Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 07/15/15
The key word phrase for today's Smoky Mountains Fly Fishing Report is "Blown
out". All the streams in the park are probably blown out except Cataloochee Creek
and the little streams in that area of the park. It is still headed up.
In case the terminology eludes you, that means most of the streams in the park are
very high, bad stained and roaring downstream. Those in the highest elevations will
start falling out and become the first water wadable. That situation is not likely in
some of them until tomorrow. Yes, I know a few tricks for fishing very high water but I
don't think it is appropriate to try and detail it. Very high water carries a risk.
This isn't a good thing for those visiting the park from out of town. It is heart breaking
for those on vacation that planned their trip to fall at the same time the park received
a lot of rain for the first time in several weeks. That written, I should point out that It is
good news for the trout that rely on flowing water for their survival. We soon will be
headed into a couple of dry months. From that standpoint it is a welcome
disturbance. By the way, although it is good for the trout, and fun for the thrill
seekers that use good common sense, it usually kills one or more of those stupid
enough to think they can handle any kind of currents in their kayaks. I mention this
because deaths for this very thing happens far too often.
Weather: (At Gatlinburg at about 1600 ft)
Today, there's a chance of showers and thunderstorms before 8am, then a slight
chance of showers. The radar shows it is over. It will be partly sunny with a high near
83. West wind will be from 5 to 10 mph.
Thursday, will be sunny with a high near 87. Winds will be calm.
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: 1560 cfs at 3.98 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 827 cfs at 2.36 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: Rate 148 cfs at 2.76 ft (good wading conditions up to 125 with
extra caution up to 150 cfs)
Little Pigeon River: I'm sure it is blown out.
Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Fontana Lake:
Based on the precipitation map, I don't see how they are not blown out.
Current Recommended Streams:
Possible, Cataloochee Creek. It is okay right now but still headed up, so check it later
this morning before heading that way.
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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