Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 08/01/15
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Stay high in the Smokies, above the 3,000 foot elevation, and you should be able to
catch plenty of trout. There's no chance of rain until around Wednesday of next
week, so the conditions will change very little. Something I'm noticing, is some guys
and gals are over using the terrestrial flies. Trust me, they are not the major source
of food for the trout and usually not even a substantial source of food for them.
Unless you have some strong wind or heavy downpours to blow or wash the land
based insects into the water, you will find very, very few of them in the water. We
tested this during the summer and early fall months using professional entomology
drift nets many days in many different streams in the park a few years ago. The nets
would catch any grass hopper, ant, moth larvae (inch worm) or beetles within two feet
of the surface. Usually, none were caught. The only time we caught any, and then it
was only a few, was during or after heavy rains or high wind.
We sell thousands of ants, beetles and hoppers during the summer (over two
thousand this past week) and gladly do so, but we don't want to falsely imply that
they should be the prime flies you should be using in the Smokies except during or
after adverse weather. You certainly should have plenty of them in your fly box and
use them at the right times and places, just don't over do it, ignoring the other foods
that are still plentiful.
Another thing some overlook is that once a hopper, ants, inch worm or beetle gets
into the water, they usually only float for a very short time. Sit down on the bank and
stare at the water for a couple of hours. If you see a terrestrial insect drifting though
or on the surface, you better write home about it. It would be unusual.
On the other hand, all of the aquatic insect larvae, except those that hatched within
the last 45 to 60 days, are in the water. Most are smaller sizes, but they are there for
the trout to eat. Don't take what I have written the wrong way. I do not mean you
shouldn't have and use imitations of the terrestrial insects. I only mean to imply you
shouldn't over use them. You can lower your odds of success using them at the
wrong time and places, for example, such as using hoppers on a calm day in
locations where there are few hoppers. .
Weather: (At Gatlinburg at about 1600 ft)
Today, will be sunny with a high near 86. Light and variable wind from the north will
range from 5 to 10 mph.
Sunday, will be sunny with a high near 86. The wind 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: 94 cfs at 1.45 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 194 cfs at 1.25 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: Rate 35 cfs at 2.18 ft (good wading conditions up to 125 with
extra caution up to 150 cfs)
Little Pigeon River: It is low but still okay to fish.
Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Fontana Lake:
They are all low but still okay to fish.
Current Recommended Streams:
Any of the streams above about the 3000 foot elevation. It is going to be hot again
today. This is summertime.
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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