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 6:22 am, it is overcast and the temperature is 55 degrees.  It will probably rain today and tomorrow.  The weather websites don’t agree on today.  We’re going fishing Wednesday and Thursday. We’ll be fishing on the lakes for smallmouth bass.  Wind is our big issue to watch out for.  We can handle the rain.

Little River is flowing a little higher than normal at 421 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.45 feet on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 379 cfs.  2.45 feet is on the high side of good.

The water temperature in Little River is 50.7 degrees this morning.  That number will rise to “perfect” this week.  If we don’t get too much rain, fishing will be excellent.  This might be the perfect week, depending on the rain.  We are going to enjoy high temperatures in the 70’s and 80’s this week.  We saw frost at our house yesterday morning.

You will probably catch trout on any reasonable fly, dry or nymph in the Smokies.  For a dry, use a Parachute Adams, Elk Hair Caddis or any other dark mayfly pattern.  Nymph selection can vary and still produce.  I would pick a Pheasant Tail.  Green or Pink Weenies might work too.  I know the pink versions have been producing well.  Drop a small weighted nymph, like a #16 Bead Head Pheasant Tail off a dry.  That will increase your odds.

Two hikers were airlifted out of the Park yesterday.  A father and son found themselves in bad conditions, in the high elevations.  Details are sketchy right now.  Rangers on horseback, along with Tennessee Highway Patrol helicopter found them both.  The son was injured and the father is in serious condition.  They were flown to the Knoxville Airport and transferred to UT Hospital.  You can read more details and updates as they occur on the WBIR website by CLICKING HERE.

I just stepped outside.  It is dawn.  The birds are singing from all directions, different species, with their unique voices.  It is awesome out there this morning.  Trees and wildflowers are blooming.  I noticed redbuds yesterday. 

Paula and saw a very rare and unique squirrel yesterday, in the woods behind our house.  The animal was a gray squirrel, with a white tail.  It was pure white, but only the last 1/3, top and bottom.  The animal also had a pure white belly.  I checked the internet.  It is rare.  But it does happen.  They are not albino.  Some have completely white tails.  The cause is a recessive gene.  I’m surprised they live long enough to pass on those genes.  This one stuck out like a sore thumb.  I would think they are very vulnerable to predation.

My neighbor brothers and two friends hunted turkeys this weekend.  Between the four of them, they bagged two gobblers and a jake.  I was at the boat house, and heard a truck drive in on our gravel road.  It was green.  An hour or so later, I saw it again, driving out.  At that point, I realized, it was a Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency vehicle. We live on a private gravel road.  We almost never see a strange vehicle on our road.  We have a sign at the gate, discouraging activity like that.  The road is about ½ mile long.  The four of us, pay to have it maintained.  If you walk or drive on that road, you are essentially trespassing on 4 landowner’s property.

I heard the guys at their house and walked over to find out what was going on.  Evidently, according to the wildlife officer, someone called the agency and reported hunters on their land. He drove here to check out the report.  He cited all four of them, three for not having a hunters safety course card in their possession, and another for hunting without a license.  The guy without the license lives in another state.  He will get a hefty fine. 

Two, were hunting on their own land.  They didn’t need a hunting license.  It’s not required.  Evidently, the hunter’s safety card is required, even if you own the land you are hunting on. 

The officer told them he could take their guns, trucks and turkeys.  That seems harsh for not having a hunters safety class card.  He didn’t take their gear, turkeys or trucks. 

It was not me who called the authorities.  Somebody else did that. These turkeys are like pets to me.  I wouldn’t hunt these birds.  But, the flocks around here are growing so quickly, it is good that my neighbors do some thinning.  I see and recognize about 30 different hens around here.  Many will be running around with young next month.  Some of the hens were born last May.  They are sexually mature.   

As usual, when the season opens, the turkeys disappear.  Paula and I only saw three or four yesterday.  We usually see a lot more than that.  We didn’t see any Saturday, opening day.

Unless we get heavy rain this week, this will be a great time to fly fish in the Smoky Mountains.  This is an exciting time of year. 

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

Byron Begley
April 6, 2015

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