Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 01/04/15
Looking at the radar at 5:00AM, this Sunday morning, it appears there's a lot more
rain to come. The streams are already too high to wade and rising. I expect them all
to be pretty well blown-out later this morning. I see another line to the west near
Nashville, so it doesn't appear to be ending when the current line of rain passes.
Those that want to cast a streamer today, will have an opportunity to catch trout.
Often, the trout will get right along the banks of the stream, not only to get out of
heavy current, but to feed on a new source of food, mostly terrestrial insect larvae
such as cranefly larvae and worms. When the streams peak, and the water levels
begin to fall, water that is out of the banks will seek the lowest points along the bank
to reenter the streams, and this also brings a lot of new food for the trout. It also
concentrates the trout. I mention trout, but I just as important, it brings food in the
streams for baitfish that also congregate at these feeding troughs. That, of course,
brings larger trout to the banks to feed on the baitfish and sculpin.
If you can find a break in the tree line to where you have a clear spot to cast from,
you can fish streamers fairly easy. You don't need an area clear enough to make
backcast. You can make upstream, sidearm cast paralleling the banks, keeping the
streamer within two or three feet of the bank. Just raise the rod tip and strip in line as
the fly comes downstream back to you. You may be surprised at how well this works.
I'm continuing to post old pictures to bore you.
Smoky Mountain Weather:
Today, showers and possibly a thunderstorm before 10am, then a chance of
showers between 10am and 1pm. The temperature will fall to around 51 by 5pm.
Southwest wind will be around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. The chance of
precipitation is 100%. Tonight's low will be around 25 degrees.
Monday, will be mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 38.
Northwest wind will range from 5 to 10 mph becoming north in the afternoon.
Smoky Mountain Stream Conditions:
The streams with links that have nearby USGS Station Real-time stream data:
Little River: Rate 652 cfs at 2.88 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 1410 cfs at 2.99 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: Rate 212 cfs at 2.98 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 blown out for sure.
Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Fontana Lake. They are
blown out for sure.
Current Recommended Streams: None
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 2015 James Marsh
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