Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report - 01/05/14
Today is actually not a bad day at all to fish the streams of the park. It will be fairly
warm by mid afternoon and the drizzle just increases your odds. If you happen to own
an electric vehicle, the city of Gatlinburg is installing chargers for you.
By the way, does anyone know who owns the Island in Pigeon Forge. I wanted to talk
to them to see if I could get them to stock some fish in it. They spent 3 million on the
new fountain and it looks like it would make a heck of a bass and bream pond. They
probably don't want cans of worms sitting around but it could be artificial flies only.
Or better, only Perfect Flies.
Smoky Mountain Weather:
There is a chance of rain today but mainly after 4pm. At Gatlinburg, it will be mostly
cloudy with a high near 49. Tonight it will rain before 1am, then change to snow. The
low will be around 19. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of
less than one inch possible. Monday Snow showers are likely, mainly before 10am.
Smoky Mountain Stream Conditions:
The streams with links have nearby USGS Station Real-time stream data:
Little River: Rate 388 cfs at 2.49 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 713 cfs at 2.16 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: 164 cfs at 2.85 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 it is back near normal levels.
Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Cherokee Lake: My guess
is they are probably about normal.
Current Recommended Streams
The lower elevation streams. Abrams Creek is always a good cold weather choice
due to the springs in the upper section. Just don't make the mistake I made last year.
I took my friend Breck Davis there on a cold winter day and the water levels were
high. I saw what I had done when we got near the creek and I noticed water standing
in the fields. Cold water was flowing into the creek many times faster than the springs
were adding to the flow. So was Mill Creek which enters just below the foot bridge.
What I thought would be warmer water turned out to be very cold water due to the
high levels. I don't like learning things as old as I am, but I still do learn a few things
the hard way.
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:
Fish the small BWO nymphs in holes in the bottom of the stream or deep pools and
Tips for Beginners:
It is safe for you to wade the larger streams again if you use caution but be very
careful to avoid slipping or falling in due to the cold water. Tighten that wading belt.
Tips for the Self Proclaimed Experts:
When the air temps get up to about 50 degrees, everyone is tempted to put on a dry
fly. If you want to keep your odds on the plus side, don't, unless you see something
Whatever Hits Me - What a difference a day makes. Today and tomorrow will be
two completely different days and that is quit obvious. What hit me is, if one had to
fish both today and tomorrow for trout in the Smokies, you would have to assume the
conditions would be changing every few minutes from now through the next 48 hours.
Why did that cross my mind? Since fishing tournaments are not cancelled due to
bad weather conditions, I have been there and done that numerous times under far
worse conditions and worse changes in the conditions.
I remember many bass tournaments and saltwater fishing tournaments where drastic
changes occurred and we fished. Big money was involved and everyone did all they
could do to accept the challenges. I will never forget such tournaments, like waking
up one morning on the St. Johns River in Florida to see 2 inches of snow in the
bottom of my bass boat. The air temperature never went over 32 degrees that day
and the wind blew over thirty miles per hour. The day before it reached the high
seventies. We fished and I caught two measuring 14 inch bass. When that type of
cold front comes through Florida, it shuts the mouths of largemouth bass so tight,
you have to add vice grips to your lures to get them to open their mouths.
I guess what gets my blood boiling, is to hear or read where someone tries to tell
others what they can and can't catch, when they are sitting on their butt in a
warm room. Those who actually know, are the ones who have been there and done
it. I've even got a few T shirts and some have trout on them.
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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