Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 07/04/15
I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe 4th and is as thankful as I am to live in this
It has continued to rain off and on for the past couple of days and there's more to
come. It appears it is that way in many locations throughout the country. Some
streams are high and not fishable and some are. Overall, I like the conditions much
better than we have been experiencing with low water. Little River is in good shape.
Cataloochee Creek is in good shape. I feel sure there are other streams that are
okay to fish. I also know some are too high to fish. Oconaluftee and Straight Fork are
too high. It appears the streams draining into Cherokee Lake, meaning Hazel and
others are high. I think Little Pigeon River is high but may not be in the high
elevations. I'm not sure about Cosby Creek. .
We still have a 80% to a 40% chance of rain for the next week. The best way to keep
up with which sections of the park are getting the most rain and approximately how
much, is through the use of the Precipitation Map linked just below. It takes a little
getting use to as zooming and adjustments are necessary. It also takes a little
knowledge of the park location on the map. Highway 441, towns and lakes identify
the area of the park.
Weather: (At Gatlinburg at about 1600 ft)
Today, expect more showers and possibly a thunderstorm. The high will be near 76.
West wind will be around 5 mph. The chance of precipitation is 80%.
Sunday, expect more showers and thunderstorms. It will be cloudy, with a high near
78. Southeast wind around will be around 5 mph becoming west in the afternoon.
Chance of precipitation is 70%.
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:225 cfs at 1.94 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 796 cfs at 2.32 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: Rate 72 cfs at 2.42 ft (good wading conditions up to 125 with
extra caution up to 150 cfs)
Little Pigeon River: Yesterday it was high. I haven't seen it this morning but my
guess is, based on the rain we have received at the house, it is high this morning.
Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Fontana Lake:
According to the rain precipitation map, it has to be high. Just how high, I'm not sure.
Current Recommended Streams:
On the N.C. side of the park, Cataloochee Creek is in good shape and I'm sure there
are other streams, but many are high. On the Tennessee side, I'm recommending
Little River. It is in good shape and most of the other streams are high.
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:
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