Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 12/14/14
More good weather is ahead for today and tomorrow, and then we should get some
rain on Tuesday and Wednesday. It will be needed to keep the streams in good

Too many anglers have a tendency to relate the fishing to how they feel themselves
when they are outside exposed to the cold weather. That's a big mistake. Being cold
yourself has nothing to do with how the fish feel. Years ago, anglers would talk and
write about how the fish would get uncomfortable in cold water and move to warmer
water. The same thing was true during hot weather. They would talk and write about
how the fish would be uncomfortable and move to cooler water. They were wrong.
The fish may move but not because of being comfortable or uncomfortable. Fish are
cold blooded and don't feel the difference in the temperature of the water
surrounding them like us warm blooded animals. Don't worry about the fish. Just
worry about yourself and how you dress to cope with the cold weather. The fish will
be just fine. After all, trout are cold water species of fish, right? Think about the fish
that will spend the winter under solid ice. What about the trout in the northwestern
and Rocky Mountain streams that will spend four or five months in water below forty
degrees. Do you think they will not eat for four or five months.
Stop worrying about
the mule and just load the wagon.

By the way, I stopped at my brother's cabin on Guntersville Lake on my way back
home day before yesterday, and picked up some groceries. He gave me about 50
pounds of Crappie fillets. He was complaining about both of his freezers being full of
fish with no place to put any more crappie. I felt sorry for him and brought a large
cooler full home. We had a wonderful meal last night, thanks to his hard work.

Quick Note: After writing a long article in three parts about fly fishing the Clinch
River in Tennessee, I forgot to link our Perfect Fly Clinch River fishing web pages
and fishing reports to it. You can keep up with the latest and greatest on the
River tailwater by clicking here.

Hiwassee River, Tennessee, part 1:
I won't get very far with this article this morning, but I will give it a good start. The
Hiwassee River is Tennessee's Blackfoot River. If the stream was lined with spruce
and cottonwood trees, instead of oak and pine trees, you would have a difficult time
of knowing which one you were fishing. It looks a lot like many western trout streams.
In other words, the Hiwassee River is a beautiful River and unspoiled in its first few
miles below the power house. By the way, water from Appalachia Lake is released
at the Appalachia power house about ten miles from the Lake and Appalachia Dam. It
travels to the power house through a pipe.

Writing about my trip to Guntersville reminded me to tell you that the last several
times I have fished the Hiwassee River was during stops I made coming back from, or
on my way to Guntersville, Alabama, to visit my mother. The Interstate crosses the
river not far below the tailwater trout area. We made several trips there to fish the
river in years past from our home in Panama City Beach, and later from Gatlinburg. I
noticed recently that I still have about 2 hours of video I shot of Ian Rutter catching
about 50 trout during a trip we made there in 2001. For reasons I don't recall right
now, I have never used it for anything. It clearly illustrates how you can catch lots of
trout, especially not long after it has been stocked.

I will continue writing about the Hiwassee River tomorrow.

Smoky Mountain Weather:
Today, will be sunny with a high near 51. Wind will be from the northeast around 5
mph. Tonight's low will be around 28.

Monday, will be sunny with a high near 60. Calm wind will change to come from the
south around 5 mph. There's a  50 percent chance of showers on Monday night.

Smoky Mountain Stream Conditions:
The streams with links that have nearby USGS Station Real-time stream data:

Little River: Rate 170 cfs at 1.79 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)

Oconaluftee River: Rate 308 cfs at 1.53 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)

Cataloochee Creek: Rate 65 cfs at 2.38 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 was in good shape
yesterday afternoon.

Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Fontana Lake: They are
in good shape.

Current Recommended Streams: I would fish the lower elevation streams

Recommended Trout Flies:
1. Blue-winged Olives:
Hook Size 20/18/16

2. Brown and White Belly Sculpins:
Hook Size 6

3. Cream Midges: 20/22

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, assuming I was fishing a low to mid elevation
stream, I would fish a size 18 Blue-winged Olive nymph. Many of the species of
mayflies called Blue-winged Olives are bi-brooded, meaning they hatch twice a year.
They are swimming nymphs that dart around in short spurts and hide wherever they
can. They don't stay wedged up under the rocks like most of the other mayfly
nymphs, the majority of which are clingers.

If the water is below 43 degrees, I would switch to a Cream Midge larva and Cream
Midge Pupa tandem rig, with the larva the bottom fly and the pupa above it.

If you spot something hatching, it will most likely be Cream Midges or small
Blue-winged Olives. Switch to the adult Cream Midge, if it is midges hatching, or the
BWO Dun or emerger, if  it is the BWOs.

Tips for Beginners:

Tips for the Self Proclaimed Experts:

Whatever Hits Me:
Thank you for visiting our site. James Marsh, Pending CFO
(Chief Fishing Officer) Perfect Fly
Copyright 2014 James Marsh
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