Great Smoky Mountains Fly Fishing Report - 12/06/18
It is Thursday, the day I try to advise out-of-town, anglers as to the fishing conditions
they can expect if they visit the park for the weekend. As of now, the streams are all
high, too high for most anglers to wade safely. It looks like they will slowly drop down
today, and tomorrow, but more precipitation is expected on Saturday, and Sunday. It
will consist of rain in the lower elevations and snow in the higher elevations.

It is a beautiful time to visit the park provided the roads are clear enough to travel. That
often isn't the case. The streams will likely be high and for sure will be cold, or below
forty degrees in most cases where trout live. Conditions for fly fishing will be less than
normal.


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 354 cfs at 2.39 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs
)

Oconaluftee River: Rate 788 cfs at 2.28 ft.
(good wading up to 500 cfs and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)

Cataloochee Creek: Rate 164 at 2.82 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 125, with extra caution up to 150 cfs)

Little Pigeon River: (Does Not Have a USGS gauge):  It is flowing at a high
level, too high to wade safely but should be okay this afternoon with caution. .

Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Fontana Lake:
The streams are all too high to wade safely.

Weather Forecast: (At Gatlinburg at 1600 foot elevation)
Today,
will be mostly sunny, with a high near 43. Wind will be from the west around 5
mph in the afternoon. Tonight's low will be around 31.

Friday, will be partly sunny, with a high near 42. Friday night's low will be around 31.

Saturday, there's a slight chance of sleet before 9am, then a chance of rain. It will be
cloudy, with a high near 41. East wind will be around 5 mph. The chance of
precipitation is 40%. Saturday night's low will be around 33 with an 89% chance of rain,

Sunday, expect rain with a high near 38. The chance of precipitation is 90%.




Trout Flies Currently Needed:
Cream Midges: 20/22
larva
pupa
adults

Streamers:
Brown Sculpin: 6
White Belly Sculpin: 6
Articulated Sculpin and Leeches: 4

Blue-winged olives : 16/18
nymphs
emergers
duns
spinners

Winter stoneflies: 16/18
nymphs
adults

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.

Strategy:
Not all of the insects you see above will be hatching in the same location. It is usually
only one or two. 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 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.

Thank you for visiting our website

James Marsh
Copyright 2018 James Marsh
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