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 6:14 am, it is peaceful, quiet and cool outside.  The temperature is 56 degrees.  Yesterday was beautiful during the day and later in the day, it felt like Fall outside.  Beginning tomorrow, we will have a 50% chance of rain every day through next Monday, July 6th.  Highs will be in the 80’s with lows in the 60’s throughout that period.

STREAM CONDITIONS

The streams in the Park fell quickly yesterday and last night. Now, Little River is flowing at 61 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.27 feet on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 104 cfs.  The water temperature is 67.6 degrees this morning, at the USGS gauge site, located just inside the Park and the Townsend entrance.

 FISHING IN THE SMOKIES

Fishing has been good and should continue to be, despite low water.  Customers are telling us, they are catching trout and fishing is good.  I think more anglers have learned to fish well in low water conditions. 

I would fish today in a mid to high elevation stream, as the water will be cooler there.  Expect low water conditions.  Stealth is essential.  Dry flies are working but don’t forget to take a Green Weenie or two.  Trout are taking them as well.  Fish the choppy water in riffles and runs.

TAILWATER FISHING

I’m hearing great reports for the Clinch River.  Anglers are catching some large and healthy fish.  Those trout have been eating well.

Fishing is also good for smallmouth bass on the tailwaters.

LAKES

Fly fishing is good on the lakes very early and very late, when the sun is off the water.  White bass are schooling and attacking shad on the surface. 

HELICOPTER RESCUSES 18 YEAR OLD GIRL STRANDED IN PARK

An 18 year old girl, hiking off trail, became stranded in the Alum Cave area of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  She was reported missing Saturday night.  A Tennessee Highway Patrol helicopter and crew, plucked her off a cliff yesterday.  She was not injured.  You can follow the story on the Great Smoky Mountains Twitter page by CLICKING HERE.

BEAR TO BE TRAPPED OUTSIDE APPALACHIAN BEAR RESCUE

A bear, probably one that visits our house, has been hanging around the Appalachian Bear Rescue (ABR) facility, and following staff  “too close” as they do their work. ABR is located very close to our house, but hidden from the public. 

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) brought in a trap yesterday, to catch and relocate the bear.  Bears have been seen unusually often outside the Park this year.  One ran across the 5-lane section of highway 321, right in front of me, week before last, in the city limits of Townsend.  We saw one right at our back door a few weeks ago. 

Bear activity in the Park has been unusual this year.  Many campsites and trails are closed due to bear/human encounters, including one young man who was attacked by a bear and dragged out of his hammock while sleeping at Hazel Creek.

BOOGLE BUG POPPERS

We will be stocking Boogle Bug Poppers, beginning this week.  As they arrive, I will photograph them, so they will be available on our online store.  We won’t stock all of them at first, just the best local designs and colors.  Over time, we plan to develop a complete Boogle Bug category on our online store.

Boogle Bug Poppers are extremely durable and good looking. Boogle Bug is headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama.  They are not cheap.  Boogle Bugs sell for between $5 and $6 each, depending on where you buy them.  We will be selling them, and not charging for shipping, which is our usual policy.

KNUCKLEHEADS

I am slowly building back our inventory of Byron’s Knuckleheads.  High demand and my slow fly tying pace, caused us to remove them temporarily from our online store.  I couldn’t keep up.  They are available at the shop.  So far, in 5 months, I have tied 1,238 Knuckleheads.  I keep a log on my computer, making an entry after finishing each dozen.  The log indicates I’ve tied 103 dozen, but there are two finished flies on my desk.

Early this Winter, I was tying 2 to 4 hours per day.  I slowed down because I developed a shoulder rotator cuff issue, that was painful.  I finally figured out, it was caused by tying these bugs and having my vices too high.  I lowered the vises, and the pain has slowly subsided, but not completely.  Tying in the lower position, doesn’t require shoulder movement.  I use my wrist.  Now, I’ll probably develop carpal tunnel syndrome or tennis elbow.  Each Knucklehead requires a lot of thread turns, to make them durable.  I use two vices because the glue needs to dry on one fly, while I finish another.  You can see the setup in the photo below.

Byron's fly tying station.

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

Byron Begley
June 29, 2015

Respond to: byron@littleriveroutfitters.com


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