Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 08/25/15
The water is low and the weather is cool. What more could you ask for? I know for a
fact, fly anglers on the west coast would be very grateful to have the same kind of
opportunity one has fly fishing the Great Smoky Mountains right now. Their trout
streams are drying up and the country surrounding them is burning up. Where that
isn't happening, anglers are having a difficult time breathing due to all the smoke and
haze for forest fires.
I keep reminding anglers I talk to or email during the day, that fish don't stop
eating just because the water is low. I get calls asking the same old question -
"how's the fishing?". I give the same old answer - " It depends on who is doing the
fishing". The "eating" continues and the "fishing" varies according to who is doing the
fishing. The question should be, "how are the fishing conditions?".
Personally, I love the type of conditions we have in the park right now. The weather is
cool in the middle to high elevations, and the low water level makes it easy to wade
Weather: (At Gatlinburg at about 1600 ft)
Today will be sunny with a high near 80. Light north wind will come from the
northwest at 5 to 10 mph in the morning. Tuesday night's low will be around 55.
Wednesday, will be sunny with a high near 79. Southeast wind will be around 5 mph
becoming north 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: 57 cfs at 1.25 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 160 cfs at 1.14 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: Rate 29 cfs at 2.13 ft (good wading conditions up to 125 with
extra caution up to 150 cfs)
Little Pigeon River: It is a low, but not to low to fish.
Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Fontana Lake:
According to customers, Hazel is low again, but still okay 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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