Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 09/14/15
Good early Monday morning. It is 4:30 AM and I'm on my first and only cup of coffee
for the day. I noticed the water temperature at the Little River gauge is showing 61
degrees F., Oconaluftee River at 58 degrees F. and Cataloochee Creek at 55
degrees F. That's the good news. The not so good news is all the streams are low
again. With the cool water temperatures, that makes much less difference than it
would if the water temperatures were in the mid to high sixties. If that was the case,
the water temperature would be too high, or marginal at best by mid afternoon today.
Mother Nature has a good way of taking care of things. Isn't it nice that someone
does? Every once in a while, she scares us by waking us up to the fact she's in
charge. After all, she works for God.
Most of you are headed back to work today. That includes this old man. In my case,
the good thing about it is
1. I have a good job - many don't.
2. It is only by choice I work
3. I enjoy it very much.
I live and breath fishing everyday, throughout the day, and I have been doing it full
time for over 35 years, and part time for over 65 years. It pays less money than being
a general commercial building contractor with a hundred to over three hundred
employees and a lot of subcontractors to worry about, building hospitals,
manufacturing plants and schools, but the dividends and fringe benefits are much,
Weather: (At Gatlinburg at about 1600 ft)
Today, will be sunny with a high near 74. South wind will be around 5 mph becoming
calm later this morning.
Tuesday, will be sunny with a high near 79. South wind will be around 5 mph
becoming north later in the morning.
Smoky Mountain Stream Conditions:
The streams with links that have nearby USGS Station Real-time stream data: Click
the links to see updates:
Little River: Rate: 45 cfs at 1.14 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 133 cfs at 1.04 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: Rate 22 cfs at 2.07 ft (good wading conditions up to 125 with
extra caution up to 150 cfs)
Little Pigeon River: It is flowing low, below a normal level.
Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Fontana Lake:
Hazel and other streams draining into Cherokee are low, below normal.
Current Recommended Streams:
Most any of the streams.
Recommended Trout Flies:
Brown and White Belly Sculpins:
Hook Size 6
Blue-winged olives: 18/20 and 14
(Little BWOs, Acentrella, Diphetor 20/18's and Eastern BWOs, Drunella 14s
Slate Drakes: 10/12
Little Yellow Stoneflies: 14/16
Little Yellow Quills: 16
Needle Stoneflies: 16/18
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 a Cream Cahill or
Little Yellow Quill. Change to the appropriate emerger, dun or adult imitations of the
When the Slate Drakes, Mahogany Duns, and BWOs 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 stoneflies are hatching, but of course, these hatches take place during
the evenings. All stoneflies crawl out of the water to hatch. Fishing a 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.
Tips for Beginners:
Don't let anyone intimidate you by contending that fly fishing is more difficult to learn
and master than other types of fishing. It isn't.
Tips for the Self Proclaimed Experts:
Whatever Hits Me:
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