Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 05/31/15
This is the 2475th article that I have written for this website, not counting the regular
pages of the site, and I learn something every time I write one. Notice that today, I
even dated the article correctly, using today's date. I dated yesterday's article the
28th, the same as the one the day before. It is obvious that I am getting smarter, -
maybe as smart as a fifth grader, but that may be stretching it some.
I noticed the water temperature at the USGS station on Little River went to 71
degrees yesterday. Of course, that is well downstream of the point wild trout exist.
What is does tell me is that the water temperature in the Metcalf Bottoms area, where
trout do exist, probably reached 68 or 69. So far, the only good that can come out of
the very low water levels, has been the fact the temperature of the water has been
low enough to keep the trout in good shape. I guess what I am pointing out is the fact
that both the level and water temperature was getting close to being a problem
yesterday. Thank goodness, the air temps are predicted to remain in the low to mid
eighties for the next few days. If it should go into the low nineties or higher, we will
have big problem. I guess what I am saying is that LITTLE RIVER IS IN BAD NEED OF
RAIN. They have increased the odds of it raining today up to 70%, so I hope this
problem ends today. PLEASE.
Not all the streams are that low but they all are in need of rain.I must admit, heading
into the summer this way is getting a little scary. I am making a bold prediction that
this problem is going to end today. On second thought, I am going to predict it isn't
going to rain a drop. Maybe that prediction will help increase the odds a little.
Weather: (At Gatlinburg at about 1600 ft)
Forget the weather guys predictions. They don't know what they are doing. Click the
link if you really want to know what they think but i'm giving up on them.
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: 74 cfs at 1.35 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 257 cfs at 1.42 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: Rate 53 cfs at 2.31 ft (good wading conditions up to 125 with
extra caution up to 150 cfs)
Little Pigeon River doesn't have a station nearby but as of yesterday afternoon, it
was obviously low. It isn't quite as low as most streams in the park, but low.
Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Fontana Lake:
My guess, based on the precipitation map, is they are well below normal.
Current Recommended Streams: The middle to higher elevations.
Recommended Trout Flies:
Hook Size 20/18
American March Browns:
Hook Size: 10/12
Brown and White Belly Sculpins:
Hook Size 6
Cinnamon Caddis: (mostly Abrams but a few in all of the streams) 16/18
Green Caddis: 14/16
larva (green rock worms)
Giant Black Stoneflies: 4/6
Eastern Pale Evening Duns: 14 (called sulphurs by some)
Slate Drakes: 10/12
Golden Stoneflies: 10/12
Little Yellow Stoneflies: 16/14
Light Cahills: 16
Inch Worms: Hook size : 10/12/14
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.
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 still hatching. If
you spot something else hatching (coming off the water) that is relatively small, it will
most likely be Light Cahills. It it is relatively large, it will probably be an Eastern Pale
Evening Dun or American March Brown. Change to the appropriate emerger, dun or
adult imitations of the insect. Slate Drakes are starting to hatch but remember, they
hatch out of the water. Only the spinners get on the water unless it is purely
When March Browns, Slate Drakes, Light Cahills or Eastern Pale Evening Duns are
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, Golden Stoneflies and Little Yellow stoneflies are hatching,
but of course, this takes place during the evenings. Fishing a Giant Black Stonefly
nymph, Golden Stonefly nymph or Little Yellow Stonefly nymph very late in the
afternoon near sunset should produce. If you see the stoneflies depositing their eggs
on the surface of the water, switch to the adult imitation of the stonefly.
Eastern Pale Evening Duns, often called Sulphurs but not true Sulphurs are still
hatching in some areas. True Sulphurs are beginning to hatch. These are not any
and everywhere, but some of the larger pools.
As mentioned above, Light Cahills are hatching. Look for them in the faster water
areas. They will get caught up in the fast water runs and riffles.
Tips for Beginners:
Tips for the Self Proclaimed Experts:
Whatever Hits Me:
Copyright 2015 James Marsh
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