Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  I left the house at 7:30 am and the temperature was 65 degrees.  Low temperatures here will be in that range for a few days.  Right now the sun is shining and traffic is light but it is early.  There is not much going on around town.  This is what I would call “off season” until Fall is here.

The cool temperatures we are expecting will bring out the hikers and anglers.  I don’t have the highs and lows for the Park last night yet.  But, night before last the temperatures dipped to 52 at Mount Leconte, 63 at Sugarland Center and 61 at Oconoluftee.  The air will be colder than that over the next few days. 

Little River and most Park streams are low.  Flow right now in Little River is 67 cubic feet per second.  Median flow for this date is 125 cfs.  The water temperature was 70 degrees in town about a half hour ago. 

Fishing is pretty good in the Park for trout.  I would fish small streams in the backcountry.  The larger rivers will provide good fishing opportunities especially early and late.  The water is going to get cooler.  The trout will be more active.  But, if we don’t get some rain you will need to fish in the riffles or areas that provides cover for the trout.  They are especially wary when the water is this low.  Green Weenies and terrestrial dry flies are working best.  Blending in and hiding from the fish is most important right now.  It is Summer and that’s what you have to do when the rivers are low.  You will always catch more fish if you hide from them unless there is plenty of color in the water due to rain.  But now it is extremely important.

I’m hoping the cooling off period will offer less generation on the tailwaters.  I’ve been hearing the Clinch has been running full bore.  I just checked and there are some wading opportunities today so maybe anglers can get out and fish that fine river. 

Fishing the rivers that leave the Park and run through the valleys are producing well for smallmouth bass.  They are taking poppers and other flies presented on the surface.  My favorite is a Stealth Bomber of course. I’m tying a lot of those flies to sell in the shop and use myself.  My friend Dick in Virginia will be getting some soon.  “I have not forgotten about you Dick.” These flies are unavailable in black from our usual supplier so I had to start tying them to sell.  I hate to see them unavailable for our customers.  And I enjoy doing it.  Last night I made 48 black bodies.  

I talked to Josh Pfeiffer at Frontier Anglers late yesterday.  CLICK HERE to visit his website. He was going to fish in town for smallmouth bass in the evening.  He has become a very competent smallmouth bass guide and I have encouraged him for a while to do that.  We have these great smallmouth fisheries all around us and there are very few guides who specialize and target that amazing fish.  I don’t know how well he did. 

Josh is very interested in fly tying and creates some beautiful flies.  That is why I see him so often at the shop.  We stock quite a bit of fly tying material.  We are going to float a river soon if he can get a Wednesday off.  Right now, that is about the only time I can be away from the shop.

I am hoping to go fishing tomorrow morning before work.  To do that I need to get up at 5:00 am.  We’ll see how that goes.

My buddy Herb Handly and I shot the breeze for an hour yesterday.  He is retired and loving it.  Recently, he had the opportunity to see one of the new bridges under construction on the un-finished section of the Foothills Parkway.  I can see that project progress from my office window.  When finished, you will be able to drive from the intersection on Highway 321 in Walland to Wear’s Valley Road near Pigeon Forge and back.  I’ve been up there with Park Service personnel.  The views of this valley are spectacular.  Most of the road project has been funded and it is expected to be finished in 2016. The Foothills Parkway,  Social Security and Medicare will be available to me at the same time if nothing happens. 

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

Byron Begley
August 13, 2011

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Our fly fishing classes will be offered from March to October 2011.   To sign up just call the shop at 877-448-3474.  You can read more on our website in the Schools Section.  The fly fishing class schedule follows:

Saturday September 10 – Beginner Day One
Saturday September 24 – Beginner Day One
Sunday September 25 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday October 8 – Beginner Day One
Saturday October 22 – Beginner Day One
Sunday October 23 – Beginner Onstream Day Two

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