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

NOTE:  The following roads are still closed in Great Smoky Mountains National Park:  Little River Road between Metcalf Bottoms and the Townsend “Y”, Upper Tremont Road above the Institute, Parsons Branch Road and Forge Creek Road.

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is overcast and 68 degrees in Townsend this morning at 7:45 am.  The high temperature today is supposed to be 82 degrees.  Our town is really quiet.  Business owners believe tourists have made plans that don’t include visiting our town.  The Park entrance and many roads were closed due to downed trees.  Some roads are still closed.  That storm hit us almost one week ago.  There are thousands of downed trees on roads, trails and in the streams. 

Little River is flowing much stronger today.  The water is muddy.  We had exactly 1 inch of water in our gauge.  Other areas around us recorded 2+ inches of rain.  Flow in Little River is currently 192 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 129 cfs.  The water temperature at 7:45 am was 69.5 degrees at the “Y”.

More rain is on the way through the week and into the weekend.  We will experience cooler temperatures. 

If you are planning a fishing vacation to Townsend this weekend, keep an eye on this report.  If we have high water, I will let you know. 

Fishing in the Smokies will improve.  Higher water, cooler temperatures and overcast skies are a great benefit to anglers.  By the weekend, conditions should be excellent barring any flooding or extremely high water.  This is the break we have been looking for.  This is great news but your timing must be right.

If you fish today there could be some stained water in the stream you pick but I don’t think that is likely right now.  If we get more rain, and we will, it is likely.  Use a nymph and watch for falling trees.  If wind is strong and you are fishing in the Park, get out of there. 

Smallmouth bass fishing in the tailwaters is excellent.  A customer told me yesterday he and a friend caught a 7 pound + smallie on a fly.  They also caught a couple that were in the 5 to 6 pound range.  He had a digital scale to verify the weight.  I hope to see pictures soon.  Evidently there have been good days and slow days.  The good days are remarkable.  The bass are taking poppers during the middle of the day as well as early and late.  Imagine that, a 7 pound smallmouth on a fly rod.

The lakes are fishing fair.  This cloud cover and cooler surface temperatures will help.  You should have some large mayfly imitations in your boat box.  You may encounter a willow fly hatch.

Today is my birthday.  I am 61 years old.  More importantly, I have now been fly fishing for 50 years.  I got my first fly fishing outfit and fly tying kit on my 11th birthday in 1961.  I have enjoyed this fun sport for a long time.  My past time and my work involves fly fishing.  I write, read, talk and listen to dialog involving fly fishing every day.  Most of what I look at all day is fly fishing related.  Almost everyone I come in contact with is engaged in the sport of fly fishing.

I am meeting some folks at Laurel Lake this morning.  I’m not exactly sure who will be there.  I didn’t arrange the meeting.  Someone from Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation will be there.  Mostly state and local officials will be there.  And I think a reporter will be there. 

Iva Butler, a reporter who works for the Daily Times called me yesterday.  That happens often. She knows I have my ear to the ground.  She asked about the re-building of Laurel Lake, an impoundment that was drained 20 years ago.  I told her about today’s meeting.  I bet she shows up.

So, I better get ready for the meeting.

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

Byron Begley
July 11, 2012

Respond to: byron@littleriveroutfitters.com


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