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 6:35 am, it is cloudy and 72 degrees. 

It is going to be hot, in the 90’s today, tomorrow and Friday.  Then, a cold front with heavy rain should move into our area late Friday.  The high temperature Saturday should be around 80 degrees.  Cooler temperatures will continue through July 3rd, hopefully.


The Little River watershed has been missed by rain, while others have not.  Tellico River for instance, has been flowing near normal for the past 21 days.  Cataloochee Creek, has been flowing below normal, but not nearly to the extent Little River has.  Other streams in the Smokies are flowing comparatively higher than Little River, some due to recent heavy rain. 

Water temperatures in Little River are very warm at the USGS gauge site, which is a low elevation location.  High temperatures during the day have reached 78 degrees this week.  Cataloochee Creek, which has a higher elevation gauge, indicates high temperatures of slightly over 68 degrees this week.

Currently, Little River is flowing at 45 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.18 feet on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 135 cfs.  The water temperature is 74.7 degrees.


By all means, fish in the high elevations where the water is cooler.  You may also find some streams with fairly good flows.  Dry flies will work well.  Try any Yellow Sally stonefly pattern.  Green and Pink Weenies will produce for you.

I would consider fishing in the Tellico River drainage in the Cherokee National Forest, based on the flow data I’m seeing now.  Try North River or Tellico River.

The streams in the Little Pigeon or Oconaluftee watersheds may be another good choice.


James Locke was in the shop this week.  He was helping the Park Service biologists conduct fish population sampling on Lynn Camp Prong.  He said the trout population numbers were much higher than last year.  I can’t remember all the calculations based on fish per mile, but to me, they seemed incredible.  Evidently there were many young of the year brook trout, which indicates a successful spawn.  This stream was opened to fishing this year after a 7-year closure, for the brook trout re-introduction project, which was a huge success.


I read two accounts of this story earlier this morning and could not believe what I read.  One is in the Daily Times and you can read it by CLICKING HERE.  The second story is on the “Your Smokies News” site, CLICK HERE. Be sure to read the second story.

JUNE 6 – At a Hazel Creek backcountry campsite, a 16 year old boy was dragged by a bear from his hammock.  The boy was injured but survived.

JUNE 7 – Park biologists, set a trap to catch the bear.  Then, before dark, they encountered a bear and shot at it.  The bear got away.

JUNE 8 – Biologists found a bear in the trap and euthanized it.  They sent samples of the bear to a DNA lab.  Bear DNA at the attack site were sent to the lab.

Guess what?  They didn’t match.  The wrong bear was trapped and euthanized.

And listen to this.  Biologists actually found a bullet, near where they shot at the bear on June 7th.  That bullet had some bear DNA material either on the bullet or nearby.  Both the bullet and the material have been sent to the DNA lab for analysis.

Biologists suspect, the bear they shot has died.  There has been no bear activity since, at the Hazel Creek campsite.

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

Byron Begley
June 24, 2015

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