Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report - 01/17/14
The outlook for today and the weekend isn't good. The problem today is it will not
only be cold, but also very windy. Tomorrow (Saturday) will be even colder with a
high of only 34 at Gatlinburg. That means most of the park will be below freezing and
the water will be very, very cold.
I was looking at the long range forecast for the next two to three weeks and it doesn't
look much better. A factor almost no one thinks about is when the water temperature
stays very cold for a long period of time, it slows down the growth and develope\ment
of the aquatic insect larvae. For example, if it remains very cold for the rest of the
month,and it suddenly turned hot the first week of February, that doesn't mean
undeveloped larvae will suddenly become fully grown, develop wing pads and hatch.
The water temperature at any one point in time is only an indirect factor in
Right now, my guess is we are looking at a normal schedule for the hatches and if
the weather remains cold most of the month of February, we could see a delay in the
hatches from the normal times they emerge. For the last couple of years, it has
been right the opposite and the hatches have started a little in advance of the normal
times. I hope this year is normal in that respect.
Smoky Mountain Weather:
At Gatlinburg, there is a slight chance of snow before 8am, then scattered rain
showers after 1pm. The high will be near 41. Southwest wind 5 to 10 mph will
increase to 15 to 20 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 30 mph. The
chance of precipitation is 40%. There is a 40% chance of scattered snow showers
tonight. The low will be around 17 degrees.
Saturday should be partly sunny, with a high near 34. There is a 50 percent chance
of snow showers Saturday night and Sunday morning, changing to rain showers up in
the day with the high reaching 41. NWS Forecast
Smoky Mountain Stream Conditions:
The streams with links have nearby USGS Station Real-time stream data:
Little River: Rate 510 cfs at 2.57 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 811 cfs at 2.29 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: 181 cfs at 2.91 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 looked at it yesterday and it
was getting near normal level.
Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Cherokee Lake: My guess
is they are approaching normal levels.
Current Recommended Streams
You better check the road situation in the park prior to traveling there to fish. For
tomorrow and Sunday, I recommend Abrams Creek. The water will be slightly warmer
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 size 20 BWO nymph. You might change to a Winter Stonefly nymph but I
wouldn't recommend it until late in the day. High stick or otherwise, keep the fly on
the bottom. Fish just downstream from the Abrams Fall trailhead. You can fish the
upper spring creek section above the little walk bridge but you better stay well hidden.
Tips for Beginners:
Use a strike indicator and try to keep the fly or the bottom,
Tips for the Self Proclaimed Experts:
If you think your an expert but not really sure, I recommend you stay home or quit
kidding yourself and practice fishing cold water. If you are certain you are an expert,
teach some others guys how to fish cold water.
Whatever Hits Me - I'm thinking about visiting the Cayman Islands to do a little
fishing. I've only been thrown out of that country once but they probably haven't
forgotten about it. Some of you probably think I am joking. I'm not. And I don't mean
thrown out of a bar. I mean the country.
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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