Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report - 02/25/14
It is sometimes easy to forget, especially when you live in the south, that Winter is
over March 21st. I know the calendar year Winter season isn't based on the same
latitude the Great Smoky Mountains National Park lies on but it we shouldn't exactly
forget cold snaps that last into the first of April.
Winter and Little Brown stoneflies could hatch this week but other than
Blue-winged Olives, the chances of anything else hatching are slim to none. As I
wrote about prior to it happening, some fly shops, backed by starving guides,
announced false signals that Quill Gordons were hatching a week ago. If they did, it
was probably in dough belly trout country. I was in the park for three days in a row at
the lowest elevations trout exist at the warmest part of the day, and i didn't see one
and neither did anyone I talked to. I had captured two nymphs the first of those days
just outside the park to discover their wing pads were not even protruding beyond
their abdomens, a sure indication they were at least two weeks or more away for
If you wonder what I am trying to say, I'll put it like this. If you haven't made it to the
park to fish yet and are expecting dry fly action, you haven't missed anything. If you
don't make it within the next seven days, you still won't miss anything.
As most of you that read this report know, I'm not big on anglers that hire guides to
catch fish but I am big on those that do a good job of teaching "want to be' anglers to
fish. There are some guides that do shoot straight. One is R and R fly fishing. Ian
and Charity just haven't learned to lie yet. David Knapp, has returned from living in
Colorado and obtained his license to guide in the park. He will operate as the Trout
Zone Anglers. I can assure you he won't rely on hyperbole. I'm sure there are others
that I am not familiar with.
I'll again mention that there are some tiny black caddis hatching. These crawl up the
rocks and banks out of the water to emerge. Don't confuse them with the Little Black
Brachycentrus caddis (chimney case caddis) that will hatch in the near future. The
Little Black caddis hatch mid-stream, almost like a mayfly.
If you get Spring out of your head for at least another week and fish like it is still
winter, there is no reason you shouldn't have a good trip and catch trout.
Smoky Mountain Weather:
The forecast for the next week isn't good for those with visions of bugs dancing
around on the water. Today will be mostly cloudy, with a high near 49. Tonight there
is a chance of rain between 11pm and 4am, then a chance of snow after 4am. Mostly
cloudy, with a low around 29. The chance of precipitation is 50%. Wednesday there
is a 40 percent chance of snow before 10am, with a high near 36. Wednesday night's
low will be 17. Thursday will be sunny with a high near 43 and a low of 19. Friday's
high will be near 49 with a chance of rain and snow that night. There will be a chance
of rain and snow Saturday with a high near 47.
Smoky Mountain Stream Conditions:
The streams with links have nearby USGS Station Real-time stream data:
Little River: Rate 485 cfs at 2.52 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 727 cfs at 2.18 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: Rate 196 cfs at 2.93 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:
No changes from yesterday's recommendations. 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 the stonefly.
Tips for Beginners:
Fish a small stream with decent flows or stay out of the water today.
Tips for the Self Proclaimed Experts:
High sticking would still be my choice method of fishing today.
Whatever Hits Me:
The fact that I'm already running behind schedule this morning.
Copyright 2014 James Marsh
More Options For Selecting Flies:
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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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