Insects and other foods the trout
should be eating:
1. BWOs (Little BWOs)
3. Little Winter Stoneflies
Most available/ Other types of food:
4. Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)
Smoky Mountains Fishing Report
Other than the 4 trout I caught last Saturday on Little River in about 2 1/2 of fishing, these are all the reports I
have. Thanks to the 3 gentlemen that sent us these reports. I am thrilled at a "new to the park" fly fisherman
had some luck fishing with Russ - who is also relatively new to fly fishing. Thank you all guys. It is great to see
that and a dang good job of fishing too. In case you don't know it, this is January.
Jan 10th, Derek, Atlanta, GA
Hi James - we managed to catch some fish today. Started around 2pm. First time fishing this creek and
having the car can be a blessing and a curse - driving up and down the road trying find the slow water
instead of just fishing.
Caught 3 down around Toe String and then a few more at Smokemount just below Bradley Fork. Spent a few
minutes in Bradley Fork but no luck there.
Caught a black winter stonefly that flew past me. Saw some others that were probably bwo in the air and
then the rest was midges. Quit a bit of those throughout the day.
I fished double rig (I know that's not your recommendation) with bwo nymph on top and small 20-22 midges
below. Caught all with the midge (5 to hand and 3 that I didn't get close enough to know which they had bit.)
I switched over to bwo dun with midge dropper and nothing with that and caught again once I switched back
to the nymphs.
So - at least for where I was it was the midges that ruled the day.
3 of the fish were really fat. Fatter than anything I caught at Forney. Are these possibles females full of
eggs for the spring?
MY ANSWER WAS, YES, THE COLORS SHOW THEY ARE GETTING INTO THE SPAWNING CYCLE
The last picture here was caught right at dusk. Nice way to end the day. Will try to hit Big Creek on Sunday
These are pictures that I took with my phone of the display on my camera - so pardon the quality.
It will be interesting to hear what was working for your other clients.
I read your "trip report" from the weekend and thought you might find mine interesting as well.
Brian(a buddy of mine from work) have been trying to get out to fish since the summer and finally made it out
yesterday. Brian had not fished XXXX (DELETED AT HIS REQUEST) yet and we had tried to get up there
when conditions were more favorable in late summer/early fall but we went anyway yesterday!
I did my usual thing of checking the water temp at Metcalf(51.9F@715am)...so with my summer data I was
predicting that it would be ~44-45 up high...we put in XXXXXX at the bottom the hill and to my surprise it was
50.2F@8am...with the overcast skies and the water temp favorable we both fished BWO drys (don't say it-I
knew it then-we should have been nymphing-I just really suck at it and I hate to use an indicator!! I know too
that I will only get better the more I do it!)...Brian was more bent on changing things up and he did try a few
nymphs without a catch...he tied on a Parachute Adams round 930 and caught a decent rainbow at the tail of
short pool in "stillish" water just before 10. We fished a ways and came back down and trekked up the hill
and walked the road back to the truck by 1130. We ate lunch and since Brian had not fished XXXXXXX we
hiked in and hit the water(no temp data-I had get back to Knoxville by 330 so we just fished. I knew there was
a good pool up ahead(where I caught my first two trout last summer!!-special place-for me anyways!) He was
getting lots of first looks at his Adams but not much else...So we came to "the pool" and he let me have a go
at it first with the and I got nothing after 10 or so presentations. I pulled back and told him to have a go. He
pulled two decent brookies within 7 casts on his Adams...to say the least he was elated. We fished a bit more
and I eventually and reluctantly switched over to an Adams as well...I eventually pulled a nice brookie from a
small pool where I had cast in the slower water adjacent to a gentle seam...this was about three pools below
the large white cascades XXXXX. It was 145 and a little past time to head back to the truck...our fishing was
done for the day...we trekked down the creek then hiked back to the truck and pulled out at 2:38...made it
back to Knoxville a little late but safe nonetheless.
Brian was especially happy with this trip since it was his first non-tailwater winter fish; although not in typical
Thanks for all the advice and articles!
As you read, Russ and I fished this past weekend together. Let me start by telling you how much I appreciate
your web site. It's full of very useful information. I've been fly fishing for about three years now and I've
managed to finally get good enough to catch trout in the park on most trips. I need to work on insect
identification but I suppose I have plenty of time for that.
I know most of your experience is focused on the Smokies but I thought I would throw you a curb ball. I am
going to be in Yellowstone the last week of July and I wanted to see if you had any advice. I was there two
years ago but it was September and I think fall changes things up anywhere you fish.
I've seen TONS of write ups on line but it's always good to hear from those fishermen that have had first hand
experience. The spring run off should have the water running clear by then but I'm not sure which streams to
fish and what flies are recommended.
On my last trip we fished the Lamar Valley area so we were able to cover the Soda Butte, Lamar River,
Slough creek, Yellowstone and Gardner but I didn't even get to the west side of the park.
Any advice you have would be much appreciated.
