Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report January 18th
It’s been unseasonably warm for over a week now in the Smoky Mountains. Day time highs have felt more like April than January. We are certainly going to pay for all this beautiful weather at some point. We say bring it on, we love fishing in the snow. In the meantime, we’ll take these warm temps and the great fly fishing action they bring!
The best action around the region right now is the Tuckasegee River. It’s hard to compete with 17,000 trout per mile currently in the river. Fact is the fishing has been awesome this month. Many days we are seeing good hatches of Blue Winged Olives, Winter Stoneflies and Midges. These hatches are bringing trout to the surface to feed on dry flies! Float Trips have been very fun for our guests this past week. We’ve seen folks catch Grand Slams all week, and one gentleman caught a monster Brown Trout that we named the T-Rex of the Tuckasegee!
The Raven Fork
The Raven Fork and Oconaluftee River in Cherokee is fishing very well. Water conditions are near perfect for this time of year. Trout are feeding aggressively throughout the entire day. We are seeing a consistent afternoon hatch of tiny Blue Winged Olives that are bringing trout on the surface to feed. Nothing like watching a 20 inch plus trout rise to a small dry fly. Fighing and landing said fish will have you occupied for a bit. The near perfect water conditions have these Cherokee River monsters unwilling to throw in the towel easily.
The Great Smoky Mountains
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is fishing good for the month. Typically January can be a tough affair inside the park. Streams are cold and the wild park fish are lethargic and will feed just a few short hours per day. Fortunately this isn’t a typical January, days have been warm and water temps are good making for some periods of very good fishing. There is no need to get an early start this of year fishing inside the GSMNP. Sleep in and drink and extra cup of coffee as you won’t be missing anything starting at day break. Mid morning until mid afternoon have been the ticket here. We are seeing good hatches of Little black Winter Stoneflies on streams such as Deep Creek and the Oconaluftee River. Keep moving and look for areas of slack water to find the best activity.
The forecast for the remainder of the week and weekend have the Smoky Mountains receiving much needed rain. Even though the area has recieved copious amounts of rain over the past month, we are still considered to be in extreme drought. Air temperatures will be hoovering in the low 60’s in Bryson City and Gatlinburg. The rains this week should turn the bite on even more and anglers may see be surprised by some big meat eating Brown trout feeding close to the banks!
Have a great week, we’ll see you on the water!
Faith, Family and Fishing