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 7:36 am, the temperature is already 75 degrees.  Today’s high will be in the upper 80’s to low 90’s.  Depending on which weather website you believe, it seems we have a good chance for rain this afternoon and tonight. That chance increases as we get into the weekend.  Bring it on!


Little River is flowing at 55 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.24 feet on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 150 cfs.  The water temperature is 72.5 degrees this morning, in the low elevations.


I’m surprised, at how many fishermen are catching trout.  I believe, more anglers have learned to fish in low water conditions.  We’ve been in this business 20 years.  In the old days, most customers would be complaining about poor fishing.  Now, many have figured out what to do.

Stealth is of utmost importance.  I see many fishermen wearing camouflage or muted clothing today, not like I did 20 years ago.  Those people are catching trout right now.

Fishermen have learned to fish early and late when the water is low. 

They have become accustomed to fishing smaller shaded streams in mid to high elevations.

They have learned how to fish the pockets and choppy water, where the trout are hiding.

They know how important the Yellow Neversink Caddis and Green Weenies are.


Most brook trout streams in the Park were closed to fishing 20 years ago.  Now, all streams are open to fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains.  I believe, more fishermen understand the appeal of fishing for our only native trout, in the small mid to high elevation streams.  Fishermen appreciate the beauty of these trout and the fact they have endured droughts and floods since the ice age, or one of those ages.

Brook trout can be caught by anyone during low water conditions, like we have now.  You just have to know where and how. 

So, I believe, due to the fact that, more anglers have learned how to fish lower water, and they have targeted brookies, there are more happy fishermen today.

On the other hand, fishermen are also catching rainbows and browns too.


The Tennessee Council of Trout Unlimited is holding the week-long kid’s trout camp at the Great Smoky Mountains Institute this week.  I don’t know how many students attended this year, but I suspect it is full, maybe 12 or more youngsters.  TU volunteers are teaching the kids all about fish and fishing. Paula taught a casting class this week.  Dan and a bunch of our friends took the kids fishing yesterday.  Dan taught a fly tying class last night.  The boys and girls will be united Saturday at our store with their parents.  I think a lunch is planned at the shop.  I’ll be one of the shuttle drivers.  You can learn more about the camp by CLICKING HERE.

I can’t say enough about the importance of introducing young people to the outdoors and fishing.  Maybe I just want kids to grow up like I did, or at least have the option.

Trout Unlimited in Tennessee is doing just that, with programs like the Trout Adventure Camp and Trout in the Classroom. 

Charles Scott from Fort Payne, Alabama sent me a link to the video below.  It is a young boy’s fishing day, on a small creek with a fly rod.  I watched it and thought you might enjoy the video as much as I did.  If more kids saw this video, and got support from their parents, we would see more of them on the creeks in America catching fish on a fly.  That has to be good for America!

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

Byron Begley
June 18, 2015

Respond to:

Home - Contact Us - About Us - Fishing Report - Online Catalog - Message Board - Sitemap