Thanks in advance and tight lines,
Derek, Atlanta, GA - Part 2
Derek, second trip
Hi James - We had a nice hike over the weekend. It was light rain all day and night Friday till noon Saturday -
then clearing through Sunday. Our route was a complete clockwise circumnavigation of the Big Creek
Drainage: up Baxter Creek Trail and over Mount Sterling, through Pretty Hollow Gap to Laurel Gap and then
along the Balsam Mountain trail to Tri Corner Knob. From there it was the AT north back to Chestnut Branch
Trail and back down to Big Creek. The entire weekend every downhill slope to our right was headed towards
the headwaters of Swallow Fork, McGinty, Gunter Fork, Deer Creek, Yellow Creek, etc.. It was about 35
miles of walking and gives one a great appreciation for how all that water gets into Big Creek!
It stayed over 45 degrees at night Friday night and we were camped at 5,800 ft. On Saturday once the sun
came out it was nearly 65 degrees even at 6,000 ft (Deer Creek Gap). It was 70 degrees when we got back
down to our cars Sunday 1pm.
Anyway - on to the fishing. I only had about 90 minutes. My car was parked down at the ranger cabin where
Chestnut branch comes in and not up at the end of the road where Baxter Creek trail starts. I fished from
where Chestnut Branch dumps in for about 200 yds upstream. Used the same bwo nymph/midge (wd40)
combo as thursday. (i need to order some of your midge patterns). I got hits pretty consistently but
struggled to get many to hand. I caught 4 that were small (1 pic attached). They were all caught on the
midge. I caught larger one (probably 8 inches). He was caught on the perfectly bwo nymph. He was hooked
perfectly in the nose and I was holding him up to get a picture with the nymph visible (for you to give to your
"marketing department" :) ) and he popped off so no picture. I had several trout on that got off before I got
them in. Probably a function of the small hook size and it is just hard to get good drifts in that creek with the
current swirling around - I was probably slow on the take many times.
At 3pm my buddy showed up and we drove up to the parking lot at the end of the road. I fished that big pool
at the hiking footbridge. I had switched over to one of your bwo duns. In about 10 minutes I had atleast a
dozen splashy hits on the fly but failed to hook up with any of them - which was frustrating and suprising to go
"0 fer" like that. I'm guessing they were small and maybe they had lost their aim for hitting a bug on the
surface in the past month! It was still fun to cast dry flies in January at see trout busting the surface.
Take a look at the photo entitled "Big Creek Food". At one point my rig got snagged on a submerged stick. I
pulled it up to untangle everything and when I went to check my nymphs I saw this guy on my thumbnail. Is
that a midge larvae? It had two little "horns" on one end (the right side in the photo) and it was
bending/squeezing like an inch worm to move on my fingernail.
I didn't see as many bugs flying in the air as I did on the Luftee. At one point I had been standing still in the
middle near a boulder for a few minutes and looked down and there were 2 winter stoneflys resting on my
waders just above the water line.
I'm not sure if the water was considered "high" or not sunday. We had sloppy hiking Friday and Saturday -
water was seeping out of the ground everywhere so I am guessing the creek was high. It was definately still
clear - we didn't have any gullywasher type rain - more like 36 hours of light rain. I included a photo of the
creek which may help you gauge. Once again, this is looking upstream from where Chestnut Branch dumps
in. I was surprised to see "No trespassing signs on the left (southeast) side of the creek down there. I
wonder if I would of gotten into some bigger fish if I had the time to get upstream above the campground and
closer to the midnight hole area?
If I get back to the Smokies next winter I am gonna make sure to have your midge and winter stonefly patterns.
I am heading to Cataloochee on April 29th for 4 days. I'll follow along on your site and reach out to you
around 4/1 to place an order. We plan to fish the main creek but also plan to get up Caldwell as well as
Palmer/Pretty Hollow/Lost Bottom. Any suggestions on how you would recommend spending our time on
those creeks would be appreciated.
My thermometer wasn't where it was supposed to be in my gear - as a result I don't know what the water temp
was. I'll have to get another one before Cataloochee. Do you sell them at Perfect Fly? I didn't see it in
accessories on the site. MY COMMENT: WE JUST ADDED THEM AND MANY OTHER ITEMS DEREK,
SHOULD BE ONLINE SOON
Copyright 2013 James Marsh
New Schedule of Daily Articles
Mondays: Weather and Stream Conditions
Forecast - Coming Week
Tuesdays: Fly Fishing Strategies - Which
Flies To Use - Coming Week
Wednesday: Fishing Tales
Thursday: Smoky Mountains Fishing Report
Friday: Getting Started
Saturday: Fly Fishing School
Sunday: This Week's Featured Trout Food
First 3 images are of Big Creek, Big Creek Bow, Big
Creek Food (YES THAT LOOKS LIKE A MIDGE
LARVA DEREK) The next three images are Luftee
Bow, Luftee Bow, Luftee Bow