Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 07/17/15
I didn't get a report out yesterday. I had an early morning (8:30) routine checkup
appointment with my heart doctor in downtown Knoxville. He said it was still beating, I
was good to go until it stopped, and then we talked about fishing.
Harvey, who selected the worse two days of the year (the last two days) to fish the
Smokies, said he drove up to Walker's Camp Prong to find some slower water, but it
was difficult to get to and he failed to catch a fish. It was getting back clear. From
there, he checked Little River in the Elkmont area and reported it was still high, at 54
degrees, but clearer than in the lower elevations.
I think the high water situation will be over everywhere in the park today, but I'm
guessing at some of the streams. Just for a quick rundown, and judging from the
streams with USGS stations, I think with caution, most all of them can be fished today.
Little River is at 332 cfs and 2.22 ft. It should be in good shape to fish today.
Oconaluftee is at 447 cfs at 1.81 ft. That means it is okay to wade. Cataloochee is at
65 cfs at 2.38 ft. It is the only one with a gauge that has been in good shape the last
couple of days.
I know this is a drastic change in subject, and I'm not an FBI profiler by any means,
but I did notice on TV last night that the guy accused of killing four of our Marines,
didn't look much like he had been plowing many corn fields. My guess is he wasn't
really a southern Tennessee guy from around here, but here I go, trying to profile
people. That's probably politically incorrect enough to get me 30 days in the electric
chair. I guess the FBI really does have a hard job trying to figure things out when
they are required to do it with their eyes closed.
Weather: (At Gatlinburg at about 1600 ft)
Today, will be mostly sunny with a high near 89. South wind around will be around 5
mph becoming west in the afternoon.
Saturday, there's a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. It will be partly
sunny with a high near 89.
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: 332 cfs at 2.22 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 447 cfs at 1.81 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: Rate 65 cfs at 2.38 ft (good wading conditions up to 125 with
extra caution up to 150 cfs)
Little Pigeon River: I'm sure it is back in decent shape to fish, especially in the
Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Fontana Lake:
I'm not sure and didn't receive any current reports.
Current Recommended Streams:
Any of the streams above 2500 foot in elevation. It is going to be hot today.
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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