Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report - 02/19/14
I'm so excited with not having to dress up in caribou and duck down outfits to stay
above freezing to death, I drove to the park again yesterday just to look at the water.
Smoky Mountain Weather:
In Gatlinburg, showers/thunderstorm are likely today with a high near 67. The chance
of precipitation is 70%. Tonight's low will be around 49. It is raining hard now.
Thursday, shows a slight chance of showers with a high near 69. Winds could gust
as high as 30 mph. Showers and thunderstorms are likely Thursday night with a low
of around 45. Winds could gust as high as 40 mph. The chance of precipitation is
Friday showers are likely with a high near 56 and west winds of 10 to 15 mph, with
gusts as high as 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. It will be cooler on Saturday
and Sunday. NWS Forecast
Smoky Mountain Stream Conditions:
The streams with links have nearby USGS Station Real-time stream data:
Little River: Rate 365 cfs at 2.27 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 608 cfs at 2.01 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: Rate 143 cfs at 2.74 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
5. Little Brown Stoneflies: 14
Recommended Fishing Strategy:
It will be nice and warm and springlike but about the only chance of anything hatching
will be Blue-winged Olives and midges. There can also be some little size 20/22
caddis that crawl out of the water to hatch but I have never been able to successfully
catch trout by trying to imitate them. I am not referring to the Little Black Caddis which
will hatch later. They are one of the best spring hatches that are most ignored by
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 have added Little Brown Stoneflies to
the list of recommend flies. I am still expecting to see some on the banks and roads
but I haven't. I have been in the park the last two days in a row.
Tips for Beginners:
Don't let the warm air fool you into thinking it is Spring and trout will be feeding on the
surface like crazy. That's always possible but stay with the nymphs until you see
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:
I am leaving this up for another day,because just as sure as God made little green
apples, what I predicted is already happening.
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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