Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 07/06/17
There is a chance of rain everyday for the coming week but Sunday. Although that may
read like we may have a flood, most of the days have low to fifty percent odds that it will
rain and then mostly showers and a few isolated thunderstorms. That is normally the
weather pattern for this time of the year, and it rarely means we will have many days of
high water. In fact, it is usually right the opposite. Low water conditions most often exist
during the late summer and early fall months. The rainfall is a good thing at this time of
the year. It helps keep the water table up for the not so good wet times.
Today is Thursday, the day I usually advise out of town people as to what to expect for
the weekend, if they happen to be planning a trip to the Smokies to fish. Although there
is a 50 to 60 percent chance of rain through Saturday, I still think the odds are very
good the streams will remain in good shape and if high, only temporarily. So, my advice
is to head our way.
I do recommend fishing the upper middle and higher elevations. The water is a little
warm in the lower elevations.
Fish'n Tales: (New Series - See the Menu of articles on your right: We plan on
replacing these 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 a
professionally done release of any kind.
The next six years of the learning curve - part 1
The beginning of our fifth year of fly fishing exclusively, we had a lot of experience
under our belts. As a matter of fact, we had fished more than about anyone other than
a few that made fly fishing their livelihood. We had probably fished more than 95% of
those that did it for a living including guides simply because we fished throughout the
entire year, good or bad weather, and during the time most guides called their off
season. We just swapped from fly fishing for freshwater species, mostly trout, to
During that time frame, we also moved from Panama City Beach, where we lived but
were almost never there, to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. We had lots of video that were
began to edit into programs. Our first releases came during our fifth year in 2004. We
had been studying aquatic insects day in and day out at night. I did much of it while
traveling from place to place throughout the nation while Angie drove.
We had purchased all the entomology equipment we needed to collect, video and
identify insects from the streams which we did day in and day out on each new stream.
I was learning that finding, obtaining video and slides of all the aquatic insects was
much more difficult than I expected. We could only be in one place at a time, and
during the prime season when most adults species were available, that made it
impossible to obtain them in one year from coast to coast. In fact, it took the next six
years to do that, or a total of almost ten years. We were doing it for the purpose of
making videos, not fly patterns, but we always had that in mind as well. It just wasn't our
I am constantly asked by those viewing our nineteen instructional videos (DVD) on fly
fishing for trout, why we used flies like Parachute Adams, Hares Ear nymphs, etc. or
generic trout flies instead of our on Perfect flies. The answer is simple. Perfect Flies
didn't exist during the time frame we shot the videos. We didn't have any choice. All we
knew was that most insects didn't have patterns that imitated most all of the larva or
nymphs, emergers and spinners. There were many of the adult species that didn't
have imitations that were close to matching the naturals. Few caddisflies and stoneflies
had imitations that were near being a close match.
Like everyone else, we were stuck with using what was available and again, although
there were patterns numbering into the thousands, most of them didn't match anything
very well. Most of them were named for the fly tier or some crazy name that didn't
identify what they were intended to imitate. Most of them imitated the adult species
(were dry flies), not the larva stage that represented most of the food that trout ate and
what was available to them most all the time. None of them imitated the larva stage of
life well, even though trout can see nymphs and larva better than any adult stage of life
floating on the surface of the water. In other words, flies were designed primarily for
anglers, not trout.
We had to obtain fishing license of different durations in about all the states that have
a population of trout each year. We had to obtain video permits from Yellowstone and
Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We had to obtain permits from the National
Park for collecting and examining aquatic insects. We had problems doing that in the
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, I assume only because we were local. We
ended up having to get help from the main office in Washington to acquire it.
During the next six years or so, from about 2004 to 2010, we were getting very close to
having actual video of most all the most important species of aquatic insects and other
trout foods. We released several videos during that time period, in fact, most of our 19
existing programs on fly fishing. During that time frame, DNA was changing some of
what had been written about aquatic insects. They were determining some species of
what was thought to be different species, were in fact the same. They created a few
new names for species. Some of what was in our 100 plus books and years of fly
fishing magazines on fly fishing with aquatic insect information, was incorrect.
We found that of all the written information as well as that known by local anglers that
regularly fished the streams of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, was quite short
of what was actually there in a few cases, large quantities.
Weather: (At Gatlinburg at about 1600 ft)
Today, expect showers and thunderstorms. Otherwise, it will be mostly cloudy, with a
high near 83. Southwest wind will range from 5 to 10 mph. The chance of precipitation
is 60%. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch are possible.
Tonight, showers and thunderstorms are likely, mainly after 2am. The chance of
precipitation is 60%. New rainfall amounts of between a quarter and half of an inch are
Friday, there's a 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly before 2pm.
It will be partly sunny, with a high near 84. Northwest wind will be around 5 mph.
Friday night's low will be around 56.
Saturday, there is a 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly after
8am. It will be partly sunny with a high near 84. Saturday night's low will be around 62.
Partly cloudy, with a low around 62.
Sunday, will be 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 124 cfs at 1.80 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 245 cfs at 1.36 ft.
(good wading up to 500 cfs and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: Rate 48.0 cfs at 2.28 ft
(good wading conditions up to 125 with extra caution up to 150 cfs)
Little Pigeon River: It is flowing below a normal level.
Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Fontana Lake:
They are all flowing below normal levels.
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 Eastern BWOs
Little Yellow Stoneflies: 16/14
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
Slate Drakes: 10/12
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 7/31/17, in addition to
those on the above list.
Cream Cahills: 14/16
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
Copyright 2017 James Marsh
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 (email@example.com)
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
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 Fishing Journal
Archive - Sign up below to
receive current issues:
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
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