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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is cloudy and 60 degrees in Townsend this morning.  This is my day off so I’m writing the report from home.  We live in what most people would call a subdivision but it is different.  There are only 5 homes on 60 acres.  Each of us own over 10 acres. 

I stopped last night to talk to our neighbor, John.  He was digging holes in his freshly turned garden.  John has been helping Paula with her garden.  John has a small herd of cattle.  They were standing by the fence, watching him work.  Another neighbor, Herb, has a firing range on their property.  He has invited me many times to use the range.  I think I'll take him up on that.  I thought about building my own range but it would be easier and more fun to shoot with him.  We live in a cool place with nice people.  We all bought our property in the 80’s.  John was the developer.  We all chip in some money each year to keep the gravel road maintained.  We get along well.  This is a nice community.  Driving on our road is strictly prohibited without permission.  At 5:00 am someone delivers a newspaper.  Occasionally, Joey, our UPS guy drives through.  Other than that, all we see is each other and that is rare.

Little River is flowing near normal at 287 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 233 cfs.  The streams in the Smokies are in perfect condition for fly fishing.  The water temperature this morning at 7:00 am is 54 degrees just inside the Park entrance.

Fishing is good as the trout respond to the warmer water temperatures.  From what I’m hearing, there are not many large hatches of aquatic insects on the water in the lower elevations.  However, trout are taking dry flies anyway.  One customer told me yesterday that he was fishing with a dry fly and a dropper.  All the trout he caught were on the dry so he eventually clipped off the nymph and continued catching fish on the dry fly.  I’m not sure what fly he was using.  Right now, it probably doesn’t matter much.  The fish are hungry.  Most dries that are presented well will work.  I would use a Parachute Adams.

A Neversink Caddis will work too.  The yellow Neversink Caddis and the Parachute Adams are our two best selling dry flies for use in the Smokies. 

Now that the water is warming again, the smallmouth bass should be active in the lowland rivers.  They were all over flies during the warm spell a week ago.  The water will continue to warm this week and fishing will get better.  If I don’t have to drive to Morristown to pick our boat up at the dealership, I plan to fish Little River to test some new smallmouth bass flies I’m tying.  One of them, “The Flathead” will be an awesome trout fly too.  Jack is my co-conspirator on this fly.  I was showing Daniel one of them this week.  He asked me why I did something with the fly and I can’t remember what.  My answer was, “Jack said to do it this way”.  Daniel shook is head as if to say, “That’s good enough for me”. 

I was selling some tackle to a customer from Mississippi yesterday.  He described some awesome shellcracker and bluegill fishing in his area.  The shellcrackers have already spawned down there.  He was describing the size of the bream he catches.  They are huge.  He doesn’t measure them.  He used his hands to describe the size, including the thickness of these brutes.  I told Paula last night, we need to drag the boat down to Mississippi next March or early April.  I searched online for lakes in Mississippi last night.  I’ve got about a year to find the right places to go.  We have a lot of friends and customers from that State.  I know they will help me figure this out.  I love catching bluegill and shellcrackers on a fly, especially those in the 2 pound range. 

We will probably get some rain today and maybe this weekend.  I hope we don’t get too much.

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

Byron Begley
April 24, 2013

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