Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report - 02/18/14
Notice the streams are all rising some and that's due mostly to melting snow. Nothing
will get rid of the snow faster or better than warm showers. As you can see from the
weather forecast below, except for today, that's going to happen for the rest of the
I did manage to get into the park yesterday. I didn't fish. I only went to check out
some of the streams nearby. I did check a couple of places just outside the park to
see some nymphs and caddis larvae using a small kick net. I don't have a permit to
do that within the park and I guess I should mention that disturbing the bottom of the
streams in the park isn't legal.
I found two Quill Gordon nymphs, about a dozen Blue Quill nymphs along with many
other species of other aquatic insects. As far as I could determine, the wing pads
looked about normal for this time of the year. It is difficult to judge but I can say they
are not developed more than they should be at this time of the year and none of
them were close to being ready to hatch. Keep in mind the water was at a lower
elevation than trout even exist, meaning it was probably a tad colder water upstream
from where I checked. By that I mean, if anything, the insects upstream are even less
Smoky Mountain Weather:
In Gatlinburg, it will be mostly sunny today with a high near 61. Showers are likely
tonight with a low around 44. The chance of precipitation is 60%. Wednesday's high
will be near 58 with a 60% chance of showers. Thursday's high should be near 62.
There's an 80% chance of showers on Thursday night and 70% on Friday.
Smoky Mountain Stream Conditions:
The streams with links have nearby USGS Station Real-time stream data:
Little River: Rate 352 cfs at 2.24 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 614 cfs at 2.02 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: Rate 151 cfs at 2.77 ft
(good wading conditions up to 125 with extra caution up to 150 cfs)
Little Pigeon River doesn't have a station nearby. Yesterday, it looked like it was
flowing at a normal level.
Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Cherokee Lake: My guess
they are very near normal levels.
Current Recommended Streams
Any of the lower elevation streams where trout exist.
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:
There is still no change in what I recommend. 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. I am still expecting to see some Little
Brown stoneflies on the banks and roads soon. I haven't but neither have I been in
the park the past few days.
Tips for Beginners:
Viewing our "Fly Fishing Great Smoky Mountains National Park DVD", a 4 hour, 2
DVD disc, instructional presentation will teach you more about fly fishing the park
than any one thing you can do or purchase. We are selling an average of two to
three of these a day.
Tips for the Self Proclaimed Experts:
I can't wait to get some of our new Hi-stick fly rods on the market. I think they will be
excellent for the streams of the Smokies.
Whatever Hits Me:
Each year it seems some people that financially benefit from anglers fishing the
Smokies get a little over anxious to get the people in their stores and on the streams.
They sometimes report the major spring hatches taking place before they really are
occurring.. Other than just wanting to get things going as soon as possible, it is often
caused by anglers seeing a bug or two emerge when the hatches really haven't
gotten underway. That's normal for about a week or two before the spring hatches
really start occurring Often, these are spotted in water well downstream from where
It is frustrating to anglers that head to the Smokies with visions of bugs drifting on the
surface of the water and trout clobbering their dry flies, only to find that isn't really
the case. It is difficult enough for out of town anglers to catch the hatches when they
are underway, without them having to filter though the false reports. I must admit that
it is also frustrating for those that wait too late and miss some of the best dry fly
action but most of the time, it is right the opposite.
Trout will be rising to flies from march for the next several months. I hope I can stay
on top of what is going on and accurately report the conditions so you can enjoy your
trips as much as possible.
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.
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