Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report - 03/13/14
It seems the catching has been less than what most anglers were expecting for the
past few days. Although the weather forecast isn't the greatest for the next few days,
I think anglers than fish and use the right strategies will find the catching much better
than they expected. I'll put it this way to be as simple as possible. The not so
good weather conditions will affect the anglers a heck of a lot more than it
will affect the trout.
Smoky Mountain Weather:
Today will be mostly sunny, with a high near 42. There's a slight chance of snow this
morning. Chance of precipitation is 60%. Total daytime snow accumulation of less
than a half inch possible. The low tonight will be around 29.
Friday should be mostly sunny, with a high near 60. It will be windy, 15 to 20 mph in
the afternoon with gust as high as 30 mph.
There is a 40 percent chance of showers Saturday with a high near 58. There is a
50 percent chance of showers Sunday with a high near 53. NWS Forecast
Smoky Mountain Stream Conditions:
The streams with links that have nearby USGS Station Real-time stream data:
Little River: Rate 194 cfs at 2.37 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 419 cfs at 1.80 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: Rate 104 cfs at 2.60 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 in the lower elevations where trout exist.
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:
Don't be put off by the lousy weather. The trout won't.
Tips for the Self Proclaimed Experts:
You may not see as many flowers blooming along the stream as you would like to
see, but the brown trout could care less.
Whatever Hits Me:
I've said enough already.
Copyright 2014 James Marsh
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