Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report - 03/08/14
I drove into the park yesterday but didn't have time to fish at all. I did take the water
temperature (at the warmest part of the day) on Little River (45 degrees) near the
turn to Elkmont Campground and at Little Pigeon River (43 degrees) near the park
headquarters. I thought it would be higher. Other than some little Black caddis, I
didn't see any aquatic insects. The water should have been a little warmer in the
lower elevation of Little River near Metcalf Bottoms. Today, we should be warmer
water temperatures because it wasn't quite so cold last night.
Smoky Mountain Weather:
Today will be mostly sunny, with a high near 64. There is a 30 percent chance of
showers late tonight with a low around 42.
There's a slight change of showers on Sunday morning (30%) with a high near 56.
The low Sunday night will be around 38. NWS Forecast
Smoky Mountain Stream Conditions:
The streams with links have nearby USGS Station Real-time stream data:
Little River: Rate 234 cfs at 1.93 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 436 cfs at 1.83 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: Rate 118 cfs at 2.66 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 and maybe even a Quill Gordon
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 again today and could reach 50 is a few areas.
There is a good 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. They are a size 18 mayfly. They hatch is the slower moving side of the
current seams, usually in the shallower pockets and edges of the fast water.
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. If you do spot a Quill Gordon, you should try the Emerging Quill
Gordon Dun (wet fly) or Quill Gordon nymph in that same area.
Tips for Beginners:
Good wading conditions exist but avoid getting up on the rocks or any high point.
The objective is to keep a low profile. The higher you are above the water, the better
the trout can spot you.
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 will make it to the park today if the good Lord's willing and I'm pretty sure the creek
Copyright 2014 James Marsh
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