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

Welcome to the Fly Fishing Report from the Great Smoky Mountains.  The sky is overcast but right now the sun is poking through.  The mountains are very sharp and clear.  It is a beautiful morning in Tennessee.  The temperature at 7:30 was 64 degrees.  It is very humid, 90%.

Little River is a little off color.  It was hard to tell at first.  I walked out onto the swinging bridge.  It creaks and bounces as you walk.  From that advantage I could not see the bottom of the river in the deep hole. 

Flow is 195 cubic feet per second compared to median flow of 245.  The water temperature is 62.9 degrees.  Sometime during the day yesterday that number reached 65.25 degrees.    We have a 60% chance for showers today and 40% tomorrow.  It is going to be cooler, in the high 40’s to low 50’s at night.  High temperatures for the next few days will be in the 70’s.  Nice!

Fishing is excellent.  I don’t care what kind of fly fishing you do or where you do it, fishing is excellent.  The Park is fishing great.  Trout are taking dry flies like candy.  I read this report last night when I got home from fishing.  Daniel wrote that he fished the Middle Prong Monday night and caught 12 trout in about an hour.  He was using a Yellow Sally pattern I think.  Right now, yellow is your best color though I believe these trout will hit anything reasonable.  Conditions are perfect.  Fishing is excellent.

It sounds like the tailwater trout fishery is well.  I’m hearing conflicting reports about the Clinch River.  Sometimes it is fishing extremely well and other times it is not.  Sounds to me it is fishing like every other place in the world.  Sometimes fishing is great, sometimes it is not.  Success depends on the time of day and the generation schedule.  The trout there are taking sulphur dries and sulphur emergers.  What a great trout river.

Lowland rivers are fishing extremely well for warmwater species, smallmouth bass, rock bass and bream.  Poppers and other top water bugs are working.  Smallmouth bass are still on the beds. 

The lakes are fishing fairly well too from Little Tennesse River all around the Tennessee River watershed to Norris Lake.  Smallmouth bass are still on the beds in the lakes too.  But, you can catch some nice bass on the banks using poppers and other top water creations.

Paula and I had a fair day yesterday.  The wind was supposed to be out of the south west at 5 miles per hour.  It was actually blowing out of the East at 10 – 15 miles per hour.  When the wind is blowing from the East you might as well call it a day.  We did not do that.  At about noon or a little earlier the wind quit blowing.  We could see storms moving in. 

Paula couldn’t fish much because of the tendon problem in her casting arm.  But she did catch a smallie that probably went 3 pounds.  I caught several more smallmouth, bream and rock bass.  Some of the smallmouth bass were nice, fat fish.  We each lost a big one.  Hers ran into a brush pile.  I was trying to get my line on the reel when my fish of the day was on.  I should have waited.  I didn’t know how big he was.  I was clamped down on the line so I could reel in the excess and the fish took a huge run. Before I could let the line go he snapped my 8 pound IGFA Fluorocarbon tippet.  I never saw him. 

We only used black Knuckleheads.  At one point I had made a fairly good cast.  The fly was sitting on top, motionless.  A huge smallmouth rose up to the fly.  I waited.  He opened his mouth and tried to eat that Knucklehead.  He missed it.  I didn’t strike.  I saw he just plain missed it. It was a big fish so maybe he was old and half blind.  The bug sat in the water and I left it hoping the big fish would return.  He didn’t.  Maybe he thought he ate it. 

The storms were about to hit us.  I ran the boat back to the ramp.  We got it out and pulled up to the parking lot just before the heavy rain started falling.  Another guy pulled in at the ramp.  As he ran to his car he said, “I waited about two minutes too late”.  I went down to help him.  The lake was white capping by then.  Water was running over the dock.  He was able to get his boat on the trailer despite the wind and waves.  He didn’t need my help.

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 will be back tomorrow.

Byron Begley
May 8, 2012

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