Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report - 03/12/14
I didn't have a chance to visit the park yesterday. I see the water temperature rose to
48 degrees at the gauge in Cataloochee Valley. That is the only online temperature
gauge that is located at an elevation trout exist. The one at Little River is located
outside the park near the Y, several miles downstream of water that holds trout and
usually reads from 2 to 4 degrees warmer than water where trout exist. I see the Little
River gauge is showing just over 50 degrees now. Both of these gauges will be
showing a huge drop tonight. The low is going to be around 24 degrees.
Smoky Mountain Weather:
The National Weather Service is predicting showers and a possible thunderstorm for
today. The high will be near 67. The wind will range from 15 to 20 mph this afternoon
with gust as high as 30 mph. The chance of precipitation is 90%. Tonight, they are
showing rain showers before 2am, then snow showers likely. The low will be around
24. The chance of precipitation is 80% for tonight. New snow accumulation of less
than one inch is possible. We could use some rain but snow, we can do without snow.
Thursday, there is a 30 percent chance of snow showers before 9am, then gradually
becoming sunny with a high near 41. It will be chilly with a Northwest wind around 15
mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. NWS Forecast
Smoky Mountain Stream Conditions:
The streams with links that have nearby USGS Station Real-time stream data:
Little River: Rate 205 cfs at 1.84 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 392 cfs at 1.75 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: Rate 102 cfs at 2.59 ft
(good wading conditions up to 125 with extra caution up to 150 cfs)
Little Pigeon River doesn't have a station nearby. It is a little on the low side.
Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Cherokee Lake: My guess
is they are near a little low.
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:
Beware of the high wind gust later today.
Tips for the Self Proclaimed Experts:
I can't think of any
Whatever Hits Me:
I'm still trying to get use to the time change.
Copyright 2014 James Marsh
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2. Call us at 800-594-4726 and we
will help you decide which flies you
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