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

Welcome to the Fly Fishing Report from The Great Smoky Mountains.  It is raining lightly and the temperature is 53 degrees this morning.  Columns of fog are following the path of Little River through our town.  The higher peaks of the Smokies are not visible now.  Fog has obscured my view of the taller mountains.  It is a nice morning.

Little River is flowing at 352 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 263 cfs.  The water level is not really high.  The gauge reading is only 2.25 feet.  That is a good level for fishing.  The water temperature is 58 degrees this morning.  Yesterday the high water temperature was 62 degrees.  It appears the water level has peaked.

The front that moved through East Tennessee brought .75” of rain here last night but most of the heavier rain fell on the North Carolina side of the Park.  The airport in Alcoa reported only a trace of precipitation at 4:30 am.  We’ll take the rain we got.  We may get more today but significant impacts on the water levels in the Little River watershed appear to be minimal unless the path of the front changes today.  Tomorrow should be sunny and 77 degrees.  Right now, the forecast is calling for rain this weekend starting on Saturday and continuing through Sunday.

Fishing is good, really good.  The reason for that is clear water, perfect water temperatures and the water levels are great.  This is prime fishing season in East Tennessee or at least it is this year. 

You will probably find better dry fly fishing in the late afternoon and evening right now in the Smokies.  Nymphs will probably work best during the early part of the day. Try a Prince, Tellico, Pheasant Tail or Hare’s Ear.  My choice of dry flies would include a Parachute Adams, #16 Yellow Stimulator, #14 Yellow Elk Hair Caddis or a Yellow Neversink Caddis.

Fishing on the lowland rivers for Smallmouth Bass and Rock Bass is good.  They are taking floating popper or diver imitations.  Try a Stealth Bomber or Knucklehead.  Poppers should work well too. 

Area ponds should be fishing better too.  Well, now that I read my e-mail I can say they are fishing well.  David Ezell and Rufus King fished a private 10 acre pond late yesterday.  They caught about 30 fish in two hours on Stealth Bombers and a dropper.  After the recent cold spell, David said the fishing at that pond slowed down.  They are active again.

I think the lakes will be fishing well for smallmouth bass, bluegill, largemouth bass and shellcrackers.  I will find out tomorrow.  I’m planning to fish with top water flies and poppers only and cover a lot of water.  I’m scouting the water for Frank to come down from Kentucky and we want the fishing to be tops when he is here.  I hope that is next week.

Tailwater smallmouth bass are biting well too.  They are also taking poppers and other top water flies. 

I feel sure the tailwaters are treating the trout anglers well.  I know the Hiwassee is fishing very good.  Before the cold snap I had good reports from the Clinch, Holston and South Holston.  There has been plenty of aquatic insect activity on those rivers.

Have you seen these new EPA Approved portable fuel systems for outboard motors?  I bought a new tank and 12 foot hose.  I’ll fill her up and try it tomorrow.  Mandated last year, these new systems are supposed to be less likely to release any gasoline into the atmosphere or water.  The connections are different, there is a fuel demand valve in the line and the tank operates under pressure.  There is a pressure release valve that does activate if the pressure reaches 4 psi.  The fuel filling cap is different from the old models.  They have a click position so you can release the pressure before opening the tank completely.  I hope my motor likes it.

Troutfest banquet ticket sales are very slow compared to the last three years.  David Ezell and I worked on the Troutfest website most of the day yesterday.  Additionally, we made some changes in the online ticket sales pages.  If you click on a “buy tickets” button you will be directed to our website.  We use ours because the server is encrypted.  This protects your credit card information. 

You will be directed to our site and you can purchase there.  The orders will be processed by Bill and Sheila.  They have a credit card machine at home for that purpose.  Your proceeds will be deposited in the Little River Chapter of Trout Unlimited’s account.  They will mail your tickets to you.  To purchase tickets, CLICK HERE.

You will have some choices.  First you can buy the banquet tickets for the Saturday night dinner and auction.  They are $50 each.  You can also buy tickets for the cookout and Jason Borger event Saturday evening.  They are $10 each.  After that event, “A River Runs Through It” will be shown.  This year is the 20th anniversary of the movie.  Attendance to the movie is free.  If you buy both at the same time you will get a coupon for a free 2012 Troutfest Journal.  You can cash that in at Troutfest.  Tickets for both may also be purchased at Little River Outfitters. 

So please make us all feel better.  Start buying those tickets, please.

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

Byron Begley
April 18, 2012

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