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.  At 6:24 am, the temperature is 64.6 degrees in Townsend.  We are going to experience hot days this week, with a cooling off period beginning Thursday, along with possible rain.  Today’s high is expected to be 91 degrees.

It doesn’t feel that hot. Paula and I were sitting on a porch last night.  The temperature was 80 degrees at the time.  It felt much cooler.  The humidity was low.  It was comfortable.


Little River is flowing below normal at 82 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.39 feet on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 116 cfs.  The water temperature just inside the Park is 70.2 degrees this morning.


The advice remains the same.  Flows are low, which is normal in August.  The water temperature is warm in the low elevations.

You will be doing yourself and the trout a favor by fishing in the higher elevations.  Drive or hike higher in the mountains where the water is cooler.  Stealth is paramount.  The trout will be hiding in choppy water.  Wade less and make short casts so you can get a good drift.  Wear muted clothing. Fish the shaded water. 

Fly selection is not as important as getting a good drift and staying hidden from the fish.  I would use a terrestrial or a Yellow Neversink Caddis as your dry fly.  Green Weenies are hard to beat for subsurface fishing.


It looks like TVA will be generating at Norris Dam all day.  You may find some wade fishing opportunities on the Holston.  Check the TVA website and see if the schedule works for you.


It is going to be hot today.  The sun will likely shine all day.  Go early and late. 


I’m trying to figure out when to take a day off this week.  Paula and I have not been fishing in two weeks.  The choices this week look like, heat or rain.  I can’t decide right now.

The last time we fished, was an 8-mile float down the French Broad River.  We encountered heavy rain, inches of rain, lightning and thunderstorms all day.  We had a great time.  Fishing was slower than normal but not bad at all. 

There is not doubt, fishermen tend to fish less in August around here.  Activity picks up in September.  October brings even more fishermen to the Smoky Mountains.  We have cooler temperatures, especially at night.  But, it can be dry in those months.

October brings with it the beginning of the brown trout spawn with the Fall leaf color change.  You will see more brown trout in October through December, than any other months, during the day.  They are out.  The brook trout are beautiful as they change to their spawning colors.  October is an exciting month here, if you are a trout fisherman. 

Anglers venture back to the lower elevations of the mountains in the Fall.  The water is cooler.  Trout are active.  The mountains are a sight to behold.  The mornings are crisp. 

I love fishing in the lakes, especially on the Little Tennessee River in the Fall.  I tend to use more baitfish fly patterns that time of year. Smallmouth bass will rise to top water flies too.

We are busy at the shop now, despite the heat.  Maybe more people are shopping more and fishing less.  We are seeing active anglers.  At the right elevation, fishing is good in the mountains. A friend of mine fished above Elkmont this week and had a great day.  Fishing was excellent.  He knows how to fish in low water, typical of this time of year.

You can probably tell, August is not my favorite month of the year.  As usual, I am longing for September and October.  We will trek to Florida this Fall, with our kayaks in tow.  I’ll be tying redfish flies soon. 

I met with Marvin Cash yesterday.  He is the President of the Southeastern Council of the Fly Fishing Federation (SEFFF).  I’ve been working with Marvin and Anthony Hipps, preparing for Fly Tyers Weekend in November.  Actually, they are doing most of the work.  This is turning into quite an event.  Not only will there be 40 or more fly tyers exhibiting that weekend, more events are planned as well. 

SEFFF will hold a fundraiser banquet, to raise money for the new fly fishing museum in Cherokee, North Carolina. Movie night will be held outside, showing films fro the Fly Fishing Film Tour.  Marvin is talking about fly tying classes held during the event.  We blocked out our classroom just in case they need it. 

I believe this could become an annual event for SEFFF.  I hope so.  You should block out those dates and attend, whether you are a fly tyer or not.  You will meet and talk to some of the best and most enthusiastic fly fishermen in the Southeast.  And, the demonstrations are free, both days.  November is an excellent month to visit the Smoky Mountains.

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

Byron Begley
August 3, 2015

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