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 6:33 am, the sky is fairly clear and the temperature is 64 degrees.  We have a slight chance for rain today and tomorrow.  Beginning Monday, the chance increases through the first half of the week.  Expect high temperatures in the mid 80’s with lows in the 60’s.


Little River is flowing at 69 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.32 feet on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 152 cfs.  The water temperature is 65.8 degrees this morning.

Last year, on this date, Little River was flowing at 122 cfs.


It is going to be sunny most of the day.  The water is low in the Smoky Mountain streams.  We suggest you fish the early and late for best results.  During the day, try to hit the shaded streams.  You may want to wander into the backcountry and fish the smaller streams.  Trout will be holding in the choppy water, hoping not to be detected by predators.  They will be in pockets, behind larger rocks in the riffles.  You will find trout where riffles enter pools, areas that are deep and filled with bubbles.  Or, trout may be found anywhere there is cover.  As the sun goes down, and the streams are dark, you might find trout about anywhere.

Dry flies are working.  So are nymphs.  Fly selection can be varied.  I would use a Yellow Neversink Caddis, Yellow Stimulator, or Yellow Parachute Adams.  A small bead head nymph, dropped off the dry fly is a good tactic.  Try terrestrial fly patterns, such as beetles, ants, Green Weenies and Pink Weenies.


I’m hearing great reports from friends and customers.  Our tailwaters are fishing well for trout and smallmouth bass.  Check the TVA website and you may find some opportunities today on either the Clinch, Holston, Caney Fork or French Broad rivers.

One of our customers sent me some photos of brown trout he has been catching on the Caney Fork lately.  They were huge. He fly fishes at night.  I’m not a big fan of fly fishing at night, especially on a tailwater.  He is doing it and doing well.  The Caney has bounced back.  I’m glad to hear it.  That river is my favorite tailwater, period.  And, I haven’t fished there in at least 25 years.  We are planning a float there this summer.


Hatchery Creek is located below Wolf Creek Dam and Lake Cumberland.  The water source is the outflow from the National Fish Hatchery.  For as long as I can remember, fishermen have packed into the short open area, below the outflow, and caught trout.  Most of those fishermen I’ve seen, used bait or spinners.  I fished there with a fly rod, long ago.

A few hundred feet below the hatchery, the creek runs through a ditch, to the Cumberland River tailwater.  When I was young, we fished that section too.  Now, it is overgrown with low vegetation and it is all but impossible to fish.

Now, Hatchery Creek is the subject of a multi-million dollar project, to build a new creek, that meanders over 1 mile, and enters the Cumberland River downstream from the ditch.  The extension, is designed and built for trout habitat and spawning.  The new stretch will be designated as a “Catch and Release Artificial Lures Only” area.

This project was originally planned to be finished in the Fall of 2014.  Delays, mostly due to permits, licensing, design and awful weather has pushed the anticipated opening to May 2016.  I am really looking forward to the opening of Hatchery Creek.  Watch the video below.  It tells the story.  It is an amazing video to watch.

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

Byron Begley
June 6, 2015

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