Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report - 03/07/14
Much better weather conditions exist into the first of next week and I hope some of
you have the opportunity to cast a fly.
Smoky Mountain Weather:
It has rained some this morning but it has been very light. There has also been some
snow in the higher elevation during the night but it too, has been very light. The
North Carolina side of the park got the most precipitation. Today will be mostly
cloudy, with a high near 57. The low tonight will be around 36.
Saturday will be mostly sunny with a high near 61. The low Saturday night will only go
down to 43. That will be a big help in raising the water temperature. The high Sunday
should be around 56 with a 30% chance of rain. NWS Forecast
Smoky Mountain Stream Conditions:
The streams with links have nearby USGS Station Real-time stream data:
Little River: Rate 244 cfs at 1.96 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 464 cfs at 1.88 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: Rate 128 cfs at 2.70 ft
(good wading conditions up to 125 with extra caution up to 150 cfs)
Little Pigeon River doesn't have a station nearby. My guess is it is near a normal
Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Cherokee Lake: My guess
is they are near a normal level.
Current Recommended Streams
Any of the streams where trout exist in the lower elevations.
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:
There's a chance you could see some Little Brown stoneflies laying eggs this
afternoon. It is also possible to see some Blue Quills hatching in the lower
elevations. I would fish the BWO or Blue Quill nymph until about 3:00 PM and then
switch to a Little Brown 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 emerger or dun imitation of that insect. The water temperature is going
to in the mid to high forties today. There is a reasonable chance the Blue Quills will
hatch in the low elevations. They are usually a little ahead of the Quill Gordons and
are more plentiful, but not as easy to imitate. These are a size 18 mayfly. They hatch
is the slower moving water, usually in the shallower pockets and edges of the fast
I would still avoid the fast water and fish the slow side of the current seams, pockets
and pools where there is less current. If you see any Little Brown stoneflies laying
eggs, switch to the adult pattern. You will likely see some very small black caddis. I
suggest you ignore them. They crawl out of the water to hatch and we have always
been unable to catch trout trying to imitate them. Although it is probably possible, I
think the BWO nymphs, or even the Blue Quill nymphs which are out and about are
far better options.
Tips for Beginners:
Same as yesterday - purchase a stream thermometer and learn to relate water
temperature to other fishing data.
Tips for the Self Proclaimed Experts:
For numbers of trout, you still need to favor the nymph but I can't blame anyone for
wanting to get in on some possible dry fly action.
Whatever Hits Me:
I'm running late this morning and want to get in some time in the park today. Right
now, I don't know if that is going to be possible or not.
Copyright 2014 James Marsh
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