Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 06/15/15
The chances of rain the National Weather Service is giving each day is nothing more
than a big guess. Yesterday, there was a 30 percent chance of rain for today at
Gatlinburg, but today they say it is zero. It's just a "wait and see" deal.
I think you should select a section of water above the 2500 elevation range today. It
is going to be hot. If you don't, at least fish only early or late in the day. Most of the
streams on the North Carolina side of the park received a little rain yesterday, or
enough to keep the levels about where they were. A little fell on the Tennessee side,
but it was only a little.
I keep getting email and calls asking for specific stream areas to fish. Some want me
to identify a particular rock to stand on. I'll give a brief summary, but I'm sure I'll leave
out some good options.
Little River got zero rain, which is usual for it, and it is getting back very low for the
hot temperatures expected. The only part I would consider fishing would be the East
Prong three or four miles or more above Elkmont. The West and Middle prongs and
their tributaries are all two low in elevation for the current conditions.
The upper Middle Prong of Little Pigeon above Porters Creek, and the West Prong of
Little Pigeon River above the Chimneys Picnic area, would be good choices. This
includes Walkers Camp Prong and Road Prong.
On the N.C. side, you have more choices due to the fact it has received a little more
rain and the streams are in better shape. I think anywhere above 2000 feet in
elevation would be okay. Upper Oconaluftee River, upper Straight Fork, or middle to
upper Hazel, Forney, Noland, Deep Creek, and Big Creek. The Raven Fork would be
a very good choice if your legs are strong enough.
Weather: (At Gatlinburg at about 1600 ft)
Today, will be mostly sunny and hot with a high near 91. WOW! Calm wind will come
from the west around 5 mph in the afternoon.
Tuesday, there's a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 9am. We
should have increasing clouds with a high near 89. Light west wind will increase to 5
to 10 mph in the morning.
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: 66 cfs at 1.30 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 265 cfs at 1.44 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: Yesterday afternoon it was a little below normal.
Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Fontana Lake:
Yesterday, it was a just a little below normal.
Current Recommended Streams: I think you should stay above 2500 foot
elevation or fish from 2000 up early and late in the day.
Recommended Trout Flies:
Brown and White Belly Sculpins:
Hook Size 6
Cinnamon Caddis: (mostly Abrams but a few in all of the streams) 16/18
Green Sedges (Caddis): 14/16
larva (green rock worms)
Slate Drakes: 10/12
Golden Stoneflies: 10/12
Little Yellow Stoneflies: 16/14
Light Cahills: 16
Inch Worms: Hook size : 10/12/14
Green/Tan/Orange Hoppers: 10/12
Black Carpenter Ants: 16/18
Japanese Beetles: 16/14
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 Slate Drake nymph. They are big swimming nymphs
that are easily caught and eaten by trout and are hatching. If you spot something
else hatching (coming off the water), it will most likely be Light Cahills or Sulphurs.
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 accidental.
When the Slate Drakes, Light Cahills or Sulphurs 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.
Golden Stoneflies and Little Yellow stoneflies are hatching, but of course, these
hatches take place during the evenings. Both species of stoneflies crawl out of the
water to hatch. Fishing a 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
As mentioned above, Light Cahills and in some isolated area, Sulphurs,are hatching.
Look for the Light Cahills in the faster water areas. They will get caught up in the fast
water runs and riffles. Look for the Sulphurs in the slower water of the larger pools.
Tips for Beginners:
Tips for the Self Proclaimed Experts:
Whatever Hits Me:
Copyright 2015 James Marsh
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