Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 11/15/17
It feels real cold this morning but checking on the outside temperature, and then a few
minutes later, the water temperature of Little River and Oconaluftee, I noticed the water
is warmer than the air. The water temperature is ranging from 44 to 46 degrees. The
air will be warmer later on this morning.
I am leaving the Needle stoneflies, Little Yellow Quills, Mahogany Duns, and Great
Autumn Brown sedges on the list of flies for a few more days, but I think they are all
about done for the year. There may be some more Slate Drakes hatches in the lower
elevation streams, but they will probably be sparse at best.
Most of the hatches that should occur would be various species called Blue-winged
olives and Midges. Midges have always been greatly overlooked in the streams of the
park by local anglers, but they exist and in good numbers in many places. There are a
lot of the cream colored ones, and some light green ones that hatch later on in late
winter an early spring. There are also a few red or blood midges that exist where there
is soft bottom. It doesn't have to be soft bottom in a major section of the stream. It can
be small places where sand, soil and decaying leaves have accumulated. The point I
am making, is when the water does get cold, say in the low forties and thirties, you can
catch trout on imitation of midges and sometimes, good numbers of trout.
Weather: (At Gatlinburg at about 1600 ft)
Today, will be mostly sunny, with a high near 57. South wind will be around 5 mph
becoming west in the afternoon. Tonight, there's a 30 percent chance of showers. The
low will be around 42.
Thursday, will be partly sunny, with a high near 58. West wind will be around 5 mph.
Thursday night's low will be around 35.
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 167 cfs at 1.93 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 351 cfs at 1.60 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs and caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: Rate 89.2 cfs at 2.63 ft
(good wading conditions up to 125 with extra caution up to 150 cfs)
Little Pigeon River: It near a normal level.
Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Fontana Lake:
They are all near a normal levels.
Recommended Trout Flies:
In addition to the two list below, you can always send us an email
(email@example.com) 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 Sculpin:
Hook Size 6
Black and/or Olive Matuka Sculpin:
Size 4, 6, 8
Blue-winged olives: 18 and 16
Slate Drakes: 10/12
Mahogany Duns: 18
Great Autumn Brown Sedge: 10
Little Yellow Quills: 16
Needle Stoneflies: 16/18
New: Trout Flies You Will Need Soon (through 11/15/17, in addition to
those on the above list.
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 Slate Drake 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
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