Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report - 01/02/14
I was a little surprised to get a few calls from customers who were fishing the park
during the past few days. I sent most that ask to small streams ranging from Cosby
Creek to Walkers Camp, or if in North Carolina, to upper Straight Fork or Palmer
Creek at Cataloochee. There were more people here fishing than I expected.
Yesterday, I went just inside the park at the bridge near the main welcome center and
fished about 30 minutes. I caught a small rainbow and immediately left. I just hate to
leave the water skunked. The level was still high, I fished from the bank, the water
was cold (39 degrees), and I was very cold. Even on the coldest days, we usually can
pick up several trout below the bridge. I have learned exactly where the trout hold out
of the current, which is the big key to it, but the high water and my cold hands gave
me fits trying to get the fly in the right place drifting slowly like it should. I listened to
the forecast that said the high temperature should reach about 50 but it was a wet
cold that felt more like 35. I didn't dress right, for sure.
Smoky Mountain Weather:
It is going to be chilly again today and tonight. Now that some of the streams are
getting to good wading levels, here comes the rain. After about 5:00 it may turn to
snow. The temperature in Gatlinburg should be near 44 by noon, then fall to around
35 during the remainder of the day. Winds could gust as high as 25 mph. Chance of
precipitation is 100%. Total daytime snow accumulation of less than a half inch is
possible. Tonight low will be around 17. Breezy, with a west wind 15 to 20 mph, with
gusts as high as 30 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of
1 to 2 inches possible. NWS Forecast
Smoky Mountain Stream Conditions:
The streams with links have nearby USGS Station Real-time stream data:
Little River: Rate 435cfs at 2.59 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 843 cfs at 2.33 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: 487 cfs at 4.01 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 I will assure you it is still on
the high side, too high for me to want to wade it.
Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Cherokee Lake: My guess
is they are probably still a little high but getting near a good wading level.
Current Recommended Streams
Due to the low water temperature, I suggest fishing only in the lower elevations and if
the forecast is half right, only early today.
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, in low light conditions, fish streamers like our Perfect
Fly Brown Sculpin. Otherwise, fish the BWO nymph in the deeper holes out of the
current which, according to the weather forecast, may be impossible.
Tips for Beginners:
Wading today will be dangerous. The current will be getting even stronger with the
rain we have in store for us.
Tips for the Self Proclaimed Experts:
Looks like a perfect day for streamers like our Perfect Fly White Belly Sculpin.
Whatever Hits Me - If a fisherman is a jerk waiting on a jerk, I guess I was a
true fisherman yesterday.
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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