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 sunny and 64 degrees at 7:50 am.  There are a lot less people in town compared to this past weekend.  Our town has the appearance of a typical Monday morning. 

Little River is low.  Flow right now is 53 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.29 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 128 cfs.  The water temperature is 68.3 degrees below the confluence of the three prongs of Little River.

The chance for rain returns tonight though the odds are slight.  Tomorrow looks better and the forecast calls for a 60% chance for rain Wednesday.  We need rain in the worst way.  The streams in the Smokies are low. 

Many of our lakes are very low too.  Cherokee and Norris are at the low end of their Summer operating levels and they have been that way for months.  Douglas is running at the high end of the operating guide.

As a result, the tailwaters below some dams are flowing low often due to the lack of generation.  The Holston river below Cherokee Dam is a prime example.  Josh and his clients are still doing well catching smallmouth bass.  But he comments about the low water there every time I see him.

If you go fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains today, go to the mid or high elevations or in the backcountry if possible.  Find some cool shaded water and stay hidden.  You can catch trout but it won’t be easy unless you have a good knowledge of low water fishing.  To gain that knowledge, go now.  You might be surprised. You will learn from the experience.

If I went fishing today in the mountains, I know I would use either a foam beetle or Yellow Neversink Caddis for a dry fly.  If I needed to get down, I would choose a Green or Pink Weenie.

If you see a sign, indicating aggressive bear activity, go somewhere else.  Some of the bears have shown no fear of humans lately.  Some trails are closed.  At least one backcountry campsite I know of is closed and there are probably others.  They are closed because of bear problems.

Living with bears is fine with me, most of the time.  Other than have some sniff around our tent at night, there is only one occasion I felt threatened.  We had a mother and two cubs hanging around hour house for a week several years ago.  They didn’t bother me or Paula but they did cause concern for our neighbors.  Our neighbors had bee hives to protect. And, they were walking one night and had a close encounter with those bears.  They walked to our house and I drove them home.

We had dogs back then and I walked them at night.  I carried a pistol when we walked during that time.  Eventually, the bears were trapped and removed.  Other than that, when I see bears, they take off running or at least walk away

When bears are around our neighborhood, I don’t carry a gun.  I don’t feel threatened.  If you don’t leave food outside for them, they will go away.

Paula and I live with wild animals by choice.  We moved in with them.  It’s their property too.  We play by their rules. 

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

Byron Begley
July 7, 2014

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