Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report - 01/09/14
A guy called me yesterday and said he was purchasing a new 7.5 foot fly rod - not
our Perfect Fly rod, mind you - another manufacturer's rod. He asked if I thought 7.5
foot was long enough. I asked him the line weight of it and where and what he
planned on using it for. After hearing his answer, I replied that I thought a 9 foot rod
would be better. He asked why and I explained. He then told me that everyone had a
different opinion and that the experts said a 7.5 foot rod was the best length. I ask
who were the experts he was referring to and he answered Joe Brooks, for one. I
again, explained my position as to why I thought a longer fly rod would better serve
him and he replied he rather stick with what the experts had to say. I guess that is
when I lost my good ole boy approach, lost my retail sells approach (which has never
been good), and lost all the other good stuff grown men should have and ask him
"Then why in hell did you call me - call Joe Brooks", and hung up. What is worse, is I
felt good about it. I didn't tell him Mr. Brooks passed away in 1972 and by the way, I
looked up to him for years and still do, so don't anyone take that wrong.
Smoky Mountain Weather:
Things are looking pretty good for fly fishing the park today and tomorrow but I'm not
so sure about Saturday and Sunday. The radar shows some mean looking stuff
headed our way and it is already in the western park of Tennessee. The NWS is
saying there is a 90% chance of showers on Saturday. I'm not sure what the
difference in showers and rain is but showers sounds better. Hopefully, it means it
won't rain enough to blow the streams out. I'm sure we will know more about Saturday
by tomorrow morning. Today will be partly sunny, with a high near 43. The wind will
be calm. There is a slight chance of rain tonight with a low of about 33 degrees.
Tomorrow (Friday) will be mostly cloudy with a 20% chance of rain with a high near
50. Showers are likely tomorrow night. NWS Forecast
Smoky Mountain Stream Conditions:
The streams with links have nearby USGS Station Real-time stream data:
Little River: Rate 361 cfs at 2.43 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 663 cfs at 2.09 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: 199 cfs at 2.97 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 from looking at it yesterday, it
is near normal winter levels.
Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Cherokee Lake: My guess
is they are from about normal levels.
Current Recommended Streams
Abrams Creek would provide the best shot at catching some trout in the park today.
Recommended Trout Flies: (for when you can fish)
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 size 20 BWO nymph keeping it in holes on the bottom, deep pools or
pockets. You might change to a Winter Stonefly nymph but I wouldn't recommend it
until late in the day.
Tips for Beginners:
Again, If you don't happen to already have them, this is what you need when you can
fish. If your just starting, I do not recommend fishing at all until the water and the
weather warms up some.
Tips for the Self Proclaimed Experts:
See "Whatever Hits Me" below: Although our Perfect Fly steelhead expert Chris
Tobias wrote this article for the Perfect Fly Fishing Journal for Winter Steelhead
fishing, it would apply very well to any cold water situation.
Whatever Hits Me - It is almost funny how everyone, including myself, expresses a
lot of caution about fishing, especially wading, cold water. Pictures of ice and snow
around the banks of a trout stream looks scary.
As soon as I checked yesterday's post, I opened the above article about "Dressing
for Winter Steelhead Fishing" and it occurred to me that just about every time
anyone fishes for winter steelhead, they are fishing in conditions far worse than what
we have had in the Smokies the past two or three days. They would consider that
great weather conditions.
I don't doubt some steelhead guys are laughing about my ultra caution about fishing
in cold water.
Copyright 2014 James Marsh
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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
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