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 5:15 am, the temperature is 59 degrees in Townsend. Expect wind and thunderstorms today.  Some storms may produce heavy rain, just what we need (kidding).

Little River is flowing at 1,320 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 3.71 feet on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 264 cfs.  Yesterday, the river reached a high level of 4.4 feet, near 1,900 cfs.

We cancelled the nymphing tactics class yesterday due to the possibility of heavy rain and thunderstorms.  I didn’t rain much at the shop.  But, all day, I watched dark clouds hover over the Park.  Evidently it was raining hard up there. 

So now, the streams are blown out and more rain may contribute to the high water today.  Fishing will be slow.

Jack told me yesterday, we should be teaching people to fish in high water.  “Fish love water”, he said.  He is right.  You can stand on the bank, roll cast, high stick and have a great fishing day when the water is high.  My problem is, when writing this report, I’m trying to target an average fly fisherman and look out for everyone’s safety.  And there are those, who wade out into the streams to fish, because they have not learned to cast and fish from tight positions near the bank.  I don’t want anyone to drown due to something I write.  Maybe I’m too careful.  That’s OK. I’d rather be careful than lose someone.

Looking at the flow charts, Little River shot up quickly yesterday.  We could have easily had flash floods in some streams.  My guess is, we did.

There could be options today if you are in town and want to go.  One stream, where we send fishermen, when the water is high, is Anthony Creek.  Anthony Creeks is the headwater of Abrams Creek.  Access is easy.  It runs through the picnic area at Cades Cove.  That little creek is full of rainbow trout.  Some people can’t believe they are there but they are.  Give it a try when the water is high.

Jack does love fishing in high water.  He catches huge trout in the Smokies and everywhere he goes.  One time, he was fishing Little River at Metcalf Bottoms.  The water rose to nearly cover the concrete picnic tables there.  He caught trout, holding behind the picnic tables, to stay out of the current.  I would never have thought of that.

So, where are we going to fish today?  Take a look at the TVA website, Holston River page.  You might be able to work with that generation schedule.  They will be blowing water through Norris Dam all day.

The rain will taper off this week and hopefully, fishing in the Smokies will be good soon.  That depends on what happens today. 

I’m looking at lakes.  Paula and I like to fish lakes for smallmouth bass.  I bet Friday will be our day.  Wind is a factor for us since we fish from a fishing boat.  Muddy water will be a factor for us this week.  Right now, Friday looks pretty good.  I have not committed to anything other than fishing in April and May, nothing.  So, when the conditions are good, I’m good to go. 

The guys at the shop are working on a new department that is gender specific for women.  I think it looks great.  In that department, a fly fishing woman will find women.s wders and Simms fishing clothing.  There are women’s hats and other items.  I saw vests yesterday, designed for women. 

We held a one-day sale Saturday on all Scientific Anglers fly lines.  This sale was sanctioned by Scientific Anglers.  Customers got $20 off on every fly line, that day only.  Scientific Anglers paid half the discount and we paid the other half.  I can’t believe this happened.  We got a mail order from one of our regular customers in Georgia for several SA fly lines.  He didn’t know about the sale.  We got the order on Saturday so he qualified.  Boy, did he get a big $100 surprise.  He’s a nice guy and I’m glad his order reached us Saturday.

Some good looking Simms men’s clothing arrived last week.  The whole collection is fishing clothing only, sort of.  I would wear these shirts and pants to a party, if I went to one.

Un oh, I just heard thunder. A strong thunderstorm is pounding us right now.  This is a bad one.  The radar is red.  If the power goes out, the report will be late.  The power went out for a minute.  I’m glad I saved this.  The worst of the storm has passed.

Lynn Camp Prong is fishing extremely well, despite heavy fishing pressure.  This stream is almost 9 miles of prime brook trout water, the subject of a huge reintroduction program.  Brookies up to 12” long have been caught.  Most are smaller.  Like Jack says about brook trout, “You can catch him, wait an hour, then go back and catch him again”. No kidding, this stream has been very crowded with anglers. 

I hope you find a good day to fish this week wherever you are.  When the water recedes here, fishing will be excellent again.

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

Byron Begley
April 20, 2015

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