Copyright 2013 James Marsh
New Schedule of Daily
Mondays: Weather and Stream
Conditions Forecast - Coming Week
Tuesdays: Fly Fishing Strategies -
Which Flies To Use - Coming Week
Wednesday: Fishing Tales
Thursday: Smoky Mountains Fishing
Friday: Getting Started
Saturday: Fly Fishing School
Sunday: This Week's Featured Trout
More 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
2. Call us at 800-594-4726 and we
will help you decide which flies you
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.
Insects and other foods the trout
should be eating:
1. BWOs (Little BWOs)
2. Light Cahills
3. Cinnamon Caddis
4. Eastern Pale Evening Duns
5. Little Short-horned Sedges
7. Green Sedges
8. Little Yellow Stoneflies
9. Golden Stoneflies
10. Slate Drakes
11. Little Green Stoneflies
Most available - Other types of food:
12. Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)
13. Inch Worms
Weather and Stream Conditions Forecast - Coming Week
First a little history:
As few years ago, along with a lot of other areas of the country, we experienced drought conditions in the
Smokies. The water stayed very low for a long time and some trout in the lower elevations, and maybe some in
the middle elevations died as a result of it. We had to fish higher elevations than we normally do to find cooler,
more oxygenated water but there was plenty of it.
In general, it was more difficult to catch trout with the lower than normal water condition, but anglers who knew
what they were doing were still able to catch decent numbers and sizes of trout. To put it in perspective, I don't
remember a single time during those drought days we were not able to catch at least 30 or 40 trout in a full
day of fishing.
Please don't misunderstand me. The conditions were horrible for the trout, but only horrible for those anglers
who wanted to be able to catch trout with mediocre, and in many cases, even less than mediocre knowledge,
skill and fly fishing experience. Those that complained about the numbers of fish caught were those anglers
who rely mostly on luck and fast water conditions to disguise their trial and error fly selections and poor
I should also mention that In the long run, there was some good that resulted from the drought for the trout.
The reduction in numbers resulted in far more, larger size trout within the following two or three years.
I brought the drought up for one reason. I wanted to point out that the conditions we have experienced during
the past several weeks have been tough on anglers. There have been several days, far more than normal,
where water levels were to high to wade for any angler using common sense. There have been many days
were water levels were to high to safely wade in the larger streams and anglers either had to pick and choose
shallow areas of water to fish, or fish small, high elevation streams when they would have otherwise preferred
to fish larger streams in the lower elevation. To put it bluntly, so far, this year has been the worst year
we have had for fishing in the park for the last ten or more years.
Although I don't necessarily agree with everything he preaches, I would like to give Ian Rutter at R and R fly
fishing credit for being completely upfront and truthful. He has reported the conditions in the Smokies
accurately and truthfully even though I'm sure it's tough to have to tell it like it is. He could have just ignored
writing anything. I can't say that for some fly shop experts that try to tell everyone how to fish but at the same
time, never themselves fish the park.
It is tough on guides to have to lose an unusually large number of days of guiding during the prime fishing
season. It is especially tough for local fly shops to lose business from abnormal conditions. The only winners
during the recent adverse fishing conditions are the trout. The high water is great for them as long as it doesn't
adversely affect their spawn.
Now on to the current forecast for the weather and stream conditions for the coming week.
The outlook is almost identical to last week - not exactly very good. With the exception of only a few streams
spared from the past week's high water levels, the larger middle and lower elevation streams in the park just
yesterday, reached levels that could be considered safe to wade.
Showers and thunderstorms are likely today. The National Weather Service is showing there's is a 70% chance
of rain today for the Gatlinburg area. The same chances of rain continue through tonight.
Tuesday, will be much cooler with a high of only 79 degrees and a 90% chance of precipitation. It drops to 60%
for Tuesday night.
Wednesday's high is expected to go back up to the low eighties and the chances of rain decrease to only 20
percent. The forecast for Thursday and Friday stays about the same, with only a slight chance of rain each
day. In fact, the forecast changes very little through the weekend. It may get slightly warmer, with highs up to
85 in Gatlinburg.
Your best bet of knowing what happens for the next couple or three days is to look at the National Weather
Service's Precipitation map. Enter "Great Smoky Mountains National Park" in the location field and zoom in.
You can interpolate by looking at highway #441 which crosses almost the center of the park from Tennessee
to North Carolina, and with respect to Fontana Lake and the surrounding cities and towns. By Wednesday, you
should change the duration to 48 hours or longer to see the total amount of rain.
The Precip Map and the USGS stream data reports are shown on our link page.
We will also keep you updated each day on our daily report, blog or whatever you want to call it.
If the water levels are high and swift, stay out of it. Get familiar with the knee deep rule and go by it.
There isn't a trout in Great Smoky Mountains National Park worth taking a chance on your life.