Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 05/04/15
As of right now, the National Weather service is predicting only a 20 to 30 percent
chance of rain each day for the next seven days. I don't see how the forecast could
be any better for someone planning to fish the streams of Great Smoky Mountains
National Park. I much rather see that than a zero chance of rain for the next week. If
that was the case, the streams would be getting low by the end of the week. Not only
is the weather forecast as good as it could be, the stream levels are all currently in
great shape and the hatches are occurring exactly like they should be.
The conditions doesn't determine how many fish your going to catch. They only make
it easier for you to catch them. In previous years, I have noticed that when I paint a
pretty picture, such as I just did, there always seems to be a one or two out of ten
guys that end up disappointed. I guess they come to the park thinking all they have
to do is show up with a fly rod and cast a fly and they are going to catch several
trout. That's not the case. You still have to do the basic things the right way. You still
have to stay hidden from the trout. You still have to get drag free drifts so that your
fly behaves or acts like the real things. You still need to fish water that other anglers
and/or tourist haven't waded through within the last hour or two.
If you expect to catch a good number of trout, especially the rainbows and browns,
you need to use a fly that looks and behaves like the most plentiful and available
food the trout are eating at the time. Keep and mind, this changes throughout the
day. Keep in mind that this can change from stream to stream or more especially, at
different elevations and types of water.
As always, even when conditions are as good as they get, it is a fact that the more
you know about the fish you're trying to catch, and the food they rely on to survive,
the higher your odds of success.
Weather: (At Gatlinburg at about 1600 ft)
Today, there's a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 3pm. It iwll
be mostly sunny with a high near 79. South wind will be around 5 mph becoming
northwest in the afternoon. Tonight there is a 30 percent chance of showers and
thunderstorms, mainly before 9pm. The low will be around 57.
Tuesday, there's a 10 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 5pm. It wil
be mostly sunny with a high near 78.
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: 196 cfs at 1.85 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 500 cfs at 1.90 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: Rate 116 cfs at 2.63 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 is in good shape.
Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Fontana Lake:
Customers reported yesterday Hazel Creek is in great shape.
Current Recommended Streams: All the streams should be okay.
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
Hendricksons/Red Quills: 12/14
duns - males and females
spinners - males and females
Eastern Green Drakes: 4/6 (Abrams Creek Only)
Cinnamon Caddis: (mostly Abrams but some in all of the streams) 16/18
Giant Black Stoneflies: 4/6
Eastern Pale Evening Duns: 14
Little Yellow Stoneflies: 16/14
Light Cahills: 16
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.
If you fished the day or two before and know where something is hatching, fish the
nymph or larva stage of it. If you haven't fished the day or two before, 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, Light Cahills or Little Black
Caddis. It it is relatively large, it will be a Hendrickson, Eastern Pale Evening Dun or
American March Brown. Change to the appropriate emerger, dun or adult imitations
of the insect. If you see Blue Quills, BWOs,
When 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. Little
Yellow Stoneflies are beginning to hatch. The nymphs are coming out from under
their hiding places to fully develop their wing pads and crawling out on the rocks and
banks to hatch. Fishing a nymph imitation of them late in the day is a good strategy
in areas you know they have started to hatch..Eastern Pale Evening Duns, often
called Sulphurs but not true Sulphurs (which will hatch later on), are starting to hatch
in some areas. These are not any and everywhere, but some of the larger pools.
Where they do exist, they can be important. By the way, these are not Pale Evening
Duns, which are a western species. Light Cahill are hatching. Look for them to get
caught up in the fast water runs and riffles. I should have put these in the list about 2
weeks ago. I've been behind with my work and making some mistakes I shouldn't
Tips for Beginners:
Tips for the Self Proclaimed Experts:
Whatever Hits Me:
Copyright 2015 James Marsh
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