Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 08/31/15
For the most part, the Smokies missed its opportunity to get some rain yesterday,
and last night. The Tennessee side of the park got zero. The North Carolina side got
a tiny bit (less than a tenth of an inch) in the eastern section of the park, mostly in
the Cataloochee Valley. I'm going by the precipitation map. The Little River gauge
still isn't working. It has to be extremely low. I would avoid fishing the Little River
Watershed today. The Little Pigeon is also very low, and I'm going by physical
observation as of yesterday afternoon. I wouldn't fish anything in the park below an
elevation of 2500 feet.
I had a customer purchase a stream thermometer yesterday, and I advised him not to
fish any water higher than 67 degrees F. Not only could it be hard on any trout he
might catch, it is more difficult to catch them in the warmer water. At around 70
degrees, trout tend to become lethargic due to a lower amount of dissolved oxygen.
The only good news in respect to the weather is there's a chance of rain everyday
for the next several days; however, the highest chance I see through Saturday for
the Gatlinburg area is only 30%. Let's hope that increases.
Weather: (At Gatlinburg at about 1600 ft)
Today, there is a chance of showers with thunderstorms also possible after noon. It
will be mostly cloudy with a high near 82. Calm wind will change to come from the
north around 5 mph in the afternoon. The chance of precipitation is 30%.
Tuesday, there's a slight chance of showers with thunderstorms also possible after
noon. It will be partly sunny with a high near 84. The chance of precipitation is 20%.
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: xx cfs at xxx ft. (Gauge not working)
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 138 cfs at 1.06 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: Rate 28 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. I think you should avoid the
Little River watershed. It is very low.
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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