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 Mountians. A little rain fell yesterday but not enough to cause any changes in river flows. It did usher in some beautifully cool weather. Driving to work this morning it felt like Fall. I know that is going to be short lived but we can enjoy it while it lasts.

Rain did fall as predicted yesterday. There was 0.25" in the rain gauge this morning. Water levels ticked up a tiny bit but not enough to really show a change. The streamflow gauge is giving a reading of 1.33 feet or 58 c.f.s. The daily normal is 154 c.f.s. The encouraging number is water temperature. It dropped down to about 68F this morning.

As you can see by the numbers, water levels are very low. There are advantages and disadvantages to this. You are going to have to be extra cautious when approaching the stream and make delicate casts. The trout will be even more wary than normal. In this low water the trout will be more condensed. This can cause competition for food making your fly the target of multiple trout. Less water in the stream means more stream bank to walk around on. Stay out of the water as much as possible. Continue to concentrate on the faster moving section of stream.

Fishing conditions are tough. Water is low and temperatures are warm. Despite this, anglers have still be doing pretty well fishing in the Smokies. High elevation streams are definitely the best. You will find cooler water there. Dry fly patterns like Yellow Sallies, Yellow Stimulators, Rob's Hellbenders and Sulphurs have all been doing well in the #14 or #16 sizes. Terrestrial patterns such as Green Weenies, beetles and ants are doing good too. Surprising to me is how well anglers are doing with nymphs right now. Usually when the water is low and clear everyone switches over to dries but that doesn't seem to be the case this year.They are fishing Prince Nymphs, Copper Johns, Pheasant Tails, etc.

I got slowed down getting to write the fishing report this morning by talking to Stan Smartt and Tommy Vaughan. They are a hoot to talk to. The fishing and other stories can go on for hours. I finally got up here to write the report and now it is getting late. I'm going to wrap it up.....there is a big box of Wapsi tying materials waiting for me downstairs.

I think it should be good day to hit the mountains and fish. Have a great day and thank you for being here with us.

Daniel Drake
July 16, 2014 

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