Hazel Creek Fly Fishing Report May 2018
Hazel Creek in the Great Smoky Mountains is just now hitting its peak! May always offers some of the best times to fish the national park. Many fantastic hatches of Yellow Sallies, Light Cahills and Sulphers have the trout feeding on top and the action is incredible. This months Hazel Creek Fly Fishing report for May 2018, its all about the dry fly fishing!
Hazel Creek Conditions
This weather has been about perfect for the month. Day time highs in the back country hitting the upper 70’s and nightly lows into the 50’s have made being outside in the Great Smoky Mountains pleasant. So far rainfall has been around normal, however that is changing for the next week or so. The Smokies are forecasted to have a few popup thunderstorms and some decent rainfall until next weekend. Rainfall in the Smokies is a common and welcomed sight. The Great Smoky Mountains is actually a temperate rain-forest with most of the region receiving better than 80 inches of rain per year. So no matter the day in the Smokies, bring your rain jackets. Water levels look great. Water clarity and stream tempratures are perfect for this time of year.
Some of my fondest memories on Hazel Creek were from fishing with good friend and fellow guide Chris Lee from Bryson City in May. This particular afternoon the sky clouded up with rain looking eminent. We came upon a nice run near the old Ritter Lumber Co dry kiln site and saw several large trout taking light Cahills off the surface at the head of a long run. Overhanging Rhododendron on river right gave just enough cover, combined with good stream depth to hold several big rainbows. Chris and I watched as fish after fish dimpled the water for twenty or so yards. We approached the run from a good distance downstream and made some very long casts, by Smokies standards of course, and were able to bring several nice fish to the net. I landed my personal best Rainbow from Hazel Creek that afternoon and it was on a dry fly, a fine specimen of 19 inches. Things like that are typically rare inside the park, however if they are going to happen, Hazel Creek is where it will all play out! Hazel Creek holds some very big trout and those fish didn’t get from being easy to catch. May is one of those months when you see tons of good hatches and the water and weather are a perfect combination for great fishing. When I have a day off this time of year, I can usually be found stalking the banks on Hazel Creek casting a dry fly.
Hazel Creek Flies
Hatches during May and June are plentiful on Hazel Creek. Anglers can hedge bets on the Little Yellow Sallies and score big dividends with a handful of size #12-16 Hot Butt Sallies fishing them to edges of runs. Tons of Caddis hatch all day long on Hazel Creek too. Most are tan or light yellow and range from #12-20. Giant Salmon Flies in #4-6 hatch all day especially on bright sunny afternoons. These are typically associated with the Rocky Mtn West however our region has them also and they are the biggest bugs we have all year. Think porterhouse steak for a trout! Green Drakes hatch on overcast mornings and late evening bringing trout recklessly to the surface. Light Cahills can be counted on for hatching all day long and activity increases in the afternoon especially if we have overcast skies. Rusty Spinners, Grey Fox, Orange Palmer, bi color Stimulators, Henryville Caddis, Adams Variants, March Browns, and Ausable Wulff are several of the dry flies you will need to have. Of course spring and summer in the Smokies means inch worms! anglers will want to have a double handful of inch worms in light green with sizes ranging #8-16, also beetles and ant patterns work amazingly well too.
Fly Fishing the Smokies offers guided Day Trips to Hazel Creek from April 15th until the end of November. We provide the boat shuttle across Fontana Lake, all the gear, flies and equipment, plus a streamside lunch. Its a great opportunity to fish the Smokies most legendary stream with expert guides who know this water and the trout very well.
For Reservations Call (828)-488-7665 or Book Online!