Townsend, Tennessee - Fly Fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, East Tennessee and Western North Carolina

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is overcast and 69 degrees in Townsend this morning.  It is early but our town appears very inactive so far.  I know that won’t be the case later.  A thunderstorm moved through sometime during the night.  Rainfall amounted to 1/3” at our store.  There is woody debris on the roads.  We must have had some wind last night.

Deborah opened her new Firefly Café on Saturday.  We ordered lunch to go on opening day.  It was great.  She completely renovated her leased space in the shopping center across from the store.  I’ve stopped by to see her a couple of times during the past few months.  I am so happy she is back in business.  Deborah lost her lease at her former location, which disappointed everyone in our town.  I stopped by yesterday to get some lunch to go.  I could barely get in.  The restaurant was packed with people.  It will be that way from now on.  She knows how to run a restaurant.  And, everyone likes her. 

Little River is showing signs of the rain that fell.  Right now the flow rate is 85 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Yesterday morning at this time it was flowing at 50 cfs.  Median flow for this date is 127 cfs.  It appears, by looking at the USGS graph, the river has peaked.  The water temperature at 8:00 am was 73 degrees at the “Y”.

The good news is, we may see more rain over the next few days.  The precipitation will come in the form of scattered thunderstorms.  It is still going to be warm, probably 99 degrees today.  But the highs this week will be in the low 90’s after today.  That will seem cool.  Yesterday the high at the airport was 105 degrees setting another record for that date.

Fishing will improve in the Smokies.  It’s not bad right now.  The anglers who are doing the best are fishing in the high elevations.  I talked to one customer yesterday who said he caught about 25 trout.  He grew up fishing the Smokies.  He’s got it figured out.  Still, you will do fine up high and in the backcountry where you can get away from people and find shade.  The trout will be hiding in the riffles, mainly in the pockets behind rocks.  They will seek cover under rocks and downed trees.  Use a dry fly or nymph.  I would choose a dry fly, maybe a Neversink Caddis or small Yellow Stimulator.  An Elk Hair Caddis would be a good choice.

The water is clear here.  I don’t know what Little River looks like downstream. A little color in the water might be a good advantage for you.  If you fish the lowland rivers for smallmouth bass go early and late.  During the day they will be seeking cover in the deeper pools.  If you don’t catch them on a popper, try a nymph or streamer.

The lakes are fishing fair.  The moon is nearing the full phase.  That usually means the bluegill and shellcrackers will be spawning again.  Slip your boat into position near the spawning beds and drop your anchor.  Cast a popper or Rubber Legged Dragon in the beds and you will probably catch either bluegill or shellcrackers.  Paula and I found lots of large spawning areas last week.  They were covered with round depressions about the size of a motorcycle tire.  A few bluegills were there but not many.  I bet that has changed this week.

Tailwaters should be fishing well if there is water or not too much water.  You’ve got to pick your time and river.  Water temperatures are fluctuating depending on generation schedules so keep an eye on the TVA website.

I’ve got to go.  I have an appointment at a body shop.  My old truck is getting it’s 10 year body restoration treatment this week.  She has lived a tough life so far.  I remember the time Jack and I decided to ride out a tropical storm in Florida.  The truck was in standing saltwater up to the door jams.  We drove to town and waves were crashing on the truck, literally.   

Then there were the many hunting trips to Kentucky.  To get to the camp, you must cross a creek several times.  We live on a gravel road.  That road has beat her to death over the past 10 years.  And then there are the bear and boar hunting trips in the Cherokee National Forest.  I’ve had that truck buried in mud to the axle. 

How about the December brown trout fishing trip to Michigan?  By the time we got to Manistee that truck was pushing snow with the front bumper on the roads that had not been scraped.  The list goes on and on.  This old boy has put his truck through some rough times going fishing and hunting.  By the end of the week, it should look brand new at least on the exterior.  I plan to keep this truck the rest of my life.  I bought it new and it has served me well. 

I think it needs a lot of suspension work too.  Driving through saltwater probably took it’s toll.

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

Byron Begley
July 2, 2012

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