Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 06/01/15
I was a little surprised this morning when I checked the stream levels. It seemed we
got quite a bit of rain in Pigeon Forge, yesterday afternoon and last night, but the
stream levels of the three with USGS stations showed it had only a slight affect in the
flows and levels. Little River was at 74 cfs (little more than a trickle) yesterday
morning. It is currently flowing at 92 cfs, at 1.44 ft., which is still very slow and low.

The North Carolina side seemed to do a little better. Oconaluftee is at 286 cfs and
1.49 ft. I think the problem is the water table is so low and the vegetation and soil so
dry, most of the rain that fell was quickly consumed by it. The stream levels only
measure runoff. Hopefully, the rain we did get did more good than the stream levels

We have a good chance of rain every day for the next week. Hopefully, we will get
more today and tonight. We had the same forecast last week and it didn't turn out to
amount to much precipitation for the park. Maybe this week will be better.

Weather: (At Gatlinburg at about 1600 ft)  
Today, showers and thunderstorms are likely after 9am. The high will be near 79.
South wind will be around 5 mph becoming west in the afternoon. The chance of
precipitation is 80%.

Tuesday, there's a slight chance of showers, then a chance of showers and
thunderstorms after 8am. The high will be near 77. South wind around 5 mph
becoming northwest in the afternoon. The chance of precipitation is 40%.

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:92 cfs at 1.44 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs

Oconaluftee River: Rate  286 cfs at 1.49 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)

Cataloochee Creek: Rate 60 cfs at 2.35 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:
Blue-winged Olives:
Hook Size 20/18

American March Browns:
Hook Size: 10/12
emerging duns

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)

Sulphurs: 16/18

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:
Thank you

James Marsh
Copyright 2015 James Marsh
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