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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is partly cloudy and 67 degrees in Townsend this morning.  What a beautiful day it has been so far.  I saw 8 wild turkeys this morning on our property.  Two were hens and six were baby poults.  They were only 50 feet from my truck when I drove by.  What an awesome way to start the morning.  Then, I saw Little River.  The river looks beautiful, surrounded by lush trees and grasses.  I can’t believe this is July.

We got a little rain this morning, as usual.  Our gauge at the shop measured ¼” of precipitation. 

Little River is flowing at 344 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.37 feet on the gauge.  Now that is nice!  Median flow for this date is 121 cfs.  This indicates the river is usually low this time of year.  The water temperature is 62.5 degrees.

Fishing is very good everywhere in our region.  Fly fishing for trout in the Smokies could not be better.  The conditions are good.  The same fly patterns are working.  Try a Yellow Stimulator, Yellow Neversink Caddis, Parachute Adams, any foam beetle, ant patterns and Green Weenies.  Other patterns will work.  Listed here is what I would use.

Little River downstream looks good too.  I saw some of that section yesterday.  Smallmouth bass, bluegill and rock bass have just what they want, plenty of water.  Use poppers down there and have some fun.

The lakes are fishing well.  We are getting into prime largemouth bass fly fishing season.  Big bluegill are biting too.  The lakes are full and getting warmer, though not as warm as you would expect in July.  Smallmouth bass are still pretty active in shallow water on some of the lakes, the cooler lakes.

The tailwaters are fishing well when you can get a good generation schedule or maybe I should say, a non-generation schedule.  I found a couple of good opportunities today if TVA doesn’t change their schedule.  Look at the Holston below Cherokee Dam.  Right now things seem promising for part of the day.  Be sure to check the generation schedule yourself before going fishing and still be on the lookout for unexpected releases.

Napoleon Hill once said, “For every adversity there is an equal or greater benefit”.  I believe that and have since the 1970’s when I started reading his books.

The adversity, for us this year has been excessive rain, swollen rivers, high lakes, cold lakes and more than normal generation at our dams.  Finding good fishing opportunities this year has been tough due to the rain.  Rainfall this year is up 60% or more depending on the rain gauge you are looking at.

There are two probable benefits derived from our adversity.  First, the ground in our region is saturated.  I read something this morning I didn’t know.  When the ground is saturated, the air is cooler.  Weather experts are expecting a cooler July.  Now that is good news for fly fishermen.  Cooler water in July should equate to better fishing in July.  It will be more comfortable too. 

The second benefit is the same, the ground is saturated which includes the aquifer.  That benefit equates to higher than normal water in our rivers in July.  That may extend into and through August.  Higher than normal water during the Summer means better fishing, or that’s what I believe. 

I think we are going to have a banner fly fishing Summer.  I think we’ll have great camping and recreation opportunities this Summer.  I have never gone into July believing fishing is going to be great.  This time, I think it will.

If you are planning your holiday weekend in the Eastern United States you probably know that we are expecting rain and maybe lots of it.  I am looking out at the Smoky Mountains right now and admiring the beauty.  At the same time, the National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for our area and much of the Southeast.  Things don’t look so great in the Northeast either.  I saw one model this morning that indicated we are in an area that might get 3” to 5” of rain before Friday.  The heavy rain should arrive Thursday and maybe earlier.  I’ve seen this warning before and it didn’t happen.  I hope that does not happen this time.  What we don’t need is heavy rain right now.

Well, I got the nod to tell you about Chota’s new products and I am very excited.  They are introducing a wader and their hugely successful “Hippies” in a digital camo material.  Unless you fly fish in the Southern Appalachians you might think these camouflage waders are made for duck hunters.  In a place where stealth is very important, wearing camo waders is essential to your fishing success. 

The guys and gals a Chota know it.  They fish here.  They live here.  Their products were born and tested in the Southern Appalachians.  Chota is located in Knoxville.  Many of their products derive their names from Southern Appalachian rivers.

Really, any time you can conceal yourself from fish, your success rate will improve, I don’t care where you are fishing.  I saw the new Simms line of fly fishing gear and clothing yesterday.  They have clothing and hats that look like the sky with clouds and everything.  Why?  If you are standing in a boat and looking like the sky your chances are better for a successful day of fishing.  I wear muted colored clothing and sometimes camo when I’m fishing for smallmouth bass in our boat.

Putting aside the fly fishing advantage, I just think camo looks cool.  Maybe I’ve been watching too much Duck Dynasty if that’s possible. If you do duck hunt, you will also love these new Chota waders.

The new Chota camo waders and Hippies will be available for sale next month.   

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

Byron Begley
July 2, 2013

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