Insects and other foods the trout
should be eating:
1. BWOs (Little BWOs)
3. Little Winter Stoneflies
4. Little Brown Stoneflies
5. Quill Gordons
6. Blue Quills
7. Little Black Caddis
Most available - Other types of food:
8. Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)
Fly Fishing Strategies - Which Flies to Use - Coming Week
From looking at the stream flows, it appears we dodged the bullet again and the streams on both sides of
the park will remain within their banks. The USGS gauges stay behind in the sense water from high
elevations takes time to reach them and I'm not positive this early morning if anything will change from water
drainage from the higher elevations. For the most part, the rain is over. There's still a small 30% chance of
rain for this morning but I think its mostly over. Right now the streams are all high but falling.
The National Weather Service precipitation map shows about half of the park got from 1/12 to 2 inches and
half of it got from 2 to 21/2 inches of rain. I hope most of that has reached the USGS stations and the
streams will continue to fall, but if not, I will update this later this morning. It will probably take two or maybe
three days for the streams to become safe to wade.
As mentioned yesterday, the warm front will pass this morning and the approaching cold front will switch the
wind around and drop the temperature down a little below normal for the next three days. There will be snow
tonight and Wednesday morning but the highs will reach the low 50's today, low forties tomorrow, and back
in the low 50's Thursday. Tomorrow night's low of 24 won't help. Remember, that's a Gatlinburg forecast and
the higher elevations of the park will be colder. There will be some more snow and the melting process will
continue to have some effect on the water temperatures. The stream temps won't be reaching the low 50's
until this weekend at the earliest.
Keep in mind there still are a few small hatches of Blue Quills and Quill Gordons likely to occur in the lower
elevations in spite of the cold water temperatures. Water temperature is only a rough guideline that is
useful only when correlated with the stage of development of insect larvae for the overall
average water temperatures at the particular time of the year. There really isn't any magic
numbers like many want to lead you to believe.
Keep in mind the trout will still continue to eat in spite of the cooler water. If you fish the right way,
using the right techniques and flies, you can still catch about as many fish as you could if more hatches were
taking place, it's just that the surface action will be at a minimum. Blue-winged Olives will like the cooler
weather that's taking place the next three or four days. The only difficult problem to overcome is the
high water levels. You should be high sticking but you can't high stick if you can't wade. The fish will see
your higher profile high sticking from the banks.
During the High Water Conditions:
Standing on the banks (near not close to them) where you can get to the banks clear of trees and bushes,
flip or sidearm cast a streamer or nymph upstream close to the bank and raise your rod tip as the fly drifts
downstream allowing it to stay close to the bank. This often works good under high water conditions. Use a
Little Brown stonefly nymph, size 14 to 10, late in the day, and a our Perfect Fly White Belly Sculpin during
the day. Add enough weight to the tippet to keep either fly down near the bottom and keep the fly close to
the bank. Use this strategy until the streams can be waded safely. It requires a little work moving around
looking for clear areas to fish from the banks, but it can be very effective.
If you see any BWOs hatching, switch to an emerger or dun. They will most likely be a size 20 but they could
be a larger baetis size 16. The BWO nymphs will be very difficult to fish the right way from the banks and I
don't recommend trying using them under the high water conditions..
When The Water Becomes Suitable For Wading:
In the mornings and early afternoons, up until the time you actually see something hatching, fish either a
Blue-winged Olive nymph, hook size 16 or 20, or a Quill Gordon Nymph, hook size 12 or 14. I don't suggest
using the Blue Quill Nymph imitation until you see quite a few duns that have hatched. That's simply because
they are much more difficult to fish. It's easy to spook trout feeding on them because they hatch in calm to
slow moving shallow water.
If you happen to see either of the above mayflies hatching (BWOs, Blue Quills, Quill Gordons), switch to
either an emerger or dun fly pattern of the respective insect. If you don't, continue with the nymphs. This
isn't to say you can't catch a trout using a dry fly because you probably can. It is to say you odds are much
lower doing so than if you continue fishing the nymphs I suggested.
Late in the day, within a couple of hours or so of dark, switch to a Little Brown Stonefly nymph, size 14 or 12.
If you spot any stoneflies laying eggs on the water, switch to the adult pattern of that stonefly.
If you see any Little Black Caddis just starting to hatch, switch to the pupa imitation of it. These will be a hook
size 18. If there are several of them on the banks and bushes that have already hatched, yet they are
continuing to come off the water, switch to the dun.
If any of the mayflies and/or the Little Black Caddis hatch, and provided you fish late in the day, you will
definitely see spinner falls of the mayflies and egg laying activity of the caddis. Depending on the sky
conditions, this may not occur until near dark. The lower the light, the earlier it will occur. In this event, switch
to the respective mayfly spinner (Quill Gordon, Blue Quill or BWO) or the adult Little Black caddis pattern.
All the above flies are shown under the link just below this....Flies you need now.
Copyright 2013 James Marsh
New Schedule of Daily
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
Friday: Getting Started
Saturday: Fly Fishing School
Sunday: This Week's Featured Trout
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