Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report from Townsend, Tennessee.  It is overcast with light rain right now.  Fog is blocking our view of Great Smoky Mountains National Park from town.  I ran into Frank at the swinging bridge.  He is one of our police officers.  We laughed as usual about a lot of different things.  Yesterday we met at Ronnie’s new “free standing man cave” for lunch.  Ronnie is our Police Chief.  As usual the food was great and the laughter was continuous until we started talking about fishing.  Then the conversation became more serious.  Ronnie is a walleye angler.  He fishes the same lakes we do but I have never caught a walleye in any of them.  But, I’m always fly fishing. 

Little River is muddy and out of the banks in some areas.  We are not having a flood but the water is very high and it is still rising.  Last night the flow peaked at 6 feet on the gauge or about 3,200 cubic feet per second.  Then the water started dropping.  More rain last night is forcing the flow higher now.  Currently the gauge is reading 5.43 feet or 2,890 cfs.  Median flow for this date is 382 cfs.  Record flow for this date was 1,920 cfs in 1994.  We broke another record.  That makes three or four in the past week. We have received 1.8” of rainfall in the past 24 hours.

We may get some light snow in the valley tonight and heavier amounts in the mountains.

Fishing in the Smokies will be tough.  It is also dangerous to wade.  The water temperature is fine, 49 degrees in town.  That will drop too.  Warmth will return on Saturday as the high is supposed to be 64 degrees.  Next week, especially Thursday and Friday are looking good for fishing.  There is less rain predicted next week, maybe none at all.  Though the ground is saturated, we should see the stream fishing improve later next week.  It is going to take a while before this water recedes back to normal. 

When it does, expect hatches of Quill Gordon, Blue Quill and Blue Wing Olive mayflies.  They started hatching a week ago in pretty good numbers.  Fishing was good.  Now we’ll have to wait.  You may catch some big trout on streamers and large nymphs during this high water in a couple of days.  Some streams run off faster.  Anthony Creek in Cades Cove is a good stream to fish when the water is somewhat high.  There are others.

I got some e-mail from smallmouth bass anglers after yesterday’s report. In that report I mentioned, “Google “fly fishing for trout” and you’ll get almost 4 million pages to browse through. Google “fly fishing for smallmouth bass” and you will only get 171,000 pages.”  That proves to me that either there are a small number of smallmouth bass fly anglers or they are not writing about it.  Maybe it’s the latter. 

We have lots of new rods, reels and waders that have arrived in the shop.  There is more to come.  It’s good to see the store re-stocked. 

One thing we are very low on is Whiting saddle hackle.  I am ordering for the fly tying department now and I saw that void on the wall.  The reason is, “we can’t get it”.  And the reason for that is, “a new fad that began in California requires saddle hackle feathers to be used and meshed to women’s hair”.  This fad has pretty much eliminated saddle hackle from the fly fishing shops.  So, for now at least we need to stock more necks.  Surely this new service offered by beauty shops will go away fast.  There is going to be a void of materials due to the time it takes to raise chickens.  I hope they don’t start buying the necks.   Here is a link to a blog describing the problem. CLICK HERE.

Here we sit waiting for the rivers to recede.

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

Byron Begley
March 10, 2011

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Our fly fishing classes will be offered from March to October 2011.   To sign up just call the shop at 877-448-3474.  You can read more on our website in the Schools Section.  The fly fishing class schedule follows:

Saturday March 26 – Beginner Day One
Saturday April 9 – Beginner Day One
Saturday April 30 – Beginner Day One
Sunday May 1 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday May 7 – Beginner Day One
Saturday May 21 – Beginner Day One
Sunday May 22 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday June 11 – Beginner Day One
Saturday June 25 – Beginner Day One
Sunday June 26 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday July 9 – Beginner Day One
Saturday July 23 – Beginner Day One
Sunday July 24 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday September 10 – Beginner Day One
Saturday September 24 – Beginner Day One
Sunday September 25 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday October 8 – Beginner Day One
Saturday October 22 – Beginner Day One
Sunday October 23 – Beginner Onstream Day Two

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