Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 08/05/17
It is going to be clear through the weekend, so the water will remain at a low level
throughout the park. The North Carolina side of the park is slightly better off with
slightly higher water levels. The temperature is going to be much cooler than it has
been, with a high of 80 today in Gatlinburg. That will help the low water situation a little.
Each morning and afternoon, for the past three days, one or both of us have caught
what we refer to as the turkey march. We have 14 turkeys pass through our yard each
morning and again each afternoon, in a single file line. We have been seeing them but
very inconsistently until lately. The line isn't always exactly straight, but there's never
two or more turkeys walking side by side. They are always following each other along
the same path that won't vary over ten feet wide. There are four, fully grown hens, and
the others are all little ones that are now about the size of a full grown rooster. What we
can't determine, is which ones belong to the different mothers.
There are always one or two mothers leading the pack, but it appears the others are
mixed in at random. They just take their time, picking at anything I guess they can find
to eat. They pass the street in front of the house leaving each morning through what
we call our green field (a small area of heavy grass) and reverse the same route, late
in the day each afternoon, back to the exact area where they spend each night. It is
the same exact spot where they were born. Very few vehicles travel the road in front of
the house. There are only about six or seven homes on the mile and a half long circle.
We have never seen them cross the street with a vehicle anywhere near.
On the opposite side of the green field, there is a very steep, almost vertical bank that
drops down about fifty feet or more. It is covered with thick bushes and trees and would
be almost impossible to get through it. The hens stay in one of the tall oaks at the top
and I think the little ones are on the ground or bushes underneath them each night.
You can hear them. They would be well aware of any thing, animal or human, that tried
to approach them. It appears to be the perfect home for them. I feel sure some of you
have seen this all your life and are probably laughing at me writing about it, but we
didn't have wild turkeys where we came from. Although we have seen them frequently
since we have lived in Tennessee, the past 15 or so years, we have never been able
to follow along with them throughout their life, year to year. They have been using the
exact same spot to lay their eggs and raise the little ones each year for at least the
past few years. You cannot approach them without scaring them, but as long as you sit
still they will walk right by you. They do not seem to be afraid of us.
Fish'n Tales: (New Series - See the Menu of articles on your right: We plan on
replacing these every two to four 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 3 - Coming Soon
Weather: (At Gatlinburg at about 1600 ft)
Today, will be mostly cloudy then gradual clearing with a high near 80. Wind will be
from the north at 5 mph. Tonight's low will be around 58.
Sunday, there is a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 3pm. It will
mostly be sunny with a high near 83. Light and variable wind will come from the west at
5 to 10 mph in the afternoon. Sunday night, there is a chance of showers and
thunderstorms, then showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm after 3am. It will be
mostly cloudy with a low around 68. The chance of precipitation is 60%.
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 67.6 cfs at 1.53 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 230 cfs at 1.32 ft.
(good wading up to 500 cfs and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: Rate 36.0 cfs at 2.21 ft
(good wading conditions up to 125 with extra caution up to 150 cfs)
Little Pigeon River: It is running low.
Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Fontana Lake:
They are all low.
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
Cream Cahills: 14/16
Cinnamon Caddis: 16/18 (mostly Abrams Creek)
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 8/15/17, in addition to
those on the above list.
Mahogany Dun: 18
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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brown, brook and rainbow trout on the
fly. Fishing methods, strategies and
much more are covered. Learn all
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trout eat and how to imitate it.
Techniques for each season of the
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