Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 06/06/17
It looks like we got just the right amount of rain this past week. Most of the large
streams are currently at the point they can be waded if caution is used, and they are
falling back down rather fast. Even the long term forecast is looking good for the
weekend. There's a chance of rain again on Thursday, but that's all they are predicting
through the weekend.

We received the largest number of orders at Perfect Fly over the weekend and
yesterday, that we have ever received, and I had to help Angie, her mother and our
three part time fulfilment workers out. We got all the weekend orders out yesterday,
and are looking good for today. We sold the most fly rods we ever sold in that short of
a time period.

If you can fish today or tomorrow, you should. Conditions will be good.

I'm having to leave this up an extra day: Running behind
Fish'n Tales: (New Series - we plan on replacing every two or three days)
It Wasn't My First Fly Fishing Rodeo - Part Two
Please read part one of this article, or part two isn't going to make much
sense to you.
In part one, I mentioned it was the year 2000, when Angie and I started fly fishing
exclusively. It was 1998, when we first fished the streams of Great Smoky Mountains
National Park, I also mentioned that I had used the fly rod to catch a lot of different
species of fish since I was about eight or nine years old and had done several TV
shows using the fly rod. That included a lot of trout ranging from very large rainbows in
Alaska, to ponds and lakes stocked with trout.

I also mentioned that i didn't catch as many trout as I thought I should have the first
couple of times we fished the park in 1998. There was a good reason for it. I
underrated the importance of getting a few basic things right. I also underrated the
difficultly of fishing the small, fast water streams for trout. I just falsely assumed that
catching trout from the small streams would be fairly easy. As it turned out, it was fairly
easy, however, it isn't easy at all until you get a few basic things right.

I fished in both directions, upstream and downstream, the first couple of hours I fished.
I finally realized I was spooking the trout. I noticed some shooting downstream away
from me. I started fishing upstream, but found that a little difficult at first. I had fished for
trout in the big open rivers of Alaska, and open water of lakes, and I had fished for
many different species of saltwater fish but again, all in open water. I had not fished for
anything with an almost solid canopy of overhead tree limbs. I got hung up in the trees
several times.

The second or third trip, I had he direction to fish down pat, and i had learned to pay
attention to my backcast around trees. I just assumed I needed to dress to blend in with
the background and did. I assumed I had to wade without scrubbing the bottom. I had
known for years how fish see things underwater, and out of the water through their
window of vision. I knew how close I could approach them without spooking them. I even
knew what a drag free drift was, and the importance of it from fishing the saltwater flats.
But here again, I failed to pick up on some of the important little details.

About the third trip, Ian Rutter fished with me for about an hour. That was before he
started guiding. When he pointed out that I should wear a cap or hat, that my white hair
was spooking the trout, I thought he was kidding and joking about my white hair.
Finally, he said something to the effect that  I was waving a white flag at the trout and I
realized he really meant it.

I am pointing all of this out, to imply that regardless of how much fishing anyone might
have done, there are a few basic things about fly fishing for trout in small streams you
have to get right, or you will never be very successful. Too many anglers place far too
much importance in having a high end fly rod, and other gear. They place too much
importance on being able to cast a long way, something that is a disadvantage more
than an advantage. They place too much importance of "where" they should be fishing.
Some want someone to tell them which rock to stand on to catch trout. I could go on
and on, but the point is, fly fishing for trout in small fast water streams isn't as difficult
as many other types of fishing, even trout fishing in many cases such as very clear
tailwaters and spring creeks, there are certain fundamental things that have to be done
right or you will never be very successful.

Once someone has the basics of presentation down right, and is able to catch a few
trout both on subsurface flies and on the surface on dry flies, they can begin to learn
many more important things about it. Many anglers get though this stage of learning
and never progress very far beyond it. Some get to that point and spend years fishing
without knowing much more than that about it, or even being aware that they are still in
the elementary school of fly fishing for trout. Many become well versed in flies, know
the names of and have fifty to a hundred different ones, without ever realizing what it is
they are trying to imitate with them. They become satisfied with mediocrity. In fact, most
anglers that get content at that stage, never realize that they are mediocre anglers.
Many hung in that stage think they are good at fly fishing for trout.

At that point, i knew that I was in the first grade of fly fishing for trout. That is why I
spent the next 19 years devoting all my time and efforts towards learning more about it.
After all, I had decided to spend full time, day in and day out doing just that. Until this
day, that is what I do, day in and day out, but now mostly on designing new product
and as I have done since 1980, helping others learn the wonderful sport of fishing.

Weather: (At Gatlinburg at about 1600 ft)  
Today, will be partly sunny, with a high near 76. Wind will be from the north around 5
mph in the afternoon. Tonight's low will be around 56.

Wednesday, will be sunny, with a high near 75. North wind will range from 5 to 10 mph.
Wednesday night, there's a 20 percent chance of showers after 2am. The low will be
around 55.

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 387 cfs at 2.46 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs

Oconaluftee River: Rate 506 cfs at 1.88 ft.
(good wading up to 500 cfs and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)

Cataloochee Creek: Rate 85 cfs at 2.49 ft  
(good wading conditions up to 125 with extra caution up to 150 cfs)

Little Pigeon River: It is flowing a little above a normal level.

Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Fontana Lake:
They are all flowing a little above a normal level.

Recommended Trout Flies:
In addition to the two list below, you can always send us an email
( 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.

Sulphurs: 16/18

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:

Thank you for visiting our website

James Marsh
Copyright 2017 James Marsh
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Options For Selecting Flies:
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