Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report - 01/26/14
I think the wind has been the worst enemy of the fly angler during the past few days.
It is one thing for it to be very cold but another very different thing for it to be very
cold and very windy. There were times during the past three days I thought one of
the many big oak trees around our house was coming down on top of us.
Smoky Mountain Weather:
The sun is going to shine today with a high near 49 degrees. Southwest wind 5 to 10
mph. That is the best thing I've read lately regarding the weather. The wind has been
brutal. There is a slight chance of rain between 1am and 4am, then a slight chance
of snow after 4am with a low around 31. The forecast for Monday shows rain and
snow likely before 2pm, then a slight chance of snow between 2pm and 4pm., with
the temperature rising to near 35. Chance of rain/snow is 60%. NWS Forecast
Smoky Mountain Stream Conditions:
The streams with links have nearby USGS Station Real-time stream data:
Little River: Rate 269 cfs at 2.03 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 518 cfs at 1.88 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: 184 cfs at 2.92 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 and I didn't see it yesterday. I
assume it is still near a normal level for this time of the year.
Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Cherokee Lake: My guess
is there are near normal levels.
Current Recommended Streams
I still recommend Abrams Creek over other streams. The water will be slightly warmer.
You should be able to catch some trout in the lower elevations of most streams. The
water temperature isn't going to rise as much as you may expect it to because of
Recommended Trout Flies:
1. Blue-winged Olives:
Hook Size 18
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:
Try fishing the size 18 BWO nymph at Abrams Creek. Fish just downstream from the
Abrams Fall trailhead or in the upper area above the foot bridge at the Abrams Falls
trailhead. The farther you travel downstream, the lower the water temperature will be.
Tips for Beginners:
For safety reason, don't fish by yourself until the water gets a little warmer.
Tips for the Self Proclaimed Experts:
I still think sight fishing for larger trout is the best option now but it doesn't take long
for me to get bored doing it. Catching big fish just doesn't matter as much to me as it
did years ago.
Whatever Hits Me:
We have a lot of work to do today. Don't think that the weather keeps anglers from
purchasing flies and other gear because it doesn't seem to make much difference.
Angler's different reactions to weather is always interesting. California is nice and
warm and you can wade and fish about any stream in the state, but at the same time,
they are complaining about the weather more than anyone. The reason is the lack of
snow is beginning to be a huge concern. If things doesn't change, they may not have
much water this coming summer. Just north of California, in Oregon and Washington,
anglers have been constantly complaining about the lack of rain. The steelhead
fishing is continuing to be adversely affected. The bottom line is, anglers are never
satisfied very long, irrespective of what the weather does.
Aren't we glad no one on earth has figured out how to change it?
Copyright 2014 James Marsh
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