106 Town Square Drive
P.O. Box 505
Townsend, Tennessee 37882
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Townsend, Tennessee - Fly Fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains, East Tennessee and Western North Carolina
Welcome to the Fishing Report from Townsend, Tennessee in the Great Smoky Mountains. At 4:47 am, the temperature is 68.5 degrees.
The chance for thunderstorms has been reduced through the weekend. It is going to be hot, and there is still a chance for rain today and tomorrow. The rain will come in the form of scattered thunderstorms.
Little River is flowing at 121 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.72 feet on the flow gauge. Median flow for this date is 154 cfs. The water temperature is 70.3 degrees.
The advice remains the same. Drive or walk to the higher elevation streams, where the water is cooler. Hiking up Lynn Camp Prong is a good choice. I would also consider hiking above Elkmont to Fish Camp Prong. It will be nice up there today if you are willing to walk about 4 miles. Otherwise, fish lower, closer to Elkmont or the upper Middle Prong of Little River. The high elevations streams, the tributaries to the West Prong of the Little Pigeon, are other options and there are many to choose from.
I talked to guide David Knapp yesterday at the shop. He had just returned with some clients. They had been fishing in the Park. David is using beetle patterns. They are working well.
David also floats clients down the Caney Fork River in Middle Tennessee. He told me fishing has been very good there. I am looking at the generation schedule for that river. TVA plans to generate for short periods of time there today. It will be a good day to drift on the Caney. You may be able to work in some wade fishing too. Check the TVA website before going.
TVA plans to generate at Cherokee and Norris dams today. Check the schedule to see if you can work in some fishing time. You better be on the Clinch early this morning if you are wading.
Lake fishing with a fly rod has been fair to good. Go early and late for the best fishing.
You can catch smallmouth bass, largemouth bass and panfish on the lowland rivers. The water levels are falling. Go early or late. I would use poppers, Knuckleheads or Stealth Bombers.
I write about fly fishing in farm ponds quite often. It was on farm ponds, that I started fly fishing in 1962. I grew up in Kentucky on my parent’s farms. We had many ponds. I was either walking, driving a go-cart, or riding a horse to fish in those days. I was too young to drive an automobile or truck.
I have enjoyed exchanging e-mail with fly fishermen lately, who are just now trying farm pond fishing. One in particular, lives in Florida. He is a trout fly fisherman, who travels to fish, of course. He is learning to fly fish for largemouth bass, big bass.
When I began this journey, long ago, many things were different.
I read about fly fishing in three magazines, Outdoor Life, Field & Stream and Sports Afield. There were no videos. There was no internet. There were no fly fishing shows on television. I had never seen a computer, only pictures. There were many books written about the subject of fly fishing. I never saw one in those days.
Most fly tackle was purchased through mail order, using the telephone, and sending a hand written check, or bought in hardware stores. I had not heard the words, “credit card”. The phone calls were considered “long distance” and you paid a premium for that.
For a few years, I was the only person I knew, who fly fished. There were no people I could talk to, to learn from. I was self taught to a point. That changed.
A good fly rod was made of fiberglass or bamboo. I had a bamboo rod that belonged to one of my grandfathers, who died young. He was a fly fisherman. I don’t remember him. I did not start fly fishing with that rod. I was given a fiberglass fly rod, reel, line and fly tying kit on my 11th birthday, when I decided to learn to fly fish. Monday was my 65th birthday.
Reels were made to be retrieved in only one direction, with your right hand. I think you could special order left hand retrieve reels, but all I saw were cranked with a right hand. I still use my right hand to retrieve today. As far as I know, there were no fly reels on the market that could be changed from right to left hand retrieve in those days.
I never heard the term, “Fly Shop”. If someone mentioned a fly shop, I would not have known what they were talking about. Orvis was owned by Dudley Corkran. Leigh Perkins bought Orvis in 1965, after I started fly fishing.
Ten years before I began, Scientific Anglers invented the PVC coated fly line. That is what I started with. Fly lines have come a long way since then. You would not believe the difference.
I tied my own flies but bought poppers at a hardware store. Someone in Kentucky fly fished and bought poppers, or they would not have been sold in the hardware store. I never met them.
Fly tying materials had to be ordered over the phone, and paid for with a check, in advance, before they were shipped. Everything was shipped through the U.S. Mail. We still ship most orders to customers using the U.S. Mail at the shop.
Today we live in a different fly fishing world. This weekend, there will be three different fly fishing classes at our shop. The students are all beginners. They will begin at a good time. They can get free advice every day at the shop. They can watch fly fishing videos on the internet. They can read fishing reports on the internet, like this one. Just about anywhere you go in America, you can hire a fly fishing guide.
There are a few hundred fly shops in America. We can order tackle online. Big chain stores, sell fly fishing tackle. Anything you want, to participate in this sport, is readily available.
Fly fishing can be enjoyed anywhere there is water and fish. That could be in a small pond, lake, river, small mountain stream or the ocean.
The possibilities today are endless.
Have a great day and thank you for being here with us.