Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report - 02/01/14
Today brings a bright sky and a much brighter outlook from yours truly. Yes, I know
there is rain in the forecast from tomorrow night for the next several days but
considering what we have been experiencing, that doesn't bother me at all.
Beyond the next two or three days, it doesn't look so good for the tailwaters anglers
chasing stocked trout. The lakes will probably rise enough that the discharges from
the TVA dams will be the next complaints heard across the South. My advise to those
guys is don't complain. Get in a boat and throw you arm off streamer fishing.
For those itching to fish the streams of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park,
you better get it while the get'ins good. Next week, the streams will be rising enough
that wading will probably become the next problem. You better take advantage of
today and tomorrow's great weather. I have no idea what February will bring but I'll be
perfectly happy with normal winter weather conditions.
Smoky Mountain Weather:
Today will be sunny with a high near 56 degrees. There is a 30% chance of showers
late tonight and Sunday afternoon but I don't think that will bring enough water to hurt
anything. In fact, I think the rain will help by melting the remaining snow which in
effect, will help warm the water faster. The high Sunday will be near 51 degrees. The
chance of rain increases from 70% to 90% Sunday night and that my friends, means
it is going to rain. Again, I'll remind you, there's a chance of rain everyday for the next
several days. 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 419 cfs at 1.71 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: 113 cfs at 2.62 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
Any of the lower elevation streams in the park.
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:
Fish the Blue-winged Olive nymph keeping it on the bottom of the slower moving
water. The water will still be cold and the fish will be holding out of the current. I doubt
you will see anything hatching but it is possible. If you do, it most likely will be little
BWOs, so keep a few emergers and duns handy. Later in the day by the middle of
the afternoon, and provided your not having good success with the BWO nymph, you
may try switching to the Little Winter Stonefly nymph. By the way, I expect to start
seeing some Little Brown Stoneflies crawling around within the next week or two.
Tips for Beginners:
I'm leaving this same tip up for today. Although the air will be warmer today, stick a
thermometer in the water and you will see the there's a huge difference. It takes time
for the water temperature to change and little change will occur, for one reason, the
melting ice and snow. Unless you observe something hatching, don't tie on a dry fly
and get very excited.
Tips for the Self Proclaimed Experts:
I'm leaving the same tip for the self proclaimed experts. We ofter forget the effects
melting snow and ice has on the water temperature.
Whatever Hits Me:
My good friend Jerry Maslar, from Charlotte, North Carolina, came by to see me
yesterday. As usual, he mostly just had to listen to me but I did give him a chance to
let me know that he has been very busy selling his hair. No, not the hair left on his
head, his popular synthetic hair. He owns Bestway Outdoor products.
Here is an article about tying with synthetic hair written by Steven Maslar,
Jerry and his son also have the Trout Pro website. Since they are a distributor of
Perfect Fly flies, fly rods and other Perfect Fly product, I had the opportunity to get a
glimpse of a brand new site they will be putting online in the new future. It looks
Copyright 2014 James Marsh
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