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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  What a beautiful day!  It is cloudy overhead but there is light shining through the clouds over the Park.  The higher mountains are obscured by fog.  Fog is also following the path of Little River as it meanders through town.  Wow.  We are getting some light rain and the temperature is 63 degrees at 7:55 am.

We are going to have low temperatures in the 50’s this week.  We might get some measurable rain today and tomorrow.  This is turning out to be a great fishing week in East Tennessee. 

Little River is flowing at 195 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 152 cfs.  The water temperature is 62.5 degrees this morning.

Still, Yellow Sally stonefly imitations are a good choice for a dry fly.  You might not see them flying around during the day but the fish know they will be on the water later in the evening.  The trout in the Smokies are still seeing yellow.  Green Weenie inchworms are also a great choice.  You can drop one off your dry fly.  I like to add split shot to my tippet and fish them at different depths.  Since they are chartreuse, you can see the fly in the water.  And, you will often see a trout chasing the fly. 

This is an excellent morning to be fishing downstream for smallmouth bass.  The cloud cover is the reason I’m saying that.  Also, the water levels are good.  Take my word on this one, it is a good day to be casting poppers for smallies.

Smallmouth bass fishing on the lakes has been fair.  I’ve had good days and bad days.  I’m trying again on Thursday.  The largemouth bass and bluegill fishing has been very good using poppers. 

The shellcrackers should be on the beds in large numbers now.  I’ll check that out on Thursday as well.  I have been tying some Knuckleheads using a #4 hook and making the body larger.  My thought is, use a very buoyant fly and drop a version of Carter’s Rubber Legged Dragon off of that for the shellcrackers and bluegill. That Dragon is my favorite bluegill and shellcracker fly.  It has some weight due to the bead chain eyes.  The rubber legs and rabbit fur give the fly plenty of action.  I don’t think you can buy them but my favorite color is rust.  I’ve tied hundreds of these flies.  They work well.  We sell them in black and olive.

I am hearing great reports from the tailwater trout anglers.  It does appear that the generation on the Clinch river has dropped back to about an hour of generation per day.  Most anglers want to see more water.  TVA did discharge for several hours on June 3rd.  I was hoping that would continue.  They are trying to fill the lake for boaters while keeping the minimum flows to keep the river cool.  I guess one mandate conflicts with the other.   

We had some boxes arrive yesterday from our screen printing company in Nashville.  The boxes contain 150 new T-Shirts with the Native Brook Trout Restoration, Great Smoky Mountains theme printed on the back.  They look great.  The shirt color is ash gray.  The shirts are also made in the USA.  Hopefully today I’ll load them up and deliver the boxes to our embroidery folks in Alcoa.  They will apply our logo on the front of the shirts.  We should get them back and be ready to sell next week.  We have a waiting list for these.  Our artist did a great job.  The design work was actually done last year.  I have a lot of new long bill caps to pick up from our embroidery people this week too.  It’s time to start working on another new theme.  I’m thinking about a warmwater fly fishing theme.

There is not much news to talk about in Townsend.  I even had a newspaper reporter call me last week looking for a story.  We usually have something going on.  Not lately.  She seemed disappointed. 

All I know is, fishing is still good.  We have had perfect fishing conditions in the Smokies this year.  The wild trout are fat and sassy.  I know, we’ll be having more Summer-like weather soon.  At that point your best options will be early in the morning, late in the evening, small streams in higher elevations and shaded creeks in the backcountry.  Then, before we know it, Fall will be here.  Our attention will turn to big brown trout again.

Well, there goes that great cloud cover we had earlier.  It seems to be clearing.  Maybe this won’t be the best day to fish for smallmouth bass downstream after all.  Maybe you should wait until the evening. 

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

Byron Begley
June 5, 2012

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