Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 08/02/15
The bad news is the heat is going to continue with no chance of rain. If the weather
experts are correct, the good news is it is going to rain during the middle of this week
and the high temperatures for the first half of August are going to be less than they
have been.

A terrestrial insect you rarely hear anything about is the flying ant. I have only found
the falling ant event taking place in the Smokies on two occasions, both in late
August. The first time, I had some crude imitations of them with me, but not the
second time. The reason I had them the first time was only because I had
encountered them falling in Yellowstone National Park and still had a fly box of
terrestrials used there in my fly vest. We first found them falling on the Yellowstone
River and was without any imitations. After purchasing a make shift imitation of them,
we encountered another huge flying ant fall on the Snake river inside Yellowstone
Park a few days later. This took place  during the month of August. It was a sight to
behold. Every trout in the smooth flowing Snake River came alive and was crashing
the surface eating the ants. We caught several that time, mostly browns, including
one close to 20 inches. It was unreal action. It lasted for about two hours and then
stopped as suddenly as it started. It seemed all the ants fell from the sky within ten
minutes or less.

Angie and I were bass fishing with my close friend, the great Tom Mann, on Lake
Eufaula, during the early fall a few years ago. I think it was around the year 2002, We
were making a series of videos featuring Tom, a great lure designer and fisherman
when all of a sudden the boat begin to get covered with flying ants falling out of the
sky. The creek we were fishing came alive with bream and bass hitting the surface.
Tom and I were fishing spinner baits and we didn't get a strike. We begin trying every
lure we had that we thought might work but still didn't catch a fish. Some of the bass
hitting the surface were big. They were only feeding on the ants which were very
plentiful, almost thick on the surface. Angie captured several of the ants and put
them in film canisters. That is what I developed our flying ant Perfect Fly pattern from.
I make macro closeup shots of them that night both on video and stills.

By the way, we have completely sold out of these during the last two weeks and
probably won't have any for at least another week or two.

I'm leaving this up for another day:
We were late getting the July (Summer) Issue of the Perfect Fly Journal out and for
that reason, I'm going ahead and
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Weather: (At Gatlinburg at about 1600 ft)  
Today and tomorrow, highs in the high 80's with no chance of rain.

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: 86 cfs at 1.41 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs

Oconaluftee River: Rate 181 cfs at 1.21 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)

Cataloochee Creek: Rate 34 cfs at 2.17 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:
Thank you for visiting our website

James Marsh
Copyright 2015 James Marsh
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