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 6:06 am, it is 67 degrees.  I walked around outside this morning before daybreak.  The forest is wet, water is dripping from the trees, and I enjoyed the smell of dampness.  That has been rare lately.  Rainfall, as reported at the Knoxville Airport, is normal for the first 21 days of June.  Year to date, rainfall is about 4” below normal.


Little River is flowing at 74 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.35 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 133 cfs.  The water temperature is 72 degrees, below the “Y” near the Townsend entrance to the Park.

All streams in the Smokies, that have USGS Gauge sites, are flowing below normal.


You will find lower than normal water today.  The streams will be warm in the lower elevations.  It is going to be hot today, in the low 90’s.

Drive to the high elevations and find a shaded small stream.  Most of the brook trout streams fall into that category.  The water will be cool and fishing will be good.  Fish in the choppy water found in riffles, runs and where riffles enter pools.  Dry flies are working well.  Stay hidden and fish close.  Get a good drift.  You will catch trout.


We have lots of choices, some good and others not so good.  The Clinch River is fishing very well.  Trout are healthy, eager to eat, and sulphur hatches are occurring.  Go there.  Check with TVA about generation schedules.

The lakes are fishing well for bluegill and bass, early and late, when the sun is not on the water.

The lowland rivers are flowing low.  Again, fish early and late.

Farm ponds are fishing well, early and late.

Fishing in Little River, in town for trout is slow.  The water is too warm.  The river is choked with tubers.  You might catch something, maybe smallmouth, early and late if you are camping on the river.   


Our County and much of Great Smoky Mountains National Park within our County is considered to be in a moderate drought.  That may change when the newest US Drought Monitor report is released Thursday.  We had some heavy rain, in areas, last night. Rain is expected this week.  There is a good chance for rain Wednesday through Sunday.

Wildfires have been reported.  A brush fire near Townsend nearly burned a cabin yesterday.  Townsend volunteer firefighters arrived on the scene just in time.  The deck was damaged but not extensively.  Another wildfire was reported near the Foothills Parkway.  It was determined to be just outside the Park.  County firefighters were called to the scene. We should all be very careful with our campfires right now. Burning brush is not a good idea.  I doubt if you could get a permit anyway.


We’re going to Florida for a week this Fall with 3 other couples.  We’re all taking our kayaks.  We have a home rented, on the bay.  Across the street, is a beach, on the Gulf.

Jack is already tying flies, using some new techniques I have never heard of.  One has a piece of mono, attached at the eye of the hook and at the bend.  On the mono will be 3 brass beads.  They click, like the sound a shrimp is supposed to make, when you jerk the fly.  I’ve already tied plenty of Sand Shrimp patterns.  I guess it’s time to go through all of our saltwater flies and start organizing and tying.  Preparation is almost as much fun as going.

It seems like every time we go to Florida, wind keeps us off the water at least part of the time.  Fly fishing is difficult.  So this year, we are all taking surf spinning rods.  Heck, fishing with bait on the beach is better than not fishing at all.

I had some surf spinning rods once.  I loaned them to my father to use at his beach home in South Carolina.  Hurricane Hugo took part of the roof off his house, did all kinds of damage, and I never saw those surf rods again.  So, we will order some before we go.  Jack is in charge of making the PVC rod holders, that will be pushed into the sand. 

Jack is also taking a cast net to catch bait.  Wow, this is getting more fun by the minute!  Our house has a long dock, extending out into the bay.  Baitfish are always present there.  Catching them with a net will be easy.

I suspect we will have beach chairs and a cooler nearby while we fish on the beach.  I hope it is windy at least part of the week so we can enjoy this kind of fishing.  We’ll probably do it even if the wind is not blowing.  I have not used a spinning rod in years.  I’m looking forward to this relaxing social kind of fishing.  We do keep and eat some of the fish we catch in Florida.

Most of the fishing, will be fly fishing, from our kayaks.  I can’t wait.

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

Byron Begley
June 22, 2015

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