Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 08/15/15
I have been getting daily reports from our friend Harvey, but I haven't had the time to
write much all week on our Smoky website. As I mentioned a few days ago, he always
brings rain with him to what he refers to as Great Smoky Mountain National Rain
Forest. The first day, he reported he and his wife hung around on Straight Fork for a
while until it finally stopped raining.
By the way, although he hasn't admitted it, I think his wife goes with him just to keep
an eye on him. He is a disabled Vet Nam Veteran that has to struggle to move along
on the streams. He noted that the early morning water temperature was 62 degrees
and that he caught 6 small to average fish in a little over three hours. He fished all
the way to Round Bottom camp site from about half a mile below it before calling it a
day. I'll quote him, "It was a physical struggle but the stream was so beautiful, I just
sucked it up and kept on fishing".
I'll just let Harvey tell you the story his way. The second day he reported the following:
Fished Straight Fork again this morning between Round Bottom camp site and the
bridge. Water temp early the AM was a surprising 59 degrees! I guess all the cool
weather and rain has had an impact on the stream. Caught half dozen rainbows with
the largest at about 10 inches. Missed several more. Water was different in as much
as there were fewer long deep runs and more shallow riffles in this stretch. Most of
the fished were caught on a dry fly near dead logs that had a good run nearby.
We're headed to Kephart Prong in the AM. I love the higher small streams simply for
the beauty of the streams and surroundings. Take care my friend.
THE NEXT TRIP TO STRAIGHT FORK WAS ABOUT THE SAME AS THE FIRST
DAY. THERE WERE FEWER DEEP RUNS IN THE UPPER PORTION BETWEEN
ROUND BOTTOM CAMP SITE AND THE BRIDGE. MY WIFE FOLLOWED ALONG,
TRAILING BEHIND ME. CAUGHT 6 FISH, LOSING SEVERAL MORE. THE
LARGEST FISH NETTED WAS A 10 INCH RAINBOW. WATER TEMP WAS STILL
IN THE LOW 60'S.
WE HIT KEPHART PRONG THIS MORNING AND I CAUGHT A FEW SMALL FISH
HOWEVER I DID LOSE A REALLY NICE FISH THAT GOT CAUGHT UP IN THE
ROCKS. WE HIKED ALMOST 2 MILES UP, FISHING WHERE I COULD. WE BOTH
COULDN'T BELIEVE WE MADE IT THAT FAR. TAKING FREQUENT REST STOPS
REALLY HELPED. THERE WERE A NUMBER OF FISHERMEN PRESENT ON THE
CREEK. TALKED WITH ONE WHO HAD AN 8 INCH FISH GUTTED AND IN A BAG
OF WATER. I HAD MIXED EMOTIONS ABOUT HIM TAKING A FISH THAT NICE
FROM THE CREEK. KEPHART PRONG IS PROBABLY FOR YOUNGER FOLKS
THAT I. LOTS OF ELEVATION AND ROCK CLIMBING WITH LIMITED CASTING
ROOM. WE HAD A BALL
For the first time in a long time, the National Weather service is showing a 20% to
30% chance of rain everyday for the next week except for Monday, and they show a
50% chance for it. I'll call that a good as it gets forecast for mid August. Surely we will
get some more rain during the next few days to help keep the stream levels in good
shape. The best part of the weather report is the cooler temperatures. They are
showing high temperatures in the low to mid 80s for the Gatlinburg area and that's
You should probably continue to fish the mid to high elevations but the lower
temperatures should provide more opportunity than we have had for the past few
Weather: (At Gatlinburg at about 1600 ft)
Today, there's a slight chance of showers, then a chance of showers and
thunderstorms after 8am. It will be partly sunny, with a high near 83. Calm wind will
change to come from the northwest around 5 mph. The chance of precipitation is
Sunday, there's a 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly after
2pm. It will be partly sunny with a high near 83. South wind will be around 5 mph
becoming calm in the afternoon.
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: 71 cfs at 1.33 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 197 cfs at 1.26 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: Rate 35 cfs at 2.14 ft (good wading conditions up to 125 with
extra caution up to 150 cfs)
Little Pigeon River: It is low but fine to fish.
Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Fontana Lake:
They are all low but fine to fish.
Current Recommended Streams:
Any of the streams above about the 2000 foot elevation.
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
Mahogany Duns: 18
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.
Cream Cahills are hatching. Look for them in the faster water areas. They will get
caught up in the fast water runs and riffles. Mahogany Duns should start hatching
Tips for Beginners:
Tips for the Self Proclaimed Experts:
Whatever Hits Me:
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