Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 04/29/15
This has nothing to do with fly fishing the Smokies but I thought it may be of interest
to some of you since it involves my previous 45 years of making my primary living
from fishing. I know about as much about Facebook as I know about brain surgery,
but I keep learning some amazing things about it. I just got word through Facebook
that my business partner for over 37 years, Michael Bennett, has been marked
"Safe" in the Nepal Earthquake. He was in Katmandu during the tragic earthquake
that killed over 4,000 people recently. That's the result of a special deal Facebook
set up to where members can mark people that were known to be there as either
safe or missing. It's a huge help to those who have lost touch with friends or family
who were there during the earthquake. There are little means of any other forms of
Michael currently lives in Bali, Indonesia. He still has a home in Ojai, California, and
an office with about a dozen employees in Venice, California, where he has his
Bennett Media Group and TMW Media group offices. I have several hundred DVD
programs that I produced in joint venture with him and that we jointly own, including
my 46 saltwater fishing video programs that have been sold more than any others in
the World. They still sell and thanks to some new digital formats, are selling a lot.
I didn't know he was in Nepal, but now that I do know, I'm glad to find out he's still
alive. He has sent me regular royalty checks for the last 37 years, but not that they
would stop if he did leave this earth, and not that it's the main reason I'm glad he
made it. He's also a very good friend.
Michael came to the U.S. from England on the back of a small sailboat, broke. He is
now worth several million dollars, all self-made from scratch. He started out repairing
heads on the boats at Marina del Rey and eventually made a video on how boat
owners could do it themselves. That started Bennett Marine Video, which became the
World's largest marine related video company. Other than myself, he is the single
biggest reason for my success over the years.
A couple of days ago, I mentioned it appeared to be cooler than normal but really
was about average for this time of the year. I was off on that. It has averaged cooler
than normal for the last 28 days of this month. Yesterday, I was editing some fishing
reports on Montana streams and noticed the weather is warmer there this week than
it is here. That's highly unusual. The high today in Gatlinburg will only be 57 and that
is low. That written, we didn't have a real dogwood Winter this year and very little
frost. I'm wondering if we will get a blackberry Winter. Saturday will be May 1st, and I
will be adding a couple of new hatches we can expect to start taking place
The big news around here is our April Issue of the Perfect Fly Journal will go
out sometime today. Yes, I know, April is about gone, but we made it by the skin of
our teeth. If you have yet to sign up for it, it is free, and all you have to do is enter
your email address on the application on the opposite side of this page. We don't
spam (we don't even eat Spam) or give the information to anyone.
Weather: (At Gatlinburg at about 1600 ft)
Today, expect showers, mainly after 9am. The high will be near 57. The wind will be
calm. The chance of precipitation is 80%. Tonight, showers are likely, mainly before
midnight. The low will be around 47.
Thursday, there's a chance of showers, then showers likely and possibly a
thunderstorm after 1pm. It will be mostly cloudy with a high near 62. West wind will
range from 5 to 10 mph. The chance of precipitation is 60%.
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: 279 cfs at 2.13 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 727 cfs at 2.23 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: Rate 164 cfs at 2.82 ft (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 into good shape
Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Fontana Lake. According
to a customer, they were getting in good shape yesterday afternoon.
Current Recommended Streams: Most streams should be okay today.
Recommended Trout Flies:
Hook Size 20/18
Blue Quills: 18
American March Browns: 10/12
Little Black Caddis: 18
Brown and White Belly Sculpins:
Hook Size 6
Little Brown Stoneflies: 14
Hendricksons/Red Quills: 12/14
duns - males and females
spinners - males and females
Eastern Green Drakes: 4/6 (Abrams Creek Only)
Cinnamon Caddis: 16/18
Giant Black Stoneflies: 4/6
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 size 18 Blue-winged Olive Nymph.
They are little swimming nymphs that are easily caught and eaten by trout and are
currently hatching. If you spot something hatching (coming off the water) that is
relatively small, it will most likely be Blue Quills, Blue-winged Olives,or Little Black
Caddis. It it is relatively large, it will be a Hendrickson or American March Brown.
Change to the appropriate emerger, dun or adult imitations of the insect. If you see
Blue Quills, BWOs, March Browns or Hendricksons/Red Quills hatching, there will be
a spinner fall late in the day. Often, you can catch more trout fishing the spinner fall
quicker than you can during the hatch. Change to the spinner imitation of the mayfly.
Giant Black Stoneflies should begin to hatch any day now. Fishing a Giant Black
Stonefly nymph very late in the afternoon near sunset may produce a very large trout
for you. The nymphs are coming out from under their hiding places to fully develop
their wing pads.
Tips for Beginners:
Tips for the Self Proclaimed Experts:
Whatever Hits Me:
Copyright 2015 James Marsh
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