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 cloudy and 66 degrees in Townsend this morning.  For the first time in days, we probably won’t get rain today.  The chance is very low.  The high will be in the mid-80’s with a low in the mid-60’s tonight.  Rain chances become greater tomorrow and Wednesday.

The Independence Day holiday weekend is over.  We will see less people in the Park and in town for a few days.


Little River is flowing at 295 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.13 feet on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 142 cfs.  The water temperature at 6:35 am is 64.8 degrees.


Fly fishing conditions are perfect.  The streams are flowing well.  The water temperature is good at all elevations this morning.  If you go fishing today, you might start early in the lower elevations, but move higher as it gets warmer.  It should be cloudy this morning, which will be great for fishing.  The sun may shine later. 

Dry flies will produce well.  I would use any Yellow Sally Stonefly pattern or a terrestrial dry fly.  Try Mike’s Magic Beetle.  Nymphs will produce too.  Bead head nymphs or Green Weenies would be my choice today.

We don’t see fishing conditions this good in the Smokies, during July, very often. 


The Clinch River tailwater below Norris Dam has been fishing extremely well.  I’ve seen photos of some very healthy trout, mostly big rainbows.  Anglers are using small nymphs and midge patterns for fishing sub-surface.  If you see a Sulphur hatch, switch to a dry fly.  The Sulphur hatch has been excellent this year.  I don’t know if it has slowed.  I didn’t talk to any Clinch River fishermen this weekend.


Paula and I, along with Frank and Mouse are going to float one of the tailwaters next week, fishing for smallies.  Two of us will be fishing in Josh Pfeiffer’s drift boat, while the other two will be drifting in their kayaks.  At mid-day, we will switch.  So, everyone will fish from the boat and the kayaks.  We don’t know which river we will be fishing.  That will be Josh’s call.  Smallmouth fishing on the tailwaters, during the Summer is incredible.  We will be there on a weekday, and probably won’t see many if any other anglers.  I’m pumped.


Culton Creek in Maryville flows near the site of the train derailment and the resulting chemical fire that occurred late last week.  Biologists found dead fish in the creek.  At this point, authorities don’t know if they were poisoned by the chemical, or if oxygen levels were depleted by the fire. For now, a warning has been issued for the creek.  Don’t go near Culton Creek.  Pistol Creek and Little River were evidently not affected.  You can read the story on the WBIR website by CLICKING HERE.


We finally held the first class yesterday.  One nymphing tactics class was scheduled this Spring, but had to be cancelled due to high water.  Yesterday’s class was taught by Bill Bolinger, Rob Fightmaster and David Knapp.  They had nine eager students.  The spent the first part of the day in the classroom and casting on the lawn.  After lunch, they all drove to the Park for on-stream instruction.  Due to the popularity of this first class, I suspect we’ll have more. 

You can read more about this class by CLICKING HERE.  I have been designing new school pages for our website and you will be taken there if you clicked above.  I have not edited all the text.  So, if you find grammatical errors, or some dumb statements, they will be corrected soon.  Check out all the school pages while you are there.


If you live in the Crossville, Tennessee area, you might be interested in joining the new Fairfield Glade Fly Fishing Club.  You don’t have to live in Fairfield Glade to join.  The club is holding what I think is their second meeting Tuesday night.  Dan Munger and David Knapp will present the program.  I’m not sure of the time or location.  You can check the club’s new website by CLICKING HERE.  An e-mail address is listed, so if you are interested, contact Jack Hammond to get more information. I sent him an e-mail just now.

UPDATE: The meeting will be held tomorrow, July 7 at 5:30 pm. Meet at Mirror Lake in Fairfield Glade. Bring your fly rod for a casting class.  


Paula grilled chicken outside last night.  I stood near the grill to guard it.  Saturday evening, a very large bear walked down our driveway and stopped, fairly close to us.  He or she was obviously not afraid of people.  The bear finally left after sniffing and watching us for a short time.

We are having some friends over to cook out and eat outside Saturday.

I think I’ll have some “Noise Makers” out there, just in case.  I should have fired a shot near the bear Saturday night, but it didn’t occur to me until the animal wandered off.  It is prudent to scare them away from your house.  We have bears around here, probably more often than we think.  We leave them alone.  This one was a little too friendly.  That makes three I’ve seen in the last few weeks.

Bird feeders and garbage are what they seek.  We don’t leave any garbage outside and the bird feeders have been taken down until next Winter.

This will be a great fishing week.  Get out there and enjoy yourself.

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

Byron Begley
July 6, 2015

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