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. It is overcast and 70 degrees in Townsend this morning.  We got a brief shower very early.  Our rain gauge contained about 1/3” of water.  We have a 50% chance for rain today.  There may be more to come. 

Little River is flowing at 98 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.54 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 108 cfs.  The water temperature at 8:15 am is 68.3 degrees.

So, we have normal flows right now and the water temperature is cooler than it has been lately.

Fishing is fairly good but much better in the higher elevations.  Jack came by the house this morning.  He fished with some buddies yesterday.  They drove up Highway 441 toward Newfound Gap and did pretty well up there.  I would either fish Walker Camp Prong and it’s many tributaries or fish around and above Elkmont Campground on the East Prong of Little River.  You may do fine fishing the Middle Prong of LR too.  Go higher up.  Try Thunderhead Prong.

Dry flies may work but nymphs certainly will.  We are recommending yellow dry flies and there are many to choose from.  I like the Neversink Caddis.  A Stimulator works well.  Try a Yellow Parachute Adams if you have one.  I’ve always done well with those during the Summer low flows.  A Yellow Comparadun will produce well.  A Yellow Elk Hair Caddis always catches trout during the Summer.

For nymphs, I like the Green Weenie and that feeling is shared with hundreds of anglers.  You can fish it as a dropper off a dry fly or give it some weight and let it go deeper.  You can use a strike indicator or use it without one.

I read a new post on David Knapp’s website, “The Trout Zone”.  If you fly fish in the Smokies, you should read this one.  CLICK HERE.  Scroll down to the second post, “Summer Smokies Tips and Strategies: Part 1”.  Here you will find some excellent information from a great fly fisherman.  I’m serious.  Read this and you will learn more about how to catch trout in the Smokies right now.

Townsend seems to be busy.  It is a holiday week.  Business was slow at our store this weekend.  It usually is, the week before a holiday.  Then, all heck breaks loose.  It is hard to believe June is almost over.  This year has flown by. 

Fishing conditions have been good this year.  We have not had much high water.  Last year was a tough one for anglers during the Spring all over the Southeast United States.  People were not fishing much.  This year is closer to normal.

I think we will find that all species of trout had a good spawn this year in the Smokies.  We know the brook trout fared well in Lynn Camp Prong.  We are seeing the numbers from the sampling done by the biologists and their volunteers.  The news is good.

Barring some catastrophic flood, there should be plenty of young of the year trout in the streams and they will be plentiful next year as they become adults.  We will probably catch a lot of small fish next year.  There will be many, competing for food.

Some people view that as good and others would prefer more larger trout and less smaller fish.  The next year after a flood, that wipes out many young fish, you will catch larger trout on average.

If you were a brown trout right now, you would be licking your chops.  There will be plenty of small fish to eat.  Brown trout become predators later in life and feed on small fish.  I expect to see many larger browns caught this Fall and Winter due to the plentiful food supply.

Most anglers would not believe that Little River has brown trout in the 24” to 30” size range.  Most anglers don’t see them or catch them.  Those big fish, from what we all believe, hide during the day and feed at night.  That changes in the Fall when they spawn.  During their spawn, the big browns are out and you can see them.  They can also be caught.

If you fish often in the Smokies, you may hook one of these fish right in the middle of the day even when the big fish are not spawning.  The only problems is, you are probably not equipped to land them.  Most of the anglers I know, who fish for these big browns, use very heavy tippet.  3X or 2X or something heavier is common. Getting them on is one thing.  Getting them in is another.

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

Byron Begley
June 30, 2014

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