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.  It is foggy and 58 degrees at 7:14 am. 

Little River is flowing higher than normal at 507 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.61 feet on the flow gauge. Median flow for this date is 268 cfs.  The water temperature is 56.5 degrees.

Fishing should be good today.  The rivers are swift but anglers are catching trout.  Personally, I would fish a smaller stream.  Dry flies may work and nymphs certainly will. 

Lower Little River, is muddy this morning.  Jack just called.  He and Joe are going to fish way down, near Fort Loudoun Lake.  He wanted to know how Paula and I did yesterday.  They were trying to decide where to fish today.

Check the TVA website.  They may turn the water off at Cherokee Dam for a while today.  The schedule indicates no discharge between 7 am and noon.  However, the observed data at 7 am indicates generation of 2,026 cfs.  You probably know more about these discharges than I do so check the website yourself to make a determination.

TVA also indicated full generation at Norris Dam all day.

Paula and I tried to fish the Little Tennessee River yesterday.  The water level was over 4 feet below normal.  It was difficult to launch our boat.  We saw rocks sticking out of the water where we usually drive the boat over them.  We drove by a kayaker and stopped to talk to him.  He’s been kayaking there for many years.  He said he had never seen the water that low, since the big drawdown to repair Chilhowee Dam.  I haven’t seen the water that low.  We didn’t catch a thing.  I did hook a turtle on a wooly bugger.  The smallmouth bass have retreated to deep water due to the drawdown.

Yesterday, we saw dry land, where we usually see smallmouth bass spawning beds.  That is not something we like to see.  When smallmouth bass spawn, and the water levels drop, they retreat and abandon the nest, even though it might still be under water.     

Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners bought the dams from Alcoa.  They own Santeelah, Cheoah, Calderwoood and Chilhowee Dams.  Raising and lowering the levels this much, is going to cause fishing on the river to be tougher than it already is.

I think we’ll start fishing the Tellico Lake area of the Little Tennessee more often.  The levels there are controlled by TVA.

The weather websites differ on today’s forecast.  One says we have a 20% chance for showers today.  Another puts the odds at 80% with rainfall near ½ inch.  They both agree on thunderstorms tomorrow and Monday.  We have had, and continue to have a wet April. The Knoxville Airport reports a month to date accumulation amount of 3.07 inches.  Normal for this period is 2.24 inches.

Park Burson from Orvis and Scientific Anglers was scheduled to be at our shop today.  He has an illness in his family and had to fly to Florida.  We will still hold our fly line trade-in sale today.  Bring in an old fly line, and get $20 off any new Scientific Anglers Line.  Leave it on the reel.  We’ll remove the old one and replace it with the new line.  We just received a bunch of new lines from SA.

You probably know, I came up with a fly designed for smallmouth bass in 2011.  I called it a Knucklehead.  I had to change the name to Byron’s Knucklehead, because there is a bass plug with the same name.  I didn’t know that at the time.  I tie the flies to sell at the shop and online.  This is no easy task.  But, I want them to be available to you.

Over the years, customers have learned, they work well for many different species, including smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, any large bluegill or shellcrackers, and even trout.  Dan says they work well for carp.  Another friend of mine caught a redfish on one. 

I advertised them on this page in February.  We sold so many, I got nervous.  So, I took the ad down.  Now, I’m more comfortable advertising them again because I have a back stock here at home of 50 dozen and there are probably more at the shop.  So, the ad is back, below this text.  I’ll try to keep up with demand through the Spring and Summer.  I’ll be tying them every day for an hour or two to keep up. Order yours now with free shipping.

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

Byron Begley
April 18, 2015

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