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.  It is overcast this morning and 69 degrees.  It is really quiet in town.  There is very little traffic.  We find ourselves between the Summer tourism period and the Fall migration to the mountains. 

Little River is flowing at 122 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.61 feet on the flow gauge just inside the Park entrance.  Median flow for this date is 112 cfs.  The water temperature at 7 am is 68 degrees.

Our forecast calls for a 40% chance for thunderstorms and a high temperature of 89 degrees.  It is going to be hot over the next few days with a chance for rain every day. 

Water temperatures in the Smoky Mountains will rise.  Your best choice is to fish the higher elevations where the water is cooler.  Try above Elkmont Campground on the East Prong of Little River.  Or, go up 441 to Walker Camp Prong.  There is plenty of cool water up there. 

We have great flows for dry fly fishing.  About any reasonable dry fly will work. You need to get a good drift.  If the sun is shining, I would fish the shaded areas of streams.  You probably will not encounter many people.  Fishing should be good depending on where you are and what temperature the water is there. 

Businesses in town are preparing for Fall.  People love the mountains during the Fall.  It is a busy time here.  Bus-loads of people will be arriving in October.  Fishermen will be fishing.  Fall fishing can be awesome.  The water cools.  The brown and brook trout begin their spawning rituals.  The trout are active if the conditions are good.

You may catch plenty of fallen leaves at times.  Most fishermen don’t mind too much because it is so beautiful here that time of year.  

Last October was a disaster.  Great Smoky Mountains National Park was closed for two weeks during the prime tourist season.  It was one of the most depressing times I can remember.  I am used to facing adversity that I can do something about.  That was not the case last October.  There was nothing we could do. 

This year will be different.  This is an election year.  Congress won’t close National Parks before an election, or at least I hope not.  I’m not hearing a peep about continuing funding for appropriations this year.  Maybe I’m not looking at the right websites.  I think the Parks will be open this October.  The tourist fall season should be good.

The Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont is preparing for their big party on September 14th.  They call it “Homecoming”.  CLICK HERE TO READ MORE.

For 50 bucks, you can enjoy dinner and music alongside the Middle Prong of the River. There, you can meet everyone who is involved with the Institute and friends. We call The institute “Tremont.

“Tremont is a non-profit residential environmental education center.”  There, naturalists teach young and old about the great outdoors.  During the past few years, the Institute has worked closely with Trout Unlimited.  Each Summer, they and TU volunteers hold a Kids Fishing Camp that lasts for a week.  Tremont is looking to further educational activities with TU, including Trout in the Classroom.

At the Homecoming, you can support Tremont and enjoy yourself on September 14th, from 5 pm til 8 pm.  You can sign up online or call 865-448-6709.  Don’t miss this one.  Attire is casual.  Fly rods are welcome.

We are getting ready for our big party, Fly Tyers Weekend on November 8th and 9th.  Check out those web pages by clicking below.

Fall is a great time to visit the Smokies.  It is just around the corner. 

The Clinch River Chapter of Trout Unlimited is holding a class called Women on the Water September 27th.  Right now all spaces are filled and there is a waiting list.  Due to the popularity of this first time event, the Chapter is planning more special events for ladies.  Keep an eye on their website by CLICKING HERE.  The Clinch River Chapter does a lot of beneficial things not only for that particular river, but for education about trout and fishing for everyone.

I’m fishing on the Cumberland River next week with Frank Brown.  He and I met in 1957 when we started the first grade together.  He lives in Kentucky where I grew up.  We have remained friends and fishing buddies for a long time. We talk or e-mail at least once a week.  To me, Frank is family.

Not only am I looking forward to being with Frank, and fishing, but I’m looking forward to seeing Hatchery Creek.  This artificial, mile long stream will be fed by the outflow of the National Hatchery at Wolf Creek Dam below Lake Cumberland.  I’ll take my camera.  I don’t know if the project has begun or if it is near completion.  The design and construction will be done with trout in mind.  It should be perfect trout spawning and living habitat.  Part of the stream will be designated “Catch and Release”.  CLICK HERE to read more about Hatchery Creek.

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

Byron Begley
August 20, 2014

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