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

Welcome to the Fishing Report from the Great Smoky Mountains.  At 6:31 am, the sky is clear and the temperature is 58 degrees.  Today will be sunny with a high in the upper 70’s.  Tomorrow will be about the same, but a little warmer.  Friday through Sunday, we have a 40% to 50% chance for rain.

Little River is flowing at 149 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.68 feet on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 207 cfs.  The water temperature is 62.6 degrees this morning.

Fly fishing in the Smoky Mountains is very good to exceptional.  I’m hearing more great stories about fishing on the smaller, higher elevations creeks, and fishing late in the evenings.

We need rain and the streams are a flowing lower than normal.  You will do best if you dress in muted clothing and fish the faster water, at least during the middle of the day.

When the sun drops behind the ridge tops, and shadows darken the streams late in the day, all heck breaks loose.  Aquatic insects, mostly sulphurs and yellow sally stoneflies, become active and there are hoards of them.  Most fishermen who know, agree.  Every trout in the river is feeding. 

I found a great fly fishing report on our Message Board and I want to share it with you.  It was written by a fly fisherman, who ventured into the backcountry for a day, and had a good one.  His photography is awesome.  His report is very well written. He encountered a bear, and got a picture of that.  And, other things happened to make his trip more exciting.  He caught about 60 trout, which is a good day for anyone.  READ IT BY CLICKING HERE.

I got an e-mail yesterday from John Rich.  He works at Davidson River Outfitters in Brevard, North Carolina, a great fly shop and guide service, located in a beautiful place.  Here is what he had to say:


I wanted to pass along we are experiencing the same evening hatches noted in your fishing report today (Tuesday, May 11). Your report may as well be for our area in Pisgah National Forest near Brevard and Asheville. Several of our guides have reported unbelievable hatches in that magical hour before dark. One of those guides is from Pennsylvania and said he has never seen anything like it and is reminded of the prolific hatches back home in PA. None of us know how long this will last but we are all thoroughly enjoying it now!”

If you go fishing, plan on using dry flies and I would suggest Yellow Sally and Light Cahill or Sulphur patterns.  The #16 Yellow Neversink Caddis is a great choice.  Plan on fishing until dark.

Most of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) impoundments are near full pool or at the expected level for this date.  One exception is Cherokee Lake.  There is an article I found on the WBIR website, which is a lake level report from TVA.  This article explains why the agency generated so much at Norris Dam this Spring.  You can read the article by CLICKING HERE.

Hopefully, and it seems likely to me, we will now have more fishermen friendly flows in our tailwaters.  That is good news, especially for anglers who enjoy the Clinch River.

I spent about two hours yesterday, talking to Park Burson and writing a report for him.  Park is our Orvis Business Manager.  I also exchanged e-mail with Orvis’ National Sales Manager.  They are always trying to improve and wanted some feedback from me and other dealers.  Orvis is one of my favorite companies to do business with.  I’m friends with many people there and have been for a long time. 

One thing Park mentioned is, the fly shops serving customers in the Southern Appalachians have had a busy Spring.  That is because, the fishing has been so good here.  And, the reason for that is, the weather has been favorable, much of the season.  Our business is weather dependent.  Floods and droughts can destroy us, as good weather makes us prosper.  This year, has been good, so far.  Who knows what lies ahead.

Paula and I plan to cruise and fish the mid section of Tellico Lake today and tomorrow.  We don’t know much about this area so we may spend most of the time just looking around for possible smallmouth bass and largemouth bass best fishing locations.  Daniel gave me some flies to try yesterday.  They are Murdich Minnows.  Josh Pfeiffer considers that fly to be one of his top smallmouth bass producers.  I will give them a try.

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

Byron Begley
May 13, 2015

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