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 6:45 am, the sky is clear and the temperature is 70 degrees.  Hot days, with high temperatures in the 90’s are predicted through July 1st.  The long term forecast also includes a greater chance for rain beginning tomorrow, with a better chance next week. Of course, that is subject to change. July is our wettest month in the Smoky Mountains.


Little River is flowing at 57 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.25 feet on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 161 cfs.  The water temperature is 72.5 degrees.

Low flows are making it tough for fishermen.  The water keeps getting lower.  Your best bet is to hike into the backcountry in mid to high elevations.  Find a nice shaded stream, away from the roads and associated traffic and visitors.  Use dry flies and fish the riffles and choppy runs.  Good spots are where riffles enter pools.

These are not ideal fishing conditions.  Improvement will come when we get some rain, which may not be far off.


Some tailwaters are fishing good.  Most have cool water.  The Clinch River is fishing very well.  Sulphurs are hatching.  Anglers are using midge patterns at other times.  I’m not hearing any trout fishing reports from the Holston River.  The Caney Fork continues to fish well.


Go early and late.  Drink plenty of water.  Paula and I may go tomorrow if I feel better.  I’ve got some kind of stomach virus.  If we go, we’ll be in kayaks, so we can stay wet and cool.  I’m not expecting fishing to be good.  I am expecting to have fun.


I’m behind.  Early this year I developed a shoulder rotator cuff problem from tying these flies over long periods of repetitive motion.  I lowered the vises and it’s helping.  But, I can’t tie for hours like I could earlier this year.  The pain persists and my doctor is waiting to see what happens next. I’m trying to avoid surgery.

As a result, I have taken them off our online store. Hopefully, the guys at the shop will find some substitutes to buy and sell to you. I’ve tied 1,176 Knuckleheads this year or 98 dozen. We started selling them February 19th.

I hope to have a huge inventory tied up by next Spring, tying just 3 or 4 each day.  In this business of selling hand tied flies, you have to plan ahead.  I was not planning for this.


Not much is known, except a small male elk was hit by a car.  The Elk was limping after the incident.  Extremely high visitation during the Summer tourist season has resulted in many wildlife incidents with black bear and elk.  A bear cub was hit by a car June 15th.  Traffic and visitation will decline in 6 weeks.


This fishing report has been read 49,204 times during the past month.  People from all over the world read it.  But, most readers live nearby.  I’m looking at the top 100 locations where readers live.  As expected, Knoxville, Tennessee is #1.  Second is Nashville, Tennessee.  Third is a smaller town, Maryville, Tennessee, which is nearby.  Next in line are, Pigeon Forge, Chattanooga, Atlanta, Farragut, Charlotte, New York City and Lexington, Kentucky.  Last on the top 100 list is Denver, Colorado. Readers during this period live in 2,618 different towns. 37% are new visitors and 64% are returning visitors calculated during this one-month period.

I appreciate all of you reading this report.  And, we all appreciate your support of our shop.

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

Byron Begley
June 17, 2015

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