Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report - 02/02/14
If the Cataloochee Creek and Little River USGS water temperature gauges are
working right, the water temperature didn't come up but a tiny bit yesterday. Neither
gauge shows it increased beyond 33 degrees. It was colder than I thought it would be
late yesterday afternoon. The stations are at a much lower elevation than trout exist
in the park, so you have to assume it is probably a little colder where trout exist. I
know it was well past noon before the air temperature got above freezing yesterday,
but I am sure the melting snow and ice was a big factor in keeping the water
temperature down so low. Also, note the levels rose slightly when they should
normally be dropping since it sure hasn't rained. I do think the rain that is on the way
will help the water temperature increase at a much faster rate but I'm not sure when it
will arrive today. Hum! I guess I'm predicting the water is going to stay cold most of
the day, even though the air temperature should reach into the fifties.
The Super Bowl doesn't start until 6:30, so after church, head to the park, catch
some trout and prove your smarter than a trout with a brain the size of a pea. Show
them a very small fly in close proximity, moving slowly at the same slow speed of the
water they are holding in, and they will eat it. No, that isn't easily done. Fishing to fish
you can't see, that aren't actively chasing down food isn't easy. Just don't blame it on
the fish if you can't pull it off. You can catch them and you can catch several of
them if you get the presentation down exactly right. Anytime, anywhere and
any place you are fishing, you will find that the little, often overlooked
details, can make a huge difference.
Smoky Mountain Weather:
The forecast says that showers are likely, mainly after 4pm today. It will be cloudy
with a high near 56 in Gatlinburg. The chance of precipitation is 60% for today.
Rain in is the forecast for tonight with a low of only 39 degrees. The chance of
precipitation tonight is 100%. Monday will be cloudy with a high near 49 with a 60%
chance of precipitation.
Smoky Mountain Stream Conditions:
The streams with links have nearby USGS Station Real-time stream data:
Little River: Rate 217 cfs at 1.88 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 441 cfs at 1.75 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: 102 cfs at 2.57 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. Abrams Creek is still the best option.
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 often forget the effects
melting snow and ice has on the water temperature. It was more than I thought it
would be yesterday, for sure.
Whatever Hits Me:
I'm getting tired of Chris Tobias sending me pictures just to rub it in. He has been up
there in warm Alaska catching fish like the one below while we have been down here
in the South freezing to death. And for you want to be self proclaimed experts, that is
not a steelhead. That is a wild, rainbow trout.
Copyright 2014 James Marsh
More Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us with the dates you will be
fishing the park and we will send
you a list of our fly suggestions.
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
them to you in time for your trip.
Shipping is free in the U. S. for all
orders of any size. Orders over $50
are shipped free via Priority Mail.
Please enter your e-mail address in
the box to sign up for a free
subscription to the Perfect Fly "Fishing
Journal". It includes feature articles on
blue-ribbon destinations , fly fishing
techniques, and many other types of
articles of interest to any fly angler. You
can opt out at any time. If you decide
you don't want to receive our
information, just change your status by
clicking at the bottom of an e-mail we
send you in the "Remove" box. We will
not sell or give your e-mail address to
New! If you haven't signed up
previously, please sign up for
our Free Perfect Fly Fishing