Townsend, Tennessee

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  The sun is shining.  The rain is over until tomorrow.  Tourists are milling around town basking.  Many have been going stir crazy in their travel trailers, tents, motel rooms, cabins, lodges and motor homes.  Vacation in Townsend is fun even during rainy or cold weather.  But even that gets old after a while.  I’m glad to see they are getting a break. I'm glad we are all getting a break.

Little River is flowing very strong.  In fact, most of the rivers in our area are doing the same thing.  We had another .65” of rain yesterday.  Finally, after at least two years our County is considered to be out of the drought.  We are not even rated as abnormally dry.  Sevier County right next to us is still abnormally dry.  And over on the North Carolina side of the Smokies they are in the D1 or Moderate Drought category.  SEE THE MAP BY CLICKING HERE.  Year to date we are almost 1” above normal rainfall at the Airport.  

It shows in the river too even today.  Little River is flowing at 1,130 cubic feet per second.  Normal is 218 cfs.  The Little Pigeon has a discharge this morning of  1,420 cfs and normal for this date there is 342 cfs.  Tellico River’s flow rate is currently 1,150 cfs and median for this date is 215 cfs.  Lots of water.  But if you look at Davidson River in North Carolina the flow this morning is 125 cfs and median for today is 113 so that watershed must have been missed by the rain lately or the gauge is not reporting correct information.  If you are looking for a good place to fish that is not blown out try Davidson River. Call Davidson River Outfitters first to be sure this information is correct.

Everyone around here is waiting for the water to go down.  It will take a couple of days if we don’t get more rain.  We probably will.  TVA is churning water through most of their dams.  Right now it looks like Cherokee Dam on the Holston and South Holston Dam have a decent schedule.  They are just pulsing for an hour occasionally.  Check before you go.  That is always subject to change.

Fishing downstream on Little River for smallmouth in a canoe would be a good way to drown.  Downstream it is really rolling. If you fish in the Park choose a small stream or two and be careful. Big nymphs and streamers might work very well for you.  

There are not many choices right now unless you have a boat and fish one of our many lakes.  We have a lot of lakes around here with excellent fishing.  That’s why Paula and I ordered a boat.  A map of East Tennessee has plenty of blue ink on it.  There are many lakes within a half hour to one hour or so drive from our house.  There’s Calderwood, Chilhowee, Tellico, Ft. Loudon, Norris, Cherokee, Melton Hill and Douglas.  If we want to drive an hour and a half to two hours there are even more. 

And, there are thousands of miles of streams and small rivers within a two hour drive from here.  There are hundreds of miles of streams within an hour’s drive from here.  In the Park there are now 800 miles of fishable trout streams according to the Park Service.

The vast selection of fish species that can be found around here is kind of amazing.  There are rainbow, brown, brook and lake trout.  The lake trout are only stocked in two lakes.  Stripers, white bass, crappie, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, bluegill, shellcrackers, carp, muskie, walleye, yellow perch, gar, all kinds of catfish and sturgeon can be caught.  And there are more. 

And most of them can be caught on a fly.  I don’t know anyone who has caught a sturgeon on a fly rod or at least they don’t tell me about it.  I know a handful of people who have caught lake trout and muskie on a fly.  I know a couple of people who fish for gar with a long rod.  I know people who have broken rods on the huge carp around here. 

Boating is popular here and the opportunities are endless.  You can use a canoe and spend years exploring the area.  Kayaks are popular here both the whitewater and stillwater varieties.  Rafting on some of the larger whitewater rivers is popular and big business.  Drift boats and jet jon boats are often used on the tailwaters for fishing.  Small inflatable pontoons are popular too.  Deep V fishing boats and bass boats can be found in many garages. 

Pull out a map and look at this area.  Then you will know why a lot of the people who live here like to fish.  That’s why I moved here. 

Happy Mothers Day.  Have a great one and thank you for being here with us.

Byron Begley
May 10, 2009

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