Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 07/13/15
The fishing conditions for the streams of Great Smoky Mountains National Park
remain excellent for mid July. We should get some more rain tonight and tomorrow to
help keep the stream levels up.
Changes in fly recommendations:
I got the changes made on the recommended flies below. Keep in mind, that although
the number of insects/flies listed didn't decrease any (there is still a lot of them), the
actual number of hatches you will encounter will decrease. It's just that there is a
large diversity. This actually makes it a little tougher to figure out. You have a lot of
different flies to choose from, yet you will be seeing less bugs on the water. This
doesn't mean it is less important as to what fly you use. It means you need to pay
close attention to the water. What fly you should use can change a few times during
the day. Close observation is the key during the summer months.
Here are some quick down and dirty tips on fly selection:
Tend to stick with the aquatic insect larvae (nymph) imitations until you see
something on the surface of the water, or the trout taking flies from the surface, and
then switch to the adult/dun imitation. Late in the day, stick with the spinners and/or
adult egg laying caddis and stonefly imitations. If you don't see anything on the water
late in the day, fish an imitation of the Little Yellow or Green stonefly nymph. The
naturals will be near the banks ready to crawl out during the night. Use the terrestrial
imitations only after heavy rainfall or high winds. There's more info below.
Weather: (At Gatlinburg at about 1600 ft)
Today, there's a 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. It will be partly
sunny with a high near 87. Southwest wind will be around 5 mph. The chance of
precipitation is 60% for tonight.
Tuesday, expect showers and thunderstorms. It will be mostly cloudy with a high near
88. West wind will range from 5 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. The chance
of precipitation is 60%.
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: 109 cfs at 1.52 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 273 cfs at 1.46 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: Rate 41 cfs at 2.23 ft (good wading conditions up to 125 with
extra caution up to 150 cfs)
Little Pigeon River: Yesterday, it was in great shape and appeared to be near
normal yesterday morning.
Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Fontana Lake:
According to customers, the streams are near a normal level.
Current Recommended Streams:
You can fish just about anywhere you want to today, but I would stick to the mid to
higher elevations. The streams in the lower elevations are too warm to fish.
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
Little Yellow Stoneflies: 14
Little Green Stoneflies: 16
Light Cahills: 14/16
Cream Cahills: 14/16
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 the Slate Drake nymph. They are big swimming
nymphs that are easily caught and eaten by trout and are still hatching. If you spot
something else hatching (coming off the water), it will most likely be Light or Cream
Cahills. Change to the appropriate emerger, dun or adult imitations of the insect.
When the Slate Drakes, Light or Cream Cahills 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.
Little Yellow and Little Green 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 Little Green 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.
As mentioned above, Light and Cream 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:
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