Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 06/09/17
Today, is still going to be a little cool and clear, and should provide some excellent fly
fishing opportunities. You should be able to fish about any section of water from the
lowest to the highest elevations and catch trout. You may hear or read where the
particular fly pattern isn't important as long as it is yellow. That's somewhat true as long
as you keep the fly in fast water where the trout don't get a good look at it, and  
provided you want to only catch a few trout, and forever remain a mediocre angler.

I am going to try to make some cast using our new Perfect Fly bass poppers in the
Little Pigeon in Sevierville, this afternoon. I have to go there for a test today, and plan
on stopping at a place or two on the river. Most people don't know about it, but there
are lots of nice size smallmouth bass in the river from Gatlinburg all the way to French
Broad River below Douglas Lake. They average a small size Gatlinburg to Pigeon
Forge, but get much larger in the Sevierville, area. You will find smaller size,
smallmouth bass in most of the major streams that exit the park in both Tennessee and
North Carolina.

Fish'n Tales: (New Series - we plan on replacing every two or three days)
Learning the Different Types of Trout and the Water They Live In

About the year 2000, starting our third year of fly fishing for trout, and the year we
decided to make fly fishing videos as well as make it the only type of fishing we would
do, we discovered that the only waters available to fish for trout during the coldest
winter months, were southern tailwaters and spring creeks. We were told that we could
catch trout in the freestone streams of the Smokies, but it would usually be slow.

During our second year in 1999, we made a trip to the Smokies from our home in
Panama City Beach, and fished three days when it was very cold. We didn't catch very
many at all. We learned later on, the same methods we had used in the other three
seasons didn't work well at all.

Back to the beginning of the year 2000, we set our plans up to fish at home for bass
and bream (we could do that out our back door and many other north Florida lakes);
the saltwater bays and inlets in the panhandle area for speckled trout and redfish; and
central and southern Florida, waters for bass, bream and a few times, peacock bass.
We spent one of those three months fly fishing for various species in the Florida keys.
We had two other things in mind that we accomplished during the first winter season
that we fly fished exclusively. One was to fish in snow in the Smokies (we wanted
beautiful video and pictures like we were seeing in the magazines) and to fish some
spring creeks in Virgina and Pennsylvania. We accomplished all of the above that
winter season of our first, full time year of fly fishing.

Since this is the Smoky Mountains website, featuring mostly all trout fishing, I will focus
the remainder of this article on trout. In February, we got that chance to fish in the
snow in the Smokies. We spent three or four days doing just that. We only caught a
few, mostly because we used the wrong strategies and methods. One of those days,
Ian Rutter went with us to fish Abrams Creek, where the water would be a little warmer.
The snow was six or eight inches deep, if I remember right. I ran the video camera and
Angie shot still slides of Ian fishing just below the walk bridge at the trailhead on the
lower end of Cades Cove. It didn't take Ian over ten minutes to catch a rainbow. The
main thing we learned in the cold weather and snow, were some nymphing techniques.

On one of those earlier trips to the Smokies, together, we decided to make
instructional videos of Ian and his wife Charity, fishing the Smokies. I think that is when
we learned the most in our early years about fly fishing the Smokies. Those two videos
"Fly Fishing Eastern Freestone streams - Catching the Grand Slam", and "Fly
Fishing Eastern Freestone Streams - Successful Strategies".

The other main things we learned about fly fishing for trout that first, full time year,
were actually some things I had known about fishing for almost any species for years.
The clarity of the water greatly affected the fishing and that still and/or slow moving
water was much more difficult to fish. When we made our first trip that winter to fish
some of spring creeks in Virginia, and Pennsylvania, that became perfectly clear. I had
known for many years that fishing for bass in clear water lakes like Smith Lake,
Alabama, and Lake Powell, Arizona, was much more difficult than fishing lakes with
some color to the water, such most southern lakes. I can go on and on giving examples
of other species of fish in both salt and fresh water where this same thing is a fact.

The reason that trout and other species of fish are more difficult to catch in very clear,
still or slow moving water, is because they can see the fly, lure or natural bait much
better. It didn't take very long to realize that casting a fly for trout in the fast pocket
water of the streams of the Smokies, was one thing, and casting a fly for trout in a slow
moving, smooth surface spring creek was another thing. It didn't take me long to
realize that the more natural and realistic the fly or lure looked to the trout, the easier it
was to fool them into taking it for the real thing. In other words, it didn't take me long to
become a frustrated with the several hundred, or more like the few thousand trout flies
used for trout. It didn't take me long to realize most of them were named after the fly
tier, not the food the fly was designed to imitate. I didn't have to ask many fly shop
owners but a few times to realize they didn't have a clue as to what most of them were
suppose to imitate.

