Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report - 01/30/14
The recent bad weather in the South, especially Alabama and Georgia, reminds me
of a story I just have to pass along.
You may of suspected it, but I, James Marsh,
have spent some time in jail.
Yes, I spent a a night in jail in the little town of
Blountsville, Alabama, in approximately 1964. The jailer was especially nice to me, my
brother-in-law, my father-in-law, and friend Dwight Eddins. Dwight, now Dr. Dwight
Eddins, had just been awarded a Rhodes Scholarship. He has spent most of his life
since going to jail as a professor of English at the University of Alabama.
You would think Dwight would have been smarter (he is actually a true genus) than to
be tagging along with yours truly, but he was doing just that, and as a result, he had
to spend the night in jail with us.

Dwight was spending some time with my father-in-law prior to heading to Oxford,
England. We had driven from Arab, Alabama to Birmingham that day for an
appointment my father-in-law had. The sky was clear when we got there that
morning. When we left, shortly after lunch, it was snowing. If I remember right, the
forecast for north Alabama was snow flurries with a possible half inch accumulation. I
don't remember the total that ended up falling, but by the time we got half way back
to Arab, to the little town of Blountsville about 40 miles north of Birmingham, the snow
was deeper than the bottom of the car. By the way, in case you didn't know, you can't
push a car very well when the front bumper is plowing snow.

We pushed and shoved for hours and finally gave up and started walking to try to
find a house. After an hour or two of that, not long before dark, the one and only
vehicle we saw that afternoon (a 4 wheel drive truck with chains on the tires) picked
us up and gave the four of us a ride to Blountsville. There, we found the one and
only motel already full. We explained our situation to a policeman and he invited us to
spend the night with him - in jail. We gladly accepted his invitation. He was very nice.
He didn't even lock the doors. We were very, very thankful to get put in jail.  

Smoky Mountain Weather:
I'm leading in with the good news. We have a great forecast for Friday and Saturday.
Today's forecast is not so good. It is 5 degrees in Pigeon Forge right now as I am
writing this report. Today's high will only be 17 but it will only go down 1 degree for
tonight's low of 16 degrees. That's the turn around we all have been waiting for.
NWS Forecast

Smoky Mountain Stream Conditions:
The streams with links have nearby USGS Station Real-time stream data:

Little River: Rate 214 cfs at 1.87 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)

Oconaluftee River: Rate 453 cfs at 1.77 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)

Cataloochee Creek: 102 cfs at 2.60 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. I assume it is a little below
normal level for this time of the year.

Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Cherokee Lake: My guess
is they are a little below normal levels.

Current Recommended Streams
Abrams Creek, if the road to Cades Cove is open

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
Brown Sculpin
White Belly Sculpin

4. Winter Stoneflies: 18/16

Recommended Fishing Strategy:
Sight fishing above the foot bridge in upper Abrams Creek.

Tips for Beginners:
Stay home and learn your aquatic insects.

Tips for the Self Proclaimed Experts:
Stay home and learn your aquatic insects.

Whatever Hits Me:
Look, I don't charge for this. What more do you expect for nothing. People that hang
out with Rhodes Scholars usually charge for such valuable information. Be thankful
for what little I let you know.
Copyright 2014 James Marsh
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