Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report - 03/22/14
I noticed there is a chance of rain about every day next week. The streams are not
low but we could use some rain. It will also be a little cooler than it has been this
coming week but except for the higher elevations, it shouldn't affect any of the
Smoky Mountain Weather:
There's a 30 percent chance of showers today, mostly after mid-afternoon. The high
will be near 65 and the low tonight of 45.
Showers are likely (60% chance) on Sunday. It will be cloudy with a high near 51.
The low will go down to about 26 Sunday night. NWS Forecast
Smoky Mountain Stream Conditions:
The streams with links that 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 453 cfs at 1.83 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 a little low.
Current Recommended Streams
Any of the streams in the lower to middle 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: NO CHANGES
Keep in mind, the strategies I am recommending is for the maximum odds of
catching numbers of fish. Many prefer or favor a dry fly and by all means there
isn't anything wrong with that. It's just a fact that if nothing is hatching at the time, it
reduces your odds. You can still probably hook some trout, just not as many as if you
fish subsurface. Of course, this is also based on using good techniques and the right
flies. Some guys don't know how to fish below the surface.
There's a chance you could see some Little Brown stoneflies laying eggs this
afternoon. It is also possible to see some Blue Quills, BWO and Quill Gordon
hatching. Until I spotted something hatching, With the Quill Gordon exception
mentioned below, I would fish the BWO or Blue Quill nymph. If I still hadn't witnessed
a hatch, about 3:00 PM, I would switch to a Little Brown stonefly nymph. In an area
where you spotted Quill Gordons hatching the previous day, you should fish the
Quill Gordon nymph until they begin to hatch. The odds are good they will continue
to hatch and the clinger nymphs are out from underneath the rocks exposed.
The only time I would change from the nymph is when and if I saw something
hatching, and then I would go to the appropriate emerger or dun/adult imitation of
that insect. In the Quill Gordon case, if the hatch is taking place and the trout are not
feeding on the surface very much, use the Emerging Quill Gordon wet fly.
There is a good chance the Blue Quills, Quill Gordons, Little Black Caddis and baetis
BWO's will hatch today. Any or all of them could hatch in the lower to middle
elevations. Little Brown stoneflies will likely hatch but the hatch occurs near or after
dark. Fishing the Little Brown stonefly nymph near the banks very late in the day
should be very effective. 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 are
about a size 20 to 22 and crawl out of the water to hatch and we have always been
unable to catch trout trying to imitate them. The Little Black Caddis Brachycentrus
(American Grannoms) (size 18) hatch mid water like many mayflies. They don't crawl
out of the water. They fly off the water. Use an imitation of the pupa during the hatch,
and adults during egg laying.
Tips for Beginners:
The water levels and weather is as good as it gets in March.
Tips for the Self Proclaimed Experts:
I don't want to hear any excuses. If you can't catch some trout today, you shouldn't
be reading this section.
Whatever Hits Me:
I hope everyone has a good day.
Copyright 2014 James Marsh
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