Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  I drove to work at 8:05 am and the traffic was almost non-existent.  I expected more on a holiday weekend.  The scene at the swinging bridge was much different.  There were four trucks parked there.  Anglers were in the river trying to catch stocked trout.  I talked to a couple of kids.  They had not caught anything yet.  The water looks good.  I have not seen Little River in over a week.  Paula and I have been on vacation.  It is good to be home.

The flow is 125 cubic feet per second right now.  Normal is 212 cfs.  We could use some rain.  The water temperature is 63 degrees. 

Daniel says fishing has been fantastic in the Park.  It is that time of year.  Trout are liking yellow flies which would indicate that are tuned in to Yellow Sally Stoneflies.  Some good dry fly patterns to fish are #16 Yellow Stimulators, Yellow Elk Hair Caddis and the Yellow Neversink Caddis. Try nymphs, like a Bead Head Pheasant Tail or Tellico.  Terrestrials should be very active too.  Cicadas are not here yet.  They have emerged in other Counties in Tennessee, just not here.   Fishing will be best early and late.  It is really going to get hot over the next few days.  Expect highs in the 90’s, lows in the 60’s and no rain through Wednesday.

I don’t know for sure yet, but I bet the tubers will be out in droves this weekend. 

Middle Tennessee Fly Fishers is holding a outing at Elkmont.  I should see plenty of good friends this weekend from the club.  I’ve already seen a couple of guys.  

The lakes should be fishing well.  Paula and I spent a week fishing Dale Hollow Lake.  Fishing was excellent there.  But, the lake was dropping fast early in the week and the surface temperature is warm.  Mornings started out with a surface temperature at 70 degrees then climbed to 80 degrees later in the day.  We had to get our flies down several feet to catch the larger fish. 

We never figured out the smallmouth bass.  We caught plenty of largemouth, bluegill and shellcrackers.  Some smallmouth bass were landed but they were not as big as the largemouth bass w caught. We saw thousands of smaller panfish but we used larger flies so they would not be able to get hooked.  When we felt a tug we would strip strike in case they were small.  That way our fly stayed in the water and maybe got down to bigger fish.  We did not see or hear any cicadas there all week.  We pretty much had the lake to ourselves and never saw one person fly fishing.

Paula just walked in and showed me a fly Lefty Kreh tied for her.  I guess she just got it in the mail.  When she took Lefty to the airport after Troutfest he promised to send her his favorite bass fly.  And he did.  It is a floating streamer with a spun deer hair head, silver flashabou and marabou for the body.  It is perfectly tied.  He told her in the note to retrieve it slowly.  Lefty loves fishing for warmer water species using a fly rod.  I just don’t understand why people around here don’t do it.  I know, some of our friends and customers do but you just don’t see people fishing on the lakes around here with a fly.

If people only knew how well it works they would.  Paula switched to a crawfish colored fly that we used in all sizes on our Dale Hollow Trip on the last day.  After a couple of casts she hooked and landed a 9” bluegill.  I measured it.  I had been using a larger version for bass earlier.  They liked it too.  So, last night I started tying more crawfish orange flies. 

I spent a few hours on our vacation tying flies.  I took everything I needed to tie about any warmwater fly we use.  When the bass started taking our bluegill flies, I simply tied the same pattern on a bass stinger hook.  And, it worked.  We needed weighted flies to get deep enough to catch fish during the day.  They needed to be larger to hook and hold the bass.  I bet these fish had never seen anything that looked like these flies.  I believe that is why they work so well. 

Dale Hollow is a beautiful lake and we enjoy the resort where we stay.  It’s nice to have the boat in a covered slip near the cabin.  I got a jolt one day when I filled up one of our 3-gallon tanks at the marina.  It cost $16. But, our little 20 HP four stroke can get us where we want to go and fish all day on about one gallon of gas. That little Mercury is one fine engine…no smoke, no smell, almost no noise and it is not throwing oil out on the water.  I like that.

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

Byron Begley
May 28, 2011

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Our fly fishing classes will be offered from March to October 2011.   To sign up just call the shop at 877-448-3474.  You can read more on our website in the Schools Section.  The fly fishing class schedule follows:

Saturday May 21 – Beginner Day One
Sunday May 22 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday June 11 – Beginner Day One
Saturday June 25 – Beginner Day One
Sunday June 26 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday July 9 – Beginner Day One
Saturday July 23 – Beginner Day One
Sunday July 24 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday September 10 – Beginner Day One
Saturday September 24 – Beginner Day One
Sunday September 25 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday October 8 – Beginner Day One
Saturday October 22 – Beginner Day One
Sunday October 23 – Beginner Onstream Day Two

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