Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 06/01/17
Today, is going to be another good day for fly fishing the streams of the park. You
should be able to fish any section of the streams at any elevation and catch plenty of
trout. The number of species of aquatic insects that are hatching is becoming less and
less as the days go by, and the water temperature gets a little warmer. The list is still
long, but let me run through it and tell you what I mean by that.
The Blue-winged olives are small, non-baetis species and large Eastern Blue-winged
olives. They large ones are two species that hatch in sparse quantities that will last
through August. The A. March Browns are about finished. Both short-horned,
Cinnamon Caddis and Green sedges (caddis) are sparse hatches with the Greens and
Cinnamons mostly in Abrams Creek. Sulphurs (actually Eastern Pale Evening duns
now, and true Sulphurs later on) hatch mostly in the larger streams and in the pools.
The two main species that are hatching in larger quantities are the Light Cahills and
Little Yellow stoneflies. They are the two species you need to focus on. I will be
moving the Golden stoneflies into the need it now list, but they are sparse hatches.
Fred Smith sent this information to me: Forney creek trail between Springhouse trail
and White Oak Branch trail was devastated by high winds (maybe a tornado) on
Saturday night 27 May. My son and I hiked down from site 71 and had to carefully climb
over at least 30 large downed trees Sunday. The trees totally covered the trail. I've
notified the Park service but they have yet to update their website. It will be a while
before the trail is open
The outlooks for those out of town people planning a trip to the Smokies this coming
weekend that I do each Thursday, looks very good for this weekend. I think the
conditions will remain good through the weekend.
Fish'n Tales: (New Series - we plan on replacing every two or three days)
It Wasn't My First Fly Fishing Rodeo - Part One
It was the year 2000 when Angie and I started fly fishing almost exclusively. We had
made a couple of trips to the Smokies, and caught a few trout each day, but it was very
few compared to what I thought I should be catching. Every fly fisherman I mentioned it
to, including my brother who lived in Laurel Vally near Townsend, started giving me a
lot of advise about casting, trout flies, and a lot of other things about fly fishing as if it
was my first time using fly gear. I would have to stop them and tell them that it wasn't
my first fly fishing rodeo. I had fly fished most of my life. Deep down, it teed me off. I
had done far more fly fishing than everyone who was advising me, but not fishing for
wild trout in small mountain streams, and that does make a huge difference.
I purchased my first fly rod and reel from the local Western Auto store somewhere
around 1952. I was about 8 or 9 years old. I had read every issue of Field and Stream,
Outdoor life and Sports Afield, including most all of the articles on fly fishing. I was
familiar with what was always described as the elusive brown trout. The rod was
fiberglass, with an automatic fly reel and level fly line. Try learning to cast a fly with a
level fly line, not to mention the heavy rod and reel. Never-the-less, I did and could do
it very well. There were dozens of farm ponds with bass and bream near my home, and
I spend many days fishing for them. My mother or dad often dropped me off at a farm
pond on Saturday morning, or during a summer day, and picked me back up at dark. I
think most all my flies for bream and bass came from Western Auto.
When I was in my mid to late twenties and 30's, I had my own twin engine airplane and
pilot for my construction company. I made a couple of trips to the Bahamas to fly fish
with guides for bonefish, several trips to lakes and ponds that held trout to fly fish, and
some trips to Appalachicola, Florida, where I used a fly rod to catch redfish. Most of my
fishing was done using conventional tackle. The five years I spend fishing the BASS
pro circuit, was all done with conventional tackle. I owned some older fly rods and gear,
but rarely used it for any of the fishing I did during that period of time.
In 1980, when I started the first every national syndicated TV series that was mostly all
saltwater fishing, I would do about one out of every six or eight programs on fresh
water fishing. Some of them were done using the fly rod. One of my boat sponsors from
Coco Beach, Florida,, kelp an aluminum boat fully rigged out for me to fish the central
Florida lakes nearby. I did several programs on bass fishing using fly gear and several
on bream fishing using fly gear during the five years that I did the 52 weeks a year TV
program. It helped me fill in those times when the seas were rough. I also did a few TV
shows saltwater fishing using fly gear, but mostly catching speckled trout, redfish,
bluefish, spanish mackerel, pompano, ladyfish,and some other species.
