Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report - 02/06/14
It looks like things are getting back to a more normal winter weather pattern for the
Smokies. Except for flurries, they took the snow out of the forecast yesterday
morning after I had published this report, so that's a big plus. They will get some in
the mountains though and some roads may get closed this weekend, so make sure
you check with the National Park's road closing reports.

Smoky Mountain Weather:
This is a strangely worded forecast - scattered sprinkles later today with a high near
41. Tonight's forecast calls for more scattered sprinkles and snow flurries before
9pm, then scattered snow flurries between 9pm and 1am. The low in Gatlinburg will
be around 24.

Looking a little ahead, Friday's high will be near 41 with a low that night of 30.
Saturday's forecast has a chance of snow in it in the morning and a chance of rain
that afternoon. The odds of that is about 30%. The high Saturday is shown at 48
NWS Forecast

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

Little River: Rate 705 cfs at 2.91 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)

Oconaluftee River: Rate 1160 cfs at 2.69 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)

Cataloochee Creek: 281 cfs at 3.19 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. My guess it is still a little high.

Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Cherokee Lake: My guess
it is still a little too high to safely wade.

Current Recommended Streams
You could fish any of the lower elevation streams where trout exist. If you pick your
spots carefully, you may can step into the water in places where you can make a few
cast but otherwise, you will have to fish from clear areas on the banks. I think upper
Abrams is still the best one to fish. Some of the smaller streams would offer better
options than the large ones. The Roaring Fork and Cosby Creek on the Tennessee
side and Straight Fork Creek in Cherokee are some good ones that come to mind.

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:
I would fish the BWO nymph until about 3:00 PM and then switch to a Little Winter
stonefly nymph. The only time I would change that strategy is when and if I saw
something hatching and then I would go to the appropriate imitation of that. Fish the
slow side of any current seams, pockets and pools where there is little to no current.  

Tips for Beginners:
Unless someone is with you that could render assistance, I suggest you stay out of
the water.

Tips for the Self Proclaimed Experts:
If you still use trial and error methods of selecting flies, you don't need to be reading
this section. You still have a lot to learn. A refresher course on math probability
would be a good start.

Whatever Hits Me:
Looks like I'm getting my yesterday morning's wish. This weekend's weather forecast
is looking much, much better.
Copyright 2014 James Marsh
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