Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report - 04/14/14
Unless you chose this week for a fishing vacation, you should be thankful. At least
the approaching cold front is going to occur during the first part of the week versus
the weekend. They are showing a slight chance of rain this weekend but if the
forecast it right, that will probably just make things a little better.
Smoky Mountain Weather:
Showers are likely today along with a possibly thunderstorm, mainly after 3pm. It will
be mostly cloudy, with a high near 71. South wind 5 to 10 mph. The chance of
precipitation is 70%. Tonight's low will be 47. The chance of rain tonight is 100%.
Showers are likely on Tuesday, mainly before 3pm. The temperature will be rising to
near 51 by 10am, then falling to around 45 during the remainder of the day. North
wind will be from 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. The chance of
precipitation Tuesday is 100%. NWS Forecast
Smoky Mountain Stream Conditions:
The streams with links that have nearby USGS Station Real-time stream data:
Little River: Rate 307 cfs at 2.13 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 601 cfs at 2.04 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: Rate 130 cfs at 2.71 ft
(good wading conditions up to 125 with extra caution up to 150 cfs)
Little Pigeon River doesn't have a station nearby but It is about normal.
Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Cherokee Lake: My guess
is they are about normal levels.
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 4/6/8
Black Matuka Sculpin
Olive Matuka Sculpin
3. Little Brown Stoneflies: 14
4. Blue Quills: 18
5. Quill Gordons: 12/14
emerging duns (wet fly)
6. Little Black Caddis: 18
7. Hendricksons and Red Quills: 12/14
8. American March Browns: 10/12
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 of success. 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 and Quill Gordon hatching but
this will occur mostly in the middle to higher elevations. Until I spotted something
hatching, with the Quill Gordon exception mentioned below, I would fish the BWO or
Blue Quill 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 and then switch to an Emerging
Adult or dun. I would also make sure I fished the spinner fall late in the day near dark.
You can catch more trout on the spinner fall and in a much shorter time than you can
during the hatch.
The only time I would change from the nymphs mentioned above is when and if I saw
something hatching, and then I would go to the appropriate emerger or dun/adult
imitation of that insect.
There is a good chance Blue Quills, Quill Gordons, and Little Black Caddis will hatch
today. Any or all of them could hatch but this will only occur in the middle to higher
elevations. There not many of either of these insects in the higher elevations but
there are a some in the few larger, slower high elevation streams.
The Hendricksons/Red Quills are usually concentrated but only in isolated locations
consisting mostly of pools and slower moving water. Most Smoky Mountain anglers
don't have a clue as to how to fish pools. That can be a huge mistake. It is also a
huge mistake attempting to fish them with the poor, generic imitations sold by most fly
shops simply because the trout can see the flies in the slower water of the pools.
Little Brown stoneflies are also likely to 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
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. They
too, are nearing the end of their hatch period.
Tips for Beginners:
The weather may be okay for at least part of the day today.
Tips for the Self Proclaimed Experts:
You better fish early today, otherwise, you will be faced with fishing high water after
the cold front passes. It will make the "catching" tougher later on this week.
Whatever Hits Me:
This week will bring about typical early spring time fishing conditions - extreme
variations in temperatures due to constantly passing cold fronts.
Copyright 2014 James Marsh
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Little Brown Stonefly
Blue Quill Dun
Quill Gordon Dun
Little Black Caddis
Male Hendrickson Dun, has a redish olive body,
big tomato eyes
Female Hendrickson, has little eyes and
American March Brown dun (This one is a late
season male a little darker than you will find
them early in the season and the one that was
at one time called a Gray Fox.
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