I had known for many years, the way to catch any species of fish, from a marlin to a
bluegill, was to figure out what the fish was eating and either put a hook in it, and use it
for bait, or to use something that looked and acted like it with a hook in it. The first
thing I did for years regarding each new species of fish I had fished for, and that
included most all of them recognized as a sport fish by the IGFA, was to learn all I
could about the food the fish survived on. Fly fishing for trout, offered a new challenge
to me in that respect.
(This will be continued in part two of this article)

Weather: (At Gatlinburg at about 1600 ft)  
Today, will be sunny with a high near 77. South wind will be around 5 mph becoming
northwest in the afternoon. Tonight's low will be around 56.

Saturday, will be sunny with a high near 81. Wind will be from the west around 5 mph in
the afternoon. Saturday night's low will be around 62.

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 225 cfs at 2.06 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs

Oconaluftee River: Rate 356 cfs at 1.61 ft.
(good wading up to 500 cfs and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)

Cataloochee Creek: Rate 71.9 cfs at 2.42 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
Sign Up For a FREE subscription to the Perfect Fly "Fishing Journal"

* required


Email & Social Media Marketing by VerticalResponse
Please enter your e-mail address in
the box to sign up for a free
subscription to the Perfect Fly "Fishing
Journal". It  includes feature articles on
blue-ribbon destinations , fly fishing
techniques, and many other types of
articles of interest to any fly angler. You
can opt out at any time. If you decide
you don't want to receive our
information, just change your status by
clicking at the bottom of an e-mail we
send you in the "Remove" box. We will
not sell or give your e-mail address to
If you haven't signed up
previously, please sign up for our
Free Perfect Fly Fishing Journal.
Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us (
with the dates you will be fishing the park
and we will send you a list of our fly
suggestions. Please allow up to 24 hours for
a response.

2. Call us at 800-594-4726 and we will help
you decide which flies you need.

3. Call or
email us
with a budget for flies and we will select
them and get them to you in time for your trip.

Shipping is free in the U. S. for all orders of
any size. Orders over $50 are shipped free
via Priority Mail.
Fly Fishing The Great Smoky
Mountains National Park:
(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.  
Techniques for each season of the
year are covered.
Chick Here For More Information
Perfect Fly "Pro Line" Fly Rods:
NOBODY makes a better fly rod for the money than our Perfect Fly Pro
line rod.
It is $195.00 including the case, in 4, 5, 6 and 7 weights. It is a
4 piece, 9 foot fly rod that is equal or better than most $400.00 fly rods on
the market. Shipping is the U.S. is free.
Click Here To Check Out The Details
Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park:  This DVD (2 Disc Set) provides
over 4 hours of information and instructions on fishing for trout in the
park.  $49.95
Click Here For More Information
Click Here To See All 19
Instructional Fly Fishing
DVD and Combination Box Sets
that Save Money. They make
excellent gifts.
Five Series of Perfect Fly Rods (Three New)
Now On-line For Sale
Click Here To See the Complete Line Of Perfect
Fly Rods
Perfect Fly "Master Series" Fly Rods:
It is $349.00 including the case, in 4, 5, 6 and 7 weights. It is a 4 piece,
9 foot fly rod that is equal to or better than most $650.00 fly rods on the
market. Shipping is the U.S. is free.
Click Here To Check Out The Details
Perfect Fly "Switch Series" Fly Rods:
It is $349.00 including the case, in a 5/6 and 7/8 weight. They are 4
piece,11 foot, 6 inch fly rods for single or two handed use. Includes a
spare tip section. Shipping is the U.S. is free.
Click Here To Check Out The Details
Perfect Fly "FS Series" Fly Rods:
It is $449.00 including the case, in 7, 8, 9 and 10 weights for fresh or
saltwater use. It is a 4 piece, 9 foot fly rod that is equal or better than most
$700.00 fly rods on the market. Shipping is the U.S. is free.
Click Here To Check Out The Details
Check out our new "Perfect Fly"
Bream Poppers.
They are now
online for sale.
New "Perfect Fly"
Clip-on Fly Patch:
New - On-line for sale Click For
more information
New "Perfect Fly" 16 Foam
Pre-rigged Midge Fly Box:
New "Perfect Fly" 8 Foam
Pre-rigged Midge Fly Box:
New "Perfect Fly" Fly
Patch wih Retractor:
New- on-line for sale Click For more
New - On-line for sale Click For
more information
New - On-line for sale Click For more
Perfect Fly Lemon Bass Popper
Perfect fly olive bream popper