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

Welcome to the Fly Fishing Report.  It is a beautiful Spring morning in the Smoky Mountains.  Townsend is active though it is early.  I talked to Tim for a few minutes after I took the water temperature.  He lives on the river.  He is also new to fly fishing.  Tim is hooked.

The dogwoods bloomed last night.  The flowers are small now but they should grow throughout the day.  Our bright red dogwood trees at the store are in full bloom.     

Little River is looking closer to normal.  Flow this morning is 450 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 325 cfs.  The water temperature was 55 degrees at 7:35 am.  The water is clear and the river looks great.  There is a slight chance for rain on Wednesday but the week looks to be fairly dry with high temperatures in the mid to upper 70’s. 

Fishing is good.  Here is a great fishing report from David Knapp on our Message Board.  He camped at Elkmont all weekend and had a great time.  Take a look at that brown trout.  He also caught a brook trout lower in the river than he has done that before.  He caught some pretty rainbow trout too. 

David did better on nymphs.  Trout were taking his dries too, but the nymphs scored better. 

The smaller streams were easier to fish and anglers did better there this weekend.  The water was high.  It is still higher than normal.  Hatches are numerous and varied.  When conditions are like this I don’t think fly patterns matter that much.  I would use a Parachute Adams, Elk Hair Caddis or a March Brown for the dry.  A Bead Head Pheasant Tail is hard to beat for the nymph. 

The water should be clearing in the lowland streams.  I don’t know for sure but the creeks I’ve seen in this valley are running clear.  The smallmouth bass fishing in the river has to be picking up.  I can’t seem to get away from here to find out. 

The lake fishing should be improving too.  The way I fly fish in the lakes, I need the fish to be five feet deep or less.  I hate fishing with sinking lines though I do sometimes.  I like floating lines and 9’ leaders. 

A few of us are going to Kathy’s Gracehill Bed and Breakfast for a meeting today.  We formed a “Sign Committee” from the membership of the Townsend Walland Business Alliance.  We want to make sure visitors find Townsend and don’t get lost on the way.  We are working with Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Tennessee Department of Transportation.  And there are some issues to be worked out.  That B & B is perched on a spot at 3,000 feet above sea level.  It is a beautiful place.  We are meeting at 4:00 pm.  Michael Talley from the Talley Ho is picking me up. 

We are busy here.  Last March was busy too.  Remember last Winter?  We had cold temperatures and lots of snow.  People did not fish much last year during the Winter.  Then when March arrived, anglers went crazy.  They were suffering from cabin fever.

This year anglers fished all Winter in the Southern States.  A substantial number of our customers are in the Southern States so we had a good Winter business.  March has been good too and I think we’ll end up ahead of last March but not by much.

The Winter of 2012 will be one to remember.  I saw more pictures of huge brown trout this year than ever before.  Jack caught his all time Smokies record brown trout out of Little River this Winter.  The fish was over 30” long.  For those of you who don’t know, these are wild trout, born and raised in the river.  What a fish.

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

Byron Begley
March 27, 2012

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