Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 02/01/15
Today, is the big Super Bowl day I'm tired of hearing about. I do watch the game
every year but mostly, the commercials. I do that from a different standpoint than
most people. I produced one in the early 1980s, for the first ever Super Bowl held in
Tampa, Florida. It was for a large motor home company, one of my major TV
sponsors for my nationally syndicated fishing show, the first ever on Saltwater fishing.
It was almost accidental, because they hired a large advertising agency to do it. I had
produced many commercials for my TV program for them, and they didn't like
anything the agency company came up with and asked me to give it a try. I did
(wrote, directed the shots, edited) it and it ran worldwide on the Super Bowl at the
cost of close to a million dollars, if I remember right. I charged them a few hundred
dollars, not several thousand like the agency would have. They paid me well
otherwise, for TV show commercials for a few years. I guess I like to look at the
commercials each year and reminisce about the one I did. They do some absolutely
great ones and some of them, I don't get at all. The ones with the animals are always
my favorite except the Go Daddy they are not allowing. I'm glad of that. It is sick. Oh,
well, what does this have to do with fly fishing Great Smoky Mountains National Park?
Absolutely nothing.

It is going to be a good day to fish the Smokies. It shouldn't start raining until around
4:00 and the high will be around 50 degrees. They say showers are likely, mainly
after 4pm. It will be cloudy with a high near 52. South wind will be 5 to 10 mph
increasing to 10 to 15 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 25 mph.
The chance of precipitation is 70%. Tonight low will be around 38. The chance of
precipitation is 100% for tonight.

Rain showers are likely on Monday before 4pm, then a slight chance of snow
showers. It will be mostly cloudy with a temperature falling to around 33 by 5pm. West
wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. The chance of precipitation is 70%.
Little or no snow accumulation expected. It's not a very good forecast for fishing.

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

Little River: Rate 205 cfs at 1.90 ft..
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)

Oconaluftee River: Rate 351 cfs at 1.63 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)

Cataloochee Creek: Rate 76 cfs at 2.44 ft (This gauge is also messed up due to
ice) (good wading conditions up to 125 with extra caution up to 150 cfs)

Little Pigeon River doesn't have a station nearby. It was getting a little on the low
side as of yesterday afternoon.

Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Fontana Lake. My guess
is they are running a little low.

Current Recommended Streams: Abrams Creek

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

Little Brown Stoneflies: 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, 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 and Little Brown stoneflies will start very soon, if not already.

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, Winter stoneflies
or small Blue-winged Olives. Switch to the adult Cream Midge, if it is midges
hatching, Winter stonefly, or the BWO Dun or emerger, if  it is the BWOs.

Tips for Beginners:
Learn to imitate the most plentiful and available insects and other foods at the time
you are fishing, or continue to use trial and error methods and forever be a mediocre

Tips for the Self Proclaimed Experts:

Whatever Hits Me:
Thank you

James Marsh
Copyright 2015 James Marsh
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