Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report - 02/23/14
The stream levels didn't fall as much as I thought they would the past 24 hours and
most of the larger streams will still have high flows that are tough to deal with. By this
afternoon, maybe some of them will be low enough to wade by those experienced
and strong enough to pick and choose their spots. According to a customer, the
water temperature on the Middle Prong of the Little River reached 47 degrees
The outlook for this coming week is more cold weather with some rain/snow near the
first of the week and again this coming weekend. I think the overall picture looks
good. We have had some years where spring hatches begin only for several more
cold fronts to cause the subsequent hatches to be sporadic and from a dry fly fishing
standpoint, less than desirable. I don't think that will be the case this year. Right now,
from that standpoint, the situation is looking good.
Smoky Mountain Weather:
Today in Gatlinburg, it will be sunny with a high near 66. There's a slight chance of
rain tonight with a low of 36 degrees. Monday should be sunny, with a high near 51.
There is more rain/or snow in the forecast on Tuesday and Wednesday, and again
this coming weekend. Wednesday's high is shown now to be only 36 with a low that
night of 13. NWS Forecast
Smoky Mountain Stream Conditions:
The streams with links have nearby USGS Station Real-time stream data:
Little River: Rate 793 cfs at 2.94 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 892 cfs at 2.39 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: Rate 243 cfs at 3.08 ft
(good wading conditions up to 125 with extra caution up to 150 cfs)
Little Pigeon River doesn't have a station nearby. Late yesterday afternoon, it was
Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Cherokee Lake: My guess
is they will be flowing high same as all the others.
Current Recommended Streams
Any of the small, lower elevation streams. The larger, lower elevation streams if
proper caution is used dealing with the high water levels.
Recommended Trout Flies:
1. Blue-winged Olives:
Hook Size 18
nymphs (this would be the main fly)
2. Sculpins: Especially good in off color, high water & early/late in the day
Hook Size 6
White Belly Sculpin
3. Winter Stoneflies: 18/16
4. Little Brown Stoneflies: 14
5. Blue Quills: 18
6. Quill Gordons: 12/14
emerging duns (wet fly)
8. Little Black Caddis: 18
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.
If you see any Little Brown stoneflies, fish the nymph late in the afternoon. If you see
any Little Brown or Winter adult stoneflies laying eggs, switch to the adult pattern of
Tips for Beginners:
Unless you find a small stream with decent flows, I recommend you stay out of the
Tips for the Self Proclaimed Experts:
High sticking could be a good way to go today.
Whatever Hits Me:
I'm not telling anyone
Copyright 2014 James Marsh
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