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 6:18 am, it is foggy and 50 degrees.  I know this is hard to believe.  There is a zero chance for rain today and tomorrow.  High temperatures will be in the 70’s.  It is going to be a perfect weekend for fly fishing, wherever you go, in our area.

Flow in Little River is currently 354 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.31 feet on the gauge and the water is receding.  Median flow for this date based on 50 years of data is 326 cfs.  So, finally, flows are near normal and getting better. 

Listen to this.  The water temperature this morning is 57.2 degrees.  That is perfect.

Go fishing in the Smokies today and tomorrow.  You will be glad you did. 

The bad news is, TVA plans to generate all day on the Clinch below Norris Dam.  The generators are off now at Cherokee Dam, but the schedule on the TVA website indicates full generation beginning at 10 am.  The lake levels at both Norris and Cherokee Lake are higher than the expected elevation range for this time of year.  And, the lake levels are rising. TVA tries to keep the lakes lower in the early Spring, to allow for water storage capacity.  That range does elevate in April, and by the end of the month, they expect the lake levels to be near Summer pool.  The problem is, the levels are rising to that point quicker than expected.

We dodged the bullet yesterday, at least in the Smoky Mountains.  More rain was predicted, possibly heavy rain and severe thunderstorms.  It didn’t happen.

Lower Little River, at the Maryville Gauge, is flowing higher than normal.  Flow there is 694 cfs.  Median flow at that location for this date is 592 cfs.

We should not have much wind on the lakes according to the Weather Channel website.  They predict winds at 6 miles per hour.  So, if they are right, this will be a good lake fishing day.  Paula and I don’t fish the lakes on weekends.  We don’t like crowds.  I wish we had a forecast like we have for this weekend, next week.  We won’t.  But, Wednesday and Thursday look decent.  We will probably go then.

I would fish in the mountains this weekend.  You will have great conditions though the water levels will be a little high.  I think fishing will be very good.  Nymphs or dry flies should both work.

David Knapp sent me an e-mail day before yesterday.  He fished on the North Carolina side of the Park.  He caught around 70 trout Friday.  He said the water levels were lower on the Carolina side.  David is an excellent fly fisherman and guide.  He also has a great website you should visit by CLICKING HERE.  Check it out now.  He has some great stories to tell about fishing in the Smokies.  His photography is excellent.  We saw him Wednesday, before he headed East to camp for the night.

The Troutfest Banquet will be held Friday night, April 24th at the Airport Hilton.  You don’t want to miss this event, but the deadline to purchase tickets is quickly approaching.  You can buy them online by CLICKING HERE.  Or, you can purchase them at Little River Outfitters or 3 Rivers Angler.  The ticket cost is $50.

The Little River Chapter of Trout Unlimited supports the fisheries department at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, as well as, Trout in the Classroom and the Trout Adventure Camp.  The chapter has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and volunteer labor, during the past 20+ years to fund brook trout restoration in the Park.  By attending this banquet, you will be supporting these projects.  Please show your support by attending.  Our store donated a ton of stuff, and there are many more items you can buy at auction, including a new Walter Babb bamboo fly rod.  Please don’t let our Chapter down.  Ticket sales are slow and we’re getting nervous.

Yesterday, I visited with Don, the restaurant manager at Tremont Lodge and Resort.  We are planning this year’s Fly Tyers Weekend.  It will be held at the lodge November 6th and 7th.  Last year, the event was brought to you by our shop and the lodge.  We worked together as partners.  It was a huge success.

We are welcoming a new partner this year, the Southeast Council of the Fly Fishing Federation.  I’m working with the President, Marvin Cash.

In addition to having a two-day fly tying extravaganza, with dozens of expert fly tyers, there will be a fundraiser banquet, held by the FFF, to support the new fly fishing museum in Cherokee, North Carolina.  Marvin and I talked yesterday about holding some fly tying technique classes this year, at the event.

So, mark your calendars for that one.  You can visit our 2014 Fly Tyers Weekend website by CLICKING HERE.  There, you will get an idea what this event is like.  I will update the website for this year’s event soon.

Get out there and fish on this beautiful weekend.  We will be open for you today and Sunday as usual.

I just heard a shotgun, fire twice.  Somebody either shot or missed a turkey.  I looked over my shoulder, through the window here, and there is a turkey eating seed in our bird feeding area.  That gunshot didn’t seem to bother him.  Now, he is gone.  Those birds have been nervous and reclusive lately.  No, there he is.  He’s still there.

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

Byron Begley
April 11, 2015

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