Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report - 12/30/13
Tip of the day. Don't let anyone tell you what you can and can't catch strictly based
on water temperature, especially phonies who haven't fished the streams of the park
Smoky Mountain Weather:
We are having a strange weather day today. Right now it is 42 degrees and the high
today will only be 43. The low tonight will drop down to 28. Water temperatures will be
in the high thirties today. By the way, if you use the water temperature reading at
Little River's USGS site, remember it is usually two to five degrees warmer than the
lowest point trout exist which is not far below Metcalf Bottoms several miles upstream.
Use a stream thermometer. The same thing applies to the temperature readings at
Cataloochee Creek. NWS Forecast
Smoky Mountain Stream Conditions:
The streams with links have nearby USGS Station Real-time stream data:
Little River: Rate 735 cfs at 3.13 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 1220 cfs at 2.77 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: 243 cfs at 3.11 ft
(good wading conditions up to 125 cfs, and with extra caution up to 150 cfs)
Little Pigeon River doesn't have a station nearby but is still high
Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Cherokee Lake are
Current Recommended Streams
I still recommend fishing streamers from the banks today. You can also fish
the smaller streams as their levels are most likely safe to wade. The large streams
are still too high too safely wade.
Recommended Trout Flies:
1. Blue-winged Olives:
Hook Size 20
nymphs (this would be the main fly)
2. Midges: Cream
Hook Size 20/22
3. Sculpins: Especially good in off color, high water & early/late in the day
Hook Size 6
White Belly Sculpin
4. Winter Stoneflies: 18/16
Recommended Fishing Strategy:
If you fish the larger streams, fish streamers like our Perfect Fly Brown Sculpin. If you
fish the smaller streams, high sticking is your best bet. You cannot very well high
stick large streams unless you can find places to hide behind something. You will
spook trout standing on a bank and high sticking. The advantage of the method is
being able to maintain a low profile. There may be some shallow spots along the
larger streams you can step into and high stick, but you will have to carefully pick and
select the areas with the high flows.
Tips for Beginners:
Unless you try to fish the very small streams or fish the larger ones from the banks,
don't fish today.
Tips for the Self Proclaimed Experts:
Keep your fly (very small nymph, preferably a BWO size 20 (or larve if fishing
midges) out of any current either down in holes on the bottom or pockets with deep
water. The trout will not be holding in current.
Whatever Hits Me -
I just thought of last year's January weather. It was very warm if I remember correctly.
Seems like it was warm all Winter. I will not attempt to try to guess what the next
two months will be like this year. I have given up on trying to out guess nature. I'm
ready for whatever comes and just glad to be around to deal with.
Copyright 2013 James Marsh
More Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us with the dates you will be
fishing the park and we will send
you a list of our fly suggestions.
Please allow up to 24 hours for a
2. Call us at 800-594-4726 and we
will help you decide which flies you
3. Call or email us with a budget for
flies and we will select them and get
them to you in time for your trip.
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