Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 12/30/14
Our local radio station weather reports predicted snow in the higher elevations for
last night. It's still dark (5:15AM) this morning, so I'll have to wait and see it that's the
case. I'm sure it won't be much of a factor with regards to fishing opportunity but it
does provide some very nice scenery. There's an unbelievable number of visitors in
Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg to see whatever happens. I doubt there's a vacant
room or cabin anywhere within twenty miles of here.
The next three of four days are going to be a little colder than it has been for the
past several days. Then, it looks like an approaching warm front is going to change
things for the weekend. They are forecasting rain for Friday night through Saturday.
The Mountains Forecast is predicting 1.8 inches of rain at Mt. LeConte, with winds up
to 45 mph on Saturday. I hope that prediction is a lot worse than it turns out to be. It
will be a warm rain and that may actually improve the conditions - that is, if it doesn't
turn out to be too much of a good thing. We don't need any class 3 rapids.
Although it makes little difference with most of you, let me correct one of the streams I
referred to yesterday, as being a hot fly fishing destination. I mentioned Oak Creek
and Canyon Creek in Arizona, and I should have written Oak Creek and Silver
Creek in Arizona. I don't know why I mentioned Canyon Creek. Silver Creek, Arizona,
not to be confused with Silver Creek, Idaho, is a large spring creek that is stocked
with lots of huge size rainbows and Apache trout by the state from the Silver Creek
hatchery. There's no doubt about the popularity of the so called "trophy" trout
streams. It seems they attract a large numbers of anglers regardless of the location.
Smoky Mountain Weather:
Today, there is a 30 percent chance of rain, mainly before 11am. It will be cloudy,
then gradually becoming mostly sunny with a high near 44. The wind will be around
5 mph. Tonight's low will be around 25.
Wednesday, we can expect isolated thunderstorms. It will be mostly sunny with a high
near 39. Northeast wind will be around 5 mph in the afternoon. The chance of
precipitation is only 10%.
Smoky Mountain Stream Conditions:
The streams with links that have nearby USGS Station Real-time stream data:
Little River: Rate 291 cfs at 2.15 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 525 cfs at 1.93 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: Rate 100 cfs at 2.56 ft
(good wading conditions up to 125 with extra caution up to 150 cfs)
Little Pigeon River doesn't have a station nearby. It looked very near normal
Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Fontana Lake. It is flowing
very near normal levels.
Current Recommended Streams: Any lower to middle elevation stream
Recommended Trout Flies:
1. Blue-winged Olives:
Hook Size 20/18
2. Brown and White Belly Sculpins:
Hook Size 6
3. Cream Midges: 20/22
4. Winter Stoneflies: 16/18
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. Winter stoneflies should begin crawling
out of the water to hatch within the next few days.
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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