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

Welcome to the Fly Fishing Report.  It is foggy.  I mean it is really foggy.  I can’t see anything from my office window except for the outlines of the shops in Trillium Cove.  I got here at 7:35 am this morning.  There was almost no traffic on the roads and streets.  The Spring Festival is over.  All that is left at the Visitors Center are a few signs.  It appeared the turnout at the festival was low.  Everyone was commenting on that around town.  I hope we don’t have the same problem at Troutfest in two weeks.

Little River is flowing at 221 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 253 cfs.  The water temperature at 7:35 am was 62.0 degrees.  The high water temperature in Little River yesterday was 65.2 degrees.

Fishing is excellent.  Though trout fishing has been excellent in the Park streams from time to time the Fishing Gauge was stuck on “Good”.  That is because some of the rivers and lakes in East Tennessee were not what we could call excellent.  Now we can.

The Park is fishing great.  Trout are taking dry flies well.  Anglers I talked to yesterday verified that.  I even got a report from Abrams Creek on the Little Horseshoe.  That fellow caught some nice rainbows.  And it’s good everywhere in the Park.  This is May.  Like someone said yesterday, “Unless the streams are blown out, fishing is always great in May”.  That’s true.  One thing the customer who said that left out was droughts.  If the water is really low, fishing can be slow.  But this year, trout fishing in the Smokies has been excellent.

Trout are taking a number of patterns.  About any reasonable fly will work.  I would stick to the Yellow Sally imitations or maybe a Light Cahill.  I like an Elk Hair Caddis too, mainly because they float well.  I have always tied in some chartreuse calf body hair on top of the wing so I can see it better. 

The tailwaters are fishing well too though some of them are crowded on the weekends.  David Perry told me yesterday that they are having trouble finding trout in the Caney Fork, especially at the upper end near the dam.  But, they are finding good numbers of fish downstream. I’ve heard great reports from the Clinch, Holston, Hiwassee and South Holston Rivers.

Lowland rivers are producing some excellent smallmouth bass fishing.  And why not?  All the conditions are perfect.  So, pick a river, any river that holds smallmouth bass and go.  They are taking poppers and Stealth Bombers.  Try the Pigeon, Little Pigeon, Little River or Abrams Creek.

Fly Fishing for smallmouth bass in the lower tailwaters is excellent.  Pick one.  Try the Little Tennessee below Chilhowee Dam.  The bass will be on the banks waiting for you.  Go downstream into Tellico Lake.  The conditions are perfect.  The French Broad and Holston are fishing well.  I bet the Clinch is too but I don’t know for sure.  Surely the lower Hiwassee is on fire. Lower Tellico River has got to be hot.

The lakes are fishing well, finally. You have about 8 of them to choose from near here not including Center Hill and Dale Hollow.  The bass are on the banks and taking poppers, Stealth Bombers and Knuckleheads.  I bet they will be hitting streamers too.  All you have to do is put a boat or canoe in the water and go.

The shellcrackers should be on the beds this week everywhere in East Tennessee. 

Fishing should be excellent for the next month or so everywhere you look, no matter what kind of fly fishing you do.

Troutfest is less than two weeks away.  We are hoping for a big crowd.  Banquet tickets are selling slow.  We base our food and beverage purchases on our ticket sales so, if you plan to go to the banquet, you should buy your tickets now ONLINE HERE.  Later next week we won’t be selling them online because they are mailed to you.  And at some point we will determine how many people we are going to feed and cut off tickets sales when that point is reached.  So, if you want to go, do something now or you might miss out on a great time.  You can also call the shop 877-448-3474.  We can take your ticket order and either mail them to you or hold them here.

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

Byron Begley
May 6, 2012



Respond to: byron@littleriveroutfitters.com


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