Townsend, Tennessee - Fly Fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, East Tennessee and Western North Carolina

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is foggy and 45 degrees in Townsend this morning.  I drove to work at 7:30 am and the streets were vacant.  That is going to change today.  We are expecting plenty of people in town this weekend.  It feels like Spring.

Little River is flowing at 470 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 353 cfs.  The water temperature has risen to 46.5 degrees.  It will get warmer than that this weekend.  Little River looked very good this morning.  The water is clear.

The water levels are higher than normal in the Great Smoky Mountains.  Most anglers would say the flows are very good for fly fishing.  The currents are strong so be careful wading.

You will probably find fishing to be good through Monday.  After that, the temperatures are going to cool off for a few days. 

Right now, the water temperature in Little River is good and getting better.  I would start with nymphs early.  Try a Copper John, Tellico, Prince or Pheasant Tail.  You might want to drop one of those off a dry fly, something bushy like a Stimulator.

Later, you should notice some aquatic insects on the water.  They may be Blue Wing Olives, Quill Gordons or Blue Quills.  The high temperature today should be around 60 degrees or better in the lower elevations.  It will be cloudy.  Switch to dry flies this afternoon or earlier.  Heck, start out with them if you want to.  You never know.

Try a wet fly.  A wet fly?  Yep, the old fashioned wet fly might be just the ticket.  Walter and I were talking about that last weekend.  Fly fishermen have all but quit using the traditional wet fly.  Walter said there was a time when that was all he used as a sub-surface fly.  If you think about it, these trout don’t see wet flies.  They see nymphs, streamers and dries.  We sell a few but most of them probably end up in shadow boxes. 
The conditions we will have today and tomorrow have brought out the adult mayflies during the past two weeks.  I don’t have much doubt if that will happen this weekend.  I think fishing will be good, especially beginning this afternoon.

We’ve got a lot going on here today.  Ray Ball and Clayton Gist will be tying.  Their demonstrations are free.  Just show up.

We also have an Advanced Trout Fly Tying Class going on all day.  That class will be taught by Walter Babb and Brian Courtney.  I think we have 7 students.

I read a disturbing article in the Daily Times this morning.  You can read it by CLICKING HERE.  All National Parks are preparing the contingency plans should the Federal Government enact mandatory spending cuts later this week.  Great Smoky Mountains National Park has a simple plan, close 5 campgrounds and the picnic areas.  They say the campground closures will affect over 50,000 campers.

At issue with keeping these areas open is trash removal and protecting the facilities.  We all know what will happen if the trash is not removed and the grounds are not maintained.  Bears will have a feast.  They would move in fast. 

So, the Park is probably doing the right thing but I really hate to see this happen.  Camping is a huge attraction in our Park.  We have some beautiful campgrounds.  A drop in visitation would be bad for our fragile tourism industry here in Townsend.

I see an opportunity here for volunteers.  Great Smoky Mountains National Park is very cooperative and friendly with volunteer organizations.  The Little River Chapter of Trout Unlimited was the first TU Chapter to work with a National Park.  Friends of the Smokies raise lots of money for the Park.  Our Superintendent is a very reasonable guy and smart too.  Maybe there is a way.  I would do my time picking up trash.  So would a lot of you.

Have a great day and thank you for being here with us.

Byron Begley
February 23, 2013

Respond to:

Home - Contact Us - About Us - Fishing Report - Online Catalog - Message Board - Sitemap