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


Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is 69 degrees and raining.  We need the rain.  The rivers are getting fairly low.  I slept late and drove to work at 8:00 am.  Even that late there was hardly any traffic on the roads.  I can see the mountains now but barely due to the rain which is light at the moment.  I’ve got a feeling this is going to be a peaceful day in our little town. 

Like I said, the rivers and streams are getting low.  I have a feeling that will not last long.  We have a 70% to 90% chance for rain today through Tuesday night.  It is going to be cool with lows in the 60’s and highs in the 70’s to low 80’s.

Fishing is good in the Smokies but you need to be stealthy.  The lower water requires that tactic to be successful.  The rain may change that within minutes.  A little color in the water can make all the difference in the world.  If you do encounter turbid water, you might switch to a nymph, maybe a bead head nymph.  Otherwise, you should use small yellow dry flies, something that resembles a Yellow Sally stonefly.  You have many choices.  So do we.  Most of the anglers I talked to yesterday said fishing was fine but not great.  I noticed the “Fishing Gauge” has moved from “Excellent” to “Good” in two days.  How does it know?

Another young angler told me about his fishing experience on the Middle Prong of the Little River.  He was minding his own business and fishing in that noisy little stream.  He heard some people downstream yelling at him.  He turned around and a bear was standing on the bank at the edge of the water, looking at him just 20 feet away.  Finally, the bear walked away.  While that fellow was still in the store, another local customer said he was on the Middle Prong earlier and saw a beautiful bear.  I wonder if it was the same bear? 

For some reason I have not seen many bears while fishing on the Middle Prong.  I’ve seen plenty of them in the Park and at our house, but only a few on that stream.  I could be that I’m concentrating on the stream and not the forest.  I know those critters are out there, about everywhere you go and I probably don’t notice them.  I don’t see snakes either. 

Higher water will help the smallmouth bass fishing in the lowland rivers.  You can catch the bass in low water but it’s not as easy.  Fishing for these guys will be better early and late at this time of year.  Since we have cloud cover that will hang around for a few days, fishing should be fine during the middle of the day.

It should be the same on the lakes too.  Cloud cover really helps the fly fisherman.  We tend to fish shallow of course.  Some people like fishing sinking lines with streamers.  I prefer top water flies.  We’ve had some luck lately during the middle of the day for smallmouth bass.  But, the ones we caught were hanging out on the bank in the shade.

You are going to notice some new photography on our website.  Right now you can view these images on this page and on our home page in the slide show.  They were taken by my friend Bill Fortney from Corbin, Kentucky.  Bill is a professional photographer.  I met him many years ago.  He conducts seminars in Townsend.  What better place is there to do that? 

He came by to see me the last week and said he would send me some of his work for us to use on the website.  Three days later, I got a CD from him and a note that said “More to come.” 

Bill works for Nikon.  When there is a big event in the Southeast, and there are going to be lots of professional photographers there, Bill wears the Nikon badge and works with them.  One example is the Kentucky Derby. Another is the Daytona 500.

Since Bill has the latest and greatest equipment, most of the photos he sent me were over 100 MB each.  My cameras shoot 20 MB files.  I had to crop the photos for different uses but we’ll have some of his work on the new website that are hopefully un-cropped.  You can visit Bill’s Website by CLICKING HERE.  If you like photography, visit this website.  You will be amazed.

We also have photography that Zach Matthews loaned me.  I need to pull up those files and put his name on them.  His website is called the Itinerant Angler.  Zach is a talented photographer too.  CLICK HERE.

I really appreciate what these guys have done for us.  They are great people.

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

Byron Begley
June 10, 2012


Respond to: byron@littleriveroutfitters.com


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