Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 06/23/15
The eastern end of the park received a good amount of rain yesterday, and last
night. Oconaluftee River is back up to a normal level and flow of 327 cfs. The Middle
Prong of Little Pigeon River, Cosby Creek, Oconaluftee River, Straight Fork, and
some other stream watersheds were in the path of the recent 3/4 to over an inch of
rain. The streams draining into Cherokee Lake were mostly missed.

From the precipitation map, it is difficult to tell if the Little Pigeon River received water
from the latest thunderstorms. I'll have to wait until daylight this morning to find that
out. What is clear is that the Little River watershed, including most all of the East
Prong, all the Middle and West Prongs as will as Abrams Creek, were again missed
by the rain. They should not be fished at all. All but the highest elevations of the East
Prong Little River, up to about four miles or more above Elkmont, are in bad
shape..Water temperatures are reaching the low seventies.

If you believe the long range weather forecast, it appears this will come to an end by
the end of the week, hopefully sooner. I cannot believe some guys continue to fish
water that's far too warm. I can't believe fly shops aren't discouraging it. On second
though, I guess I can believe it.   

In my opinion, much of Little River should have been closed to fishing by the park. If
the same conditions existed in any of the streams in Yellowstone, they would be

Weather: (At Gatlinburg at about 1600 ft)  
Today, expect scattered showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 2pm. It will be
mostly sunny and hot with a high near 90. West wind will range from 5 to 10 mph.
The chance of precipitation is 30%.

Wednesday, there's a chance of showers and thunderstorms after 8am. It will be
mostly sunny and hot with a high near 90. Northwest wind will be around 5 mph. The
chance of precipitation is 30%.

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: 50 cfs at 1.21 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs

Oconaluftee River: Rate 327 cfs at 1.58 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)

Cataloochee Creek: Rate 43 cfs at 2.24 ft (good wading conditions up to 125 with
extra caution up to 150 cfs)

Little Pigeon River: Yesterday afternoon it was low but not too low to fish in the
middle to higher elevations.

Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Fontana Lake:
I did get a reports from the streams yesterday. They are a little low but in okay shape
to fish in the middle to high elevations.

Current Recommended Streams:
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.

Little River is still very low for the hot temperatures expected today. The
only part you should consider fishing would be the East Prong a few miles
above Elkmont. The West and Middle prongs and their tributaries, including
Lynn Camp Prong, are all two low in elevation for the current conditions.
Water temps are getting into the low seventies, way to hot.

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 okay choices. This
includes Walkers Camp Prong and Road Prong.

On the N.C. side of the park, you have more choices due to the fact it has received a
a lot more rain and the some of the streams are in good shape. I think anywhere
above 2000 feet in elevation would be okay. Oconaluftee River and Straight Fork
should be fine, if they don't get too high. The higher elevations of Hazel, Forney,
Noland, Deep Creek, and Big Creek would work.

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)

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

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:
Thank you for visiting our website

James Marsh
Copyright 2015 James Marsh
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