In 1986, when I stopped doing the TV series and started making instructional videos on
saltwater fishing, I did several more videos using the fly rod. That included two, week
long trips to Alaska, catching lots of huge rainbows and a few silver salmon. On one of
those trips, I used the lodge owner's Sage fly rod and gear. On one of my several trips
to the Cayman Islands, I caught smaller size, landlocked tarpon in some small lakes on
the main island.
On one of my sailfishing trips to Cozumel, Mexico, I used a fly rod to catch three (3)
sailfish in one day, at the boat owners insistence. He wanted the footage to promote fly
fishing for sailfish on his boat, a 46 foot sport fishing yacht. I wasn't impressed with it.
You can't cast from the back of the boat. You just feed the line out. It had a large cabin
and no room for a backcast. In essence, you are just setting the hook, fighting and
landing the sailfish on the fly rod. Also, you are usually teasing the sailfish up to the
boat with meat teasers, or using bait and switch to the fly, tactics. It was a challenge
fighting the fish, but I was not impressed with it at all.
It was a fact, I had done a lot more fly fishing than anyone giving me advise. I had a lot
more experience than I can come up with off the top of my head this morning.
(This article is to be continued. It will probably two or three days from now for
the completion and climax of the article)
Weather: (At Gatlinburg at about 1600 ft)
Today there is a 10 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms before 8am. It will
be mostly sunny, with a high near 78. Wind will come from the northwest around 5 mph
in the afternoon. Tonight's low will be around 58.
Friday, will be mostly sunny, with a high near 82. Wind will be from the northwest
around 5 mph in the afternoon. Friday night's low will be around 57.
Saturday, there's a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 2pm. It will
be mostly sunny, with a high near 83. Saturday night, there is a 10 percent chance of
showers and thunderstorms before 8pm. The low will be around 62.
Sunday, there is a 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. It will be partly
sunny, with a high near 82.
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 235 cfs at 2.09 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 470 cfs at 1.82 ft.
(good wading up to 500 cfs and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: Rate 99.8 cfs at 2.56 ft
(good wading conditions up to 125 with extra caution up to 150 cfs)
Little Pigeon River: It is flowing a little below a normal level.
Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Fontana Lake:
They are all flowing a little below a normal level.
Recommended Trout Flies:
In addition to the two list below, you can always send us an email
(email@example.com) or call us at 800 594 4726 providing the specific times
you plan on fishing the park, and we will provide a list of flies and other associated
gear and equipment you need.
Trout Flies Currently Needed:
Brown and White Belly Sculpins:
Hook Size 6
Black and/or Olive Matuka Sculpin:
Size 4, 6, 8
Blue-winged olives: 14 and 18 baetis BWOs,
Little Yellow Stoneflies: 16/14
American March Browns: 10/12
Short Horned Sedges: 20
Green Sedges: 14/16
larva (green rock worms)
Light Cahills: 14/16
Cinnamon Caddis: 16/18 (mostly Abrams Creek)
Eastern Pale Evening Duns: 14 (some call these Sulphurs)
Inch Worms: 10, 12, 14
New: Trout Flies You Will Need Soon (through 5/31/17, in addition to
those on the above list.
Golden Stoneflies: 10/12
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.
Not all of the insects you see above will be hatching in the same location. It is usually
only two or three. It varies with the elevation. Some are just starting in the low
elevations and some about finished in the higher elevations. 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 BWO or maybe the Light Cahill nymph. If you spot something hatching (coming
off the water), change to the appropriate emerger, dun or adult imitations of the insect.
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:
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Fly Fishing The Great Smoky
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(Year-round Dry Fly Fishing) This new
DVD (2 Disc Set) provides over 4 hours
of fly fishing for trout in the park. See
all of the streams and witness the
action. Learn everything you need to
know in order to successfully catch
brown, brook and rainbow trout on the
fly. Fishing methods, strategies and
much more are covered. Learn all
about the insects and other food the
trout eat and how to imitate it.
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