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

Welcome to the Fishing Report from the Great Smoky Mountains.  At 6:45 am on this Sunday morning, the temperature is 50 degrees. It will be warm today, once again.  The high should be in the mid-60’s.  This is fishing weather folks.

This week will continue to be warm.  It may rain tonight.  We’ll have some cloudy and sunny days this week.  Spring continues in the Smoky Mountains.

Little River is flowing right at normal, 382 cubic feet per second, or 2.37 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 385 cfs.  The water temperature is 51.4 degrees.

The water seems high to some.  One customer who is a frequent visitor to the Smokies, told me the water looked high.  I told him it was almost exactly normal.  It seems high to him because he probably doesn’t fish here often in March. Or, when he does, the water is lower than normal. 

Fly fishing in the Park is awesome right now. I’m getting reports from anglers who are fishing Lynn Camp Prong for the first time in 7 years.  They are catching some nice brook trout, some in the 8” range.  But, fishing is good in the whole Little River drainage and most streams in the Park.  The water will be colder in the high elevations.  I don’t think many fishermen are going up there right now.  I have not heard from any who have.  The lower elevations are certainly very active, providing all the good fly fishing you could want. 

Trout are actively taking dry flies and nymphs.  Hatches of many different aquatic insects will be encountered, sporadic and maybe short lived, which is normal.  Nymphs might work best if there are no adult insects on the water.  On the other hand, the trout are getting used to looking up.  A dry may catch fish all day long.

I’m seeing pictures on our message board of trout who are taking Green Weenies and Pink Weenies, or variations of either.  That tells me, the trout are not picky.  Those pictures and others I’ve seen are mostly of brook trout.  Brook trout love Weenies, year round.

Pheasant Tails, or other darker nymphs are producing well. 

TVA is still pumping water through the turbines at Norris and Cherokee Dam on a daily basis, all day.  They are doing it again today.  We need some days on the Clinch and Holston with low flows.  Maybe that will happen soon, since the rainfall has subsided somewhat.

I ran into Ronnie at Ace Hardware yesterday.  He is our Police Chief.  He told me TWRA has changed the lake regulations pertaining to smallmouth bass.  Evidently, anglers can harvest more fish under the new regs.  He told me to read the new TWRA booklet and see for myself. I hate to hear that.  Why would anyone want to harvest a smallmouth bass?  They take years to reach “large fish” status.  I’ll check that out.

I don’t like to talk about bad news on this report. I think you get enough of that on other websites.  I know, because I check every website, every morning, that may have news, pertaining to the Smoky Mountains.  That’s part of my morning routine, preparing to write this report. 

Having said that, Ronnie and I talked about the recent homicide we had in Townsend.  I didn’t know the victim well, I just saw him around town.  Everyone is perplexed and wondering what happened.  Ronnie told me yesterday, he has been here 37 years, and during that time, we have not had a homicide in Townsend. I feel awful for the family.  I hope it is solved soon.

I am becoming a very adept interior boat painter.  I’m painting the inside of our boat.  As is always the case, we learn from our mistakes.  Mine has been, using paint that is not thinned well.  I’m using a low nap roller, not a sprayer.  The first coat, on the sides, in the bow and mid sections went on too thick.  Last night, I sanded that first coat off.  This is an aluminum boat. The surface is slick.  The paint is semi-gloss.  Any variations in the paint thickness, sticks out like a sore thumb.  I’ve got it figured out now. She is looking good.  I’ll finish the job in about two evenings.  Lesson #2 is, have plenty of light.

I don’t think I would want to paint the interior of aluminum boats for a living.  Ronnie just did the same thing.  He bought a boat, a wide aluminum jon, because it has been sitting for a few years and not used.  He is restoring it to sell. It is a wide 14 foot Lowe with a 15 hp Mercury. He has a much larger fishing boat that he uses.  Ronnie is an avid walleye angler. 

I think he told me yesterday the boat restoration is finished.  It is for sale.  Send me an e-mail if you are interested and I’ll put you in touch with the Chief.  He is also easy to find in town.  He’s the policeman, driving the police pickup truck.  Frank has a police Tahoe.  Tony and Mike have regular police cruisers.  Don’t drive fast in Townsend.

Many people, have RV’s, that are parked here year round and are used as a second home.  To me, that makes more sense than buying a second home.  First, if you get tired of where you are, you can move.  Second, these people have all the conveniences one would expect in a stick built home.  I talked to a customer yesterday who does just that.  I asked if he had cable television.  He does.  I asked about a high speed internet connection.  He’s got that.  He has a view of the mountains and a great second home.  Works for me!

Paula and I are planning to start camping again.  We can’t use an RV.  We always have a boat or the kayaks in tow.  What we have is a huge, very nice, Diamond Brand canvas tent.  These tents are made in North Carolina, by a company that also makes shelters, sold to and used by the military, around the world.  Check out their website. 

The tent weighs a ton.  I bet it weighs 75 pounds.  But, it sets up quickly and easily, once you lug it to the site. 

There are some very nice campgrounds, on lakes, where we could camp, 30 minutes to an hour from here. One is on a no-motor lake.  I wonder if they have cable TV and a high speed internet connection?  I could just imagine me writing the fishing report from a lakefront campsite.

Anthony has a portable air conditioner, he uses when he goes camping during the summer.  Now we are talking!

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

Byron Begley
March 22, 2015

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