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

Welcome to the Fly Fishing Report.  The sky is dark, I can hear thunder, and a huge storm is about to hit us right now.  The National Weather Service is warning that we could have large damaging hail and winds gusting to 70 miles per hour.  This does not look good. 

Now the storm has moved into Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  So far it has not been so bad here.  But, there is more to come.  We have plenty of thunder and lightning but so far, no hail. 

Little River is flowing at 269 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 254 cfs.  The water temperature is 56.3 degrees.  The rivers and lakes are getting warmer.

Fishing is good in the Smoky Mountains but I would not go today.  Flash flooding is a possibility.  Falling limbs and trees are another possible danger in the woods.  After this particular band moves out, there will be more storms later today.  Looking at the radar now, it appears the worst of the storm is passing just barely to our south and into Western North Carolina.

After this clears and if the rivers are not blown out, you should experience some excellent fly fishing in the Smokies.  Nymphs might work best early in the day but later, the aquatic insect activity will be intense, prolific and varied.  That is the way it was before we had the cold temperatures.  We are seeing the waters warming up and the fishing will get better in the Park.  Expect to see Light Cahills, Yellow Sally Stones and Caddis. 

The tailwaters in our area are fishing well for trout.  There has been a great sulphur hatch on the Clinch River in the afternoons.  Anglers are doing well on the Holston and Hiwassee Rivers this Spring.

I heard yesterday from a non-flyfishing source that the smallmouth bass are hitting well in the lakes.  I think the fish may be holding in deeper water.  Doug and I were going fishing on a local lake today but we called it off due to these storms.  Now, we plan to go on Monday.  I’m going to stay home and tie flies.  Uh Oh, the lights are blinking.

Doug brought his new boat by the store yesterday.  It looks better than I could have imagined.  It is beautiful and in my opinion, it is the perfect lake fishing boat.  He decided to sell his large boat and get a smaller one.  He and I searched the internet, discussed pros and cons of different boats and we both settled on this one.  We spent months discussing what would be the perfect lake fishing boat for a fly fisherman.  You can see it by clicking HERE.  It is an Alumacraft Fisherman 160 16' with a 25 hp Mercury 4 stroke engine.  When I’m ready, we’ll get one exactly like Doug’s.  Paula saw Doug’s boat yesterday.  I think she is ready now.

First, the trailer is galvanized in case she makes it to the ocean.  It is a heavy duty trailer with large wheels.  Steering is by tiller which gives you a lot more room in the boat by eliminating the console and steering wheel. The motor is a 3 cylinder and it is fuel injected.  It has power trim and electric start.  The 3 cylinder runs smoother than a two cylinder motor like our 20 hp.

There is plenty of dry storage and a live well.  The floor and decks are covered with non-slip vinyl.  He has a large amp output Optima battery in the bow compartment to run the trolling motor.  A smaller Optima in the stern is used as a crank battery for the motor.  I like Optima batteries.  I wouldn’t buy anything else for a boat.

Unlike most bass boats, seating is like sitting in a chair at a normal height.  Most fishing boats force you to sit almost on the floor or a few inches above it.  It is a struggle to stand up.  When you ride in this boat, it is like sitting in your favorite chair at home.

This boat has the perfect trolling motor.  It is a Minn Kota 55 12 volt designed for saltwater use.  It is mounted on the bow and the steering is by tiller.  The tiller extends and hinges up so you can steer and stand on the front casting platform. The motor has a variable speed control, not 5 clicks.  That feature conserves battery power. 

There is no foot control to hook your fly line on.  And, there are no complicated electronics to fail.  My first experience with a trolling motor that had wireless controls was a nightmare.  Tom and I got stuck behind St. Vincent Island in a huge maze of oyster beds.  We couldn’t use the large motor without risking damage.  The tolling motor just quit.  We took the motor apart and it looked like the inside of this iMac.  We couldn’t fix it.  We idled back with the big motor and made it with only pulverizing a stainless steel $400 prop.  I wouldn’t have a wireless controlled trolling motor after that experience.

Doug has the perfect boat and I can’t wait until Monday.

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

Byron Begley
April 26, 2012

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