Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 06/22/17
It is Thursday, again, the day I do my best to advise those out of town people planning
a trip to fish the streams of the Smokies of what to expect in the way fishing conditions.
They are expecting as much as an inch of rain or more from today through Friday. The
streams are currently in good shape but if that much rain occurred, the streams would
be high on Saturday morning, probably too high to wade safely. If you have a lot of
other options to fish the Smokies, I suggest you put it off. If you don't or just want to
take your chances, come on. It could be that the conditions turn out to be very good.
I am happy to mention that our baby (she is near 10 years old) child dog Biddie Marsh
came home yesterday afternoon from breast surgery and appears to be in good
shape. Of course, they have her on a lot of medicine but she still acts normal and that
means acts like she is starving to death. Angie's heart is still beating good. It is her only
child. This is Biddie's second operation within the last few months.
Fish'n Tales: (New Series - we plan on replacing every two or three days. Note that
this is something I am just sitting down and writing mostly off the top of my head, with
no editing. It isn't intended to be professionally done release of any kind )
Learning the Different Types of Trout and the Water They Live In- Part Five - Please
read part One, Two, Three, and Four or this may not make a lot of sense to you.
In part four, I mentioned that the "Small Western Green Drake" nymph story was the
very beginning of Perfect Fly, and there was yet another incident that occurred on that
same two month long, first western trip that put the icing on the cake. Angie and I were
fishing Soda Butte Creek in the Lamar Valley of Yellowstone National Park when we
begin to see lots of mayflies coming off the stream. I have also mentioned that we had
accumulated hundreds of flies during our first four years of fly fishing for trout and that
when we would catch any insect, Angie would begin to try to match it with a fly that was
a close as possible. In this case they were very small yellow colored mayflies similar to
what we called Sulphurs in the East. Going through the boxes, she excitingly called out
that she had found the perfect fly to match the hatching insects. Her saying that was
captured by me video taping the flying insects and her searching through the fly boxes
for a matching fly.
Up until then, I had been fishing and I had not had a single trout take my fly even
though there were trout constantly hitting the surface eating the little yellow mayflies in
full view of me. I tied on the fly Angie handed me she called the Perfect fly and within
the first very few cast hooked a cutthroat trout. Within a couple of hours or so, I
managed to catch many, I'll say at least twenty or more trout using that same fly. Later,
we found out is was one of Blue Ribbon's Pale Morning Dun "Sparkle Duns". When
viewing the video that night in our cabin in West Yellowstone, I heard her say again on
video, that she had found the perfect fly to match the insects. At that time I said to her
that Perfect Fly, was going to be the name of our fly company that I would establish
At that point in time, our sole purpose and reason for all the hard work was making
instructional fly fishing videos. I had been doing TV shows and instructional videos on
saltwater fishing for several years,and I had a very good income from royalties on their
sales from Bennett Marine Video. I was just continuing what I had done for years except
we planned to distribute the fly fishing video ourselves, and of course, we did just that.
It wasn't our objective to come up with new fly patterns or sell anything else other than
videos. It was the frustration from the fact that although there was thousands of fly
patterns, you didn't know what 95% of them was intended to imitate. By the way,
neither did the tiers who had come up with the many flies that were on the market. One
big reason was that it was in the 1970's before much information was available on the
real aquatic insects trout survived on. Dave Whitlock had come up with a still very
effective imitation of the common grass hopper and named it what is was - Dave's
hopper. There were a few other fly patterns being sold by fly shops that were good
imitations of the real things and that by name identified the insects they imitated
Guess what? Other than Perfect Flies, that same thing is true today.
Although that occurred in early 2000, It was late 2007, before Perfect Fly was launched
as a business you could purchase flies from. At that time, I had never as much as tied
anything but large saltwater flies, and only a few of those. I was not a fly tier at all.
Having been in engineering in my early twenties, and having owned part of a art shop
and school during which time I was taught to paint by a very good artist, I looked at
coming up with trout flies as a combination design engineering and art project.
I had known for years, that an artificial imitation of any live creature fish ate should not
only resemble the creature in appearance, but also imitate its behavior or movements. I
knew you couldn't just make molds from the original creatures and cast them in hard
plastic or bronze. The fly had to move naturally. I knew trout flies had to resemble both
the appearance and behavior of the foods they imitated. The big advantage we had
over most others, was hours of macro video and still slides that we had taken and were
still were in the process of acquiring. It was a few years later,that we begin to get good
fly tiers to come up with patterns that imitated those foods far better than anything else
on the market - flies we call "Perfect Flies".
Weather: (At Gatlinburg at about 1600 ft)
Today, there is a chance of showers and thunderstorms, then showers and possibly a
thunderstorm after noon. The high will be near 77. South wind will range from 5 to 10
mph. The chance of precipitation is 80%. New rainfall amounts expected are between a
tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts are possible in thunderstorms.
Tonight, more showers and possibly a thunderstorm. The low will be around 68. The
chance of precipitation is 80%. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an
inch are possible.
Friday, more showers and thunderstorms are likely. It will be cloudy, with a high near
82. Southwest wind will range from 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. The
chance of precipitation is 60%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an
inch is possible, except higher amounts are possible in thunderstorms. Friday night
expect more showers and possibly a thunderstorm. The low will be around 68.The
chance of precipitation is 80%.
Saturday, there's a 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly before
2pm. It will be mostly cloudy, with a high near 80. West wind will be from 5 to 10 mph.
Saturday night's low will be around 58.
Sunday, will be mostly sunny, with a high near 79.
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 194 cfs at 2.06 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 308 cfs at 1.51 ft.
(good wading up to 500 cfs and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: Rate 61 cfs at 2.36 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
(firstname.lastname@example.org) 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)
Golden Stoneflies: 10/12
Little Green Stoneflies: 16
Inch Worms: 10, 12, 14
Japanese Beetles: 14/16
Carpenter Ants: 16/18
Sandwich Hoppers: 6/8/10/12
New: Trout Flies You Will Need Soon (through 6/31/17, in addition to
those on the above list.
Slate Drakes: 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.
Techniques for each season of the
year are covered.
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