 cfs at 2.57 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 621 cfs at 2.05 ft.
(good wading up to 500 cfs and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: Rate 73.7 cfs at 2.43 ft
(good wading conditions up to 125 with extra caution up to 150 cfs)
Little Pigeon River: It is flowing a about a normal level.
Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Fontana Lake:
They are all flowing a above a normal level.
Recommended Trout Flies:
In addition to the two list below, you can always send us an email
(email@example.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,
Little Yellow Stoneflies: 16/14
American March Browns: 10/12
Short Horned Sedges: 20
Green Sedges: 14/16
larva (green rock worms)
Light Cahills: 14/16
Cinnamon Caddis: 16/18 (mostly Abrams Creek)
Eastern Pale Evening Duns: 14 (some call these Sulphurs)
Golden Stoneflies: 10/12
Little Green Stoneflies: 16
Inch Worms: 10, 12, 14
Japanese Beetles: 14/16
Carpenter Ants: 16/18
Sandwich Hoppers: 6/8/10/12
New: Trout Flies You Will Need Soon (through 6/31/17, in addition to
those on the above list.
Slate Drakes: 10/12
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.
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:
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Fly Fishing The Great Smoky
Mountains National Park:
(Year-round Dry Fly Fishing) This new
DVD (2 Disc Set) provides over 4 hours
of fly fishing for trout in the park. See
all of the streams and witness the
action. Learn everything you need to
know in order to successfully catch
brown, brook and rainbow trout on the
fly. Fishing methods, strategies and
much more are covered. Learn all
about the insects and other food the
trout eat and how to imitate it.
Techniques for each season of the
year are covered.
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