Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 09/29/14
The lack of rain the park received yesterday was disappointing but better than
nothing. Most of the streams rose just a tiny bit. There wasn't enough rain in Pigeon
Forge to water the grass. We will get another chance Thursday night and Friday.
There are lots of people calling and sending email about October trips to the
Smokies and even a few for November. It is a beautiful time to fish and usually a
productive time to fish provided anglers use some common sense. Following are
some off the top of my head tips that come to mind.
1. If you see wet foot prints on the rocks upstream of where your fishing, move.
2. Stay away from the areas that have direct road access. Hike off the road at least a
few yards. People will be stopping and looking at the water and that spooks the trout.
3. With the low water conditions, staying well camouflaged isn't enough. You must
stay below the line of sight of the trout or your movements will spook them. It helps
when the surface of the water is broken by riffles because that distorts the trout's
view of objects outside of the water.
4. Low water is usually slow moving, smooth flowing water where the trout get a good
look at your fly. Common sense should tell you the more the fly resembles the real
things, the better off you are. You will find our Perfect fly patterns will give you a big
advantage under these type of conditions.
I am showing just a few of the new Perfect Fly products below. We still have a
long way to go to get all of our new product online. We will be shooting lots of stills
and video on the new product within the next couple of months.
Smoky Mountain Weather:
Today will be sunny with a high near 80. Calm wind will be around 5 mph in the
Wednesday will be sunny with a high near 81. Calm wind wil become northwest
around 5 mph in the afternoon.
Smoky Mountain Stream Conditions:
The streams with links that have nearby USGS Station Real-time stream data:
Little River: Rate 67 cfs at 1.36 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 169 cfs at 1.16 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: Rate 40 cfs at 2.22 ft
(good wading conditions up to 125 with extra caution up to 150 cfs)
Little Pigeon River doesn't have a station nearby. Yesterday, it came us just a tad
but is still low.
Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Fontana Lake: I don't
have any recent reports but looking at the rainfall amounts in the watersheds of the
streams flowing into the lake, it appears the streams probably came up a little
yesterday but are most likely still low like all the others in the park.
Current Recommended Streams:
I think you can fish about anywhere but the very lowest elevations.
All the streams on both sides of the park appear to be in good shape.
Recommended Trout Flies:
1. Blue-winged Olives:
Hook Size 20
2. Brown and White Belly Sculpins:
Especially good in off color, high water & early/late in the day
Hook Size 4/6
3. Slate Drakes
Hook Size 10/12
4. Cream Cahills
Hook Size 16/14
5. Green Sedge (Caddisfly):
Hook Size 14/16
larvae (Green Rock Worms)
6. Little Yellow Stoneflies:
Hook Size 14/16
8. Little Yellow Quills
Hook Size 16
9. Great Autumn Brown Sedge:
Hook Size 10
10. Needle Stoneflies
Hook Size 16/18
8. Moth Larvae: (Inch Worms): 10/12/14
9. Carpenter Ants, Black
Hook Size 16/18
10. Japanese Beetles
Hook Size 16/14
11. Grass Hoppers
Hook Size 10, 12, 14
Recommended Fishing Strategy:
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.
Until I spotted something hatching, I would fish a Slate Drake nymph. These big
mayflies are plentiful throughout the streams of the Smokies. They are swimming
nymphs and represent a big meal for the trout that catch them. They have begin
congregating near the banks to crawl out of the water and hatch. That makes them
much easier for the trout to catch and gives you a good opportunity to catch some
nice trout. This will occur off and on from now into the month of November. The
hatches will increase in late September and early October.
Let me note that if you fish the day before, and know for a fact a certain mayfly
listed above is hatching in a certain area of the stream your fishing, by all means
fish the nymph of that mayfly the next morning up until you begin to see them
hatch. That will always give you the highest odds of success.
Little Yellow Quills will begin to hatch anytime now. These are mostly a mid to high
elevation insect, often confused with Light Cahills but quite different. They are very
plentiful at times and you will often see them in the brook trout streams.
Needle Stoneflies will begin to hatch anytime now. These are very narrow, long
shaped stoneflies that when in flight, look more like a caddifly than a stonefly. Like all
stoneflies they crawl out of the water in low light conditions to hatch. The egg layer
can provide some great action in the late afternoons.
It is about time you will start seeing the Great Autumn Brown Sedges, or caddiflies.
These are large caddis that hatch during the evening and lay their eggs late in the
day and early evenings. If you camp, you will see them around your lights the next
month or two.
Little Yellow Stoneflies are hatching and different species of them will actually get
more plentiful in the near future. If you see any adults during the day, it is a good
idea to fish an imitation of the nymph near the banks of the stream late in the day.
They crawl out of the water and hatch during the darkness of the night. You may also
spot some of the females laying eggs. This usually occurs late afternoons and if so,
be certain to fish an imitation of the adult.
Green Sedges have been hatching and will continue for a few more weeks. There
are several different species of them. The do not hatch in big numbers but where
they hatch, trout will focus on eating them because they hatch at a time of day that is
different from other hatching insects at this time of the year. It usually occurs later in
the day near the same time the previously hatched adults are depositing their eggs.
You should concentrate far more on fishing the Green Rock Worm or larva stage of
life of the Green Sedge.
Cream Cahills are still hatching. These are mainly a mid to high elevation mayfly. The
duns leave the water very quickly but the spinner fall can produce some very hot
Blue-winged Olives are hatching but they are very small. They are small baetis type
BWOs but also includes species from two other genera commonly called Small BWOs
and Little BWOs.
There are still plenty of moth larvae hanging from the tree limbs. The moth larvae
fly also imitates the green caddis larvae quite well and is one reason the fly works
well in the Smokies.
Carpenter ants are very plentiful. There are both black and browns ones in the
park but the blacks are more plentiful. These ants tend to only get in the water when
they are washed in by heavy downpours. It is a good idea to fish them anytime after a
The same heavy rain scenario applies to the Japanese Beetle. These insects are
very plentiful in the park. Fish our Perfect Fly imitation of them anytime, but they are
more effective after heavy downpours.
In areas where the streams in the park are surrounded by lots of grass, hoppers
can become a factor in the trout's diet. They are generally blown in the streams by
high wind, but can always accidentally jump in the water. They are not the smartest
creatures on earth.
Tips for Beginners:
Tips for the Self Proclaimed Experts:
Whatever Hits Me:
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Coming within the next week:
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and even more new product
The photo above shows a collection of flies we put together for a
gentleman in our new Master fly box for some Maryland and
Pennsylvania trout streams that he fishes. In this case there are 140
flies that range from a hook size 20 up to a hook size 6. He will use the
fly box as a home storage base and take only the flies he needs at a
particular time with him to a stream in a small fly box. As you can see,
there is plenty of space left in the box for more flies. Not shown is a map
or plan of the fly box that identifies the flies left to right by line. It stays
inside the box so that he can identify each fly until he becomes familiar
with all of them. Example, the top line, left to right,:2 each #14
BWO nymphs, BWO duns, #16 BWO nymphs, BWO emergers, BWO
duns, BWO spinners, #18 BWO nymphs, BWO emergers, BWO duns,
BWO spinners, #20 BWO nymphs and BWO duns or a total of 14
different flies or 28 in total. As an additional advantage, on our website
there is a full page of information on each type of fly, a total of 70 in this
particular case, that explains how, when and where to fish each fly.