Winter 2016 Fishing Report for the Smoky Mountains
Well it looks like Old Man Winter is finally upon us. After a record setting warm start to Winter, the snows have finally arrived in the Smoky Mountains! The snow covered beauty of a trout stream is hard to resist for any of us. So when the skies darken and the white stuff starts to fall, we do what we do best, and that’s hit the water! Read ahead for our Winter 2016 Fishing Report!
Winter is a great time to explore the Smoky Mountains. This time of year in the Smoky Mountains we get off trail a bit and explore some of the cabins and historical sites of the park too. Nothing is more fun than finding and old home place or abandon farm that no one has seen in years! Book a trip with our guides this time of year and let them know your interested in doing some exploring along the way. You’re guaranteed to see some cool stuff others will never experience! Of course we still fish, we just know taking a path less traveled will lead to interesting historical sites and fishing.
Winter 2016 Fishing Report
The best trout fishing this Winter will be mid morning through the afternoon. Look for days with sunshine and areas of the stream that sunlight hits early. This will warm up the stream and start aquatic insects hatching that trout love to eat. Best fly patterns will be Little Black Caddis in #16-18, Black Caddis Pupae in #16-18, Little Winter Stonefly nymphs in #16-20, Little Winter Stonefly dries in #14-18, Blue Winged Olives in #18-22, egg patterns in #10-12, and black midges in #22-26. Streamers such as black and olive Woolly Buggers in sizes #6-8, and dark brown Sculpins in #6-8. Work your flies slowly through likely holding water and make sure to cover every inch of water. Even though the trout are hungry and will be actively feeding, they will not be traveling far to intercept your flies.
The Cherokee Trophy Section is fishing good this winter. Big fish are holding at the bottom of long deep runs and are most active mid day. On pretty sunny afternoons we get into some nice dry fly action.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is fishing good despite colder water temperatures than surrounding streams. Fish are active once the sun comes up and continue nicely into the afternoon. Most trout are deep however don’t overlook faster riffles and runs for the actively feeding trout which will take small nymphs and the occasional dry fly.
The grand daddy of them all is the Tuckasegee River. Winter fishing here is consistent all season despite what the elements throw at you. The waters of the Tuckasegee River are typically warmer than surrounding Smokies streams. Most fish will be deep and are gorging themselves on small midges and little dark caddis. This time of year is great for streamer fishing too. Trout are predators and behave as such. No self respecting big trout an resist a slow swimming streamer pattern bouncing along in their feeding zones. After all the name of the game in Winter for a trout is caloric intake, and a big meal is hard to resist! The water levels on the Tuckasegee River have been perfect for fishing from our Drift Boats.
Get outside this Winter and do some fishing and exploring in the Smoky Mountains. You’ll be glad you did!
We’ll see you on the water!