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 5:59 am,  the temperature is a warm 70 degrees.  Rain fell last night in the Smokies and elsewhere.  The gauge in Townsend reported .46” through midnight.  The Knoxville Airport chart read .63”.

We have a good chance for more rain today with thunderstorms likely this evening.  The weekend looks to be really nice, with a low chance for rain and high temperatures in the mid-80’s.

Little River is flowing at 103 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.49 feet on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 114 cfs.  The water temperature is 71.4 degrees this morning.

I checked all the streams I know of that have flow gauges.  Cataloochee Creek rose some during the night.  Oconaluftee at the Birdstown Gauge is flowing at 419 cfs.  Median flow there for this date is 269 cfs.  Tellico River is flowing at 198 cfs, compared to median flow of 101 cfs.  The Little Pigeon River gauge height is 1.69 feet.  There is no historical data at that gauge, and it is not calibrated to determine cfs.

So, we have normal to higher than normal flows in the Smoky Mountains.  Keep in mind, median flow is low this time of year. 

Streams are warm in the low elevations.  Drive or hike to higher elevations to fish.  Dry flies should work fine, unless you encounter stained water.  If you do, use bead head nymphs.  My dry fly choice would be a black foam beetle. For sub-surface fishing I would use a Green or Pink Weenie.  If you are fishing in brook trout streams, use the pink version.  It works, like you would not believe.

The TVA website indicates generation will begin on the Clinch River at Norris Dam any minute and last all day.  The also show generation beginning at Cherokee Dam at 10 am. 

Dan and Brandon fished Tellico Lake Monday.  They found carp feeding on the surface and caught several.  See the fly in the photo below.  That’s Dan’s version of a chartreuse Knucklehead.  Those carp sipped Knuckleheads off the surface.

Carp caught on a Byyron's Knucklehead.

I exchanged e-mail twice yesterday with a customer from Montana.  He was describing his smallmouth fishing trip to Canada.  He used BoogleBug poppers and I think he said he caught 100 bass on one popper.  “I’m going by memory here.”  He went on to say he had to repair the hackle occasionally with super glue.  But, the bodies held up as they are supposed to.

He also mentioned that some hooks bent.  He was using 20 to 25 pound tippet.  He was fighting those bass hard and fast.  I can’t imagine how much fun that was.  Getting a bass to the net quickly is good for the health of the fish.  But, the fight and the power to do that must have been amazing.  I’m going to try heavier tippet.  I use 8 pound to 12 pound tippet for smallies.  I’ve been broken off many times.  I really enjoyed exchanging e-mail with him.  He’s definitely a smallmouth bass fan.

You will be seeing more bear-proof trash enclosures around our community.  A project, spearheaded by Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and Appalachian Bear Rescue (ABR), who are also partially funding the effort, is under way.  I saw one new container at a boat ramp last week.  Kathy Eubanks at ABR is working with governments to secure more funding.  Townsend City has agreed to help.  Kathy will meet with the County Commission and hopefully find more funding.  Kathy is a friend of mine.  I know her well.  When she decides to do something, it gets done.  You can read the story on the Daily Times website by CLICKING HERE.

The secluded Appalachian Bear Rescue operation is located a few hundred yards from our house.  There, ABR takes orphaned and sometimes injured bear cubs, and raise them, away from humans, to be released into the wild.  The have a few cubs there now.

Paula and I have seen more bears around our house this year than ever before.  I’m not sure why.  We have a lot of free roaming bears around here this year.  An adult male bear, somehow, broke into ABR’s cub enclosure this week.  That is a problem.  Adult males will harm or even kill cubs.  Everything turned out fine but you should read the story on the WBIR website by CLICKING HERE

ABR has a visitors center in Townsend at Trillium Cove, next to our store.  You can visit there, learn more about ABR and either donate or volunteer.  Start by visiting the new ABR website by CLICKING HERE.  Visitors are not allowed at the ABR cub rearing property.  I could walk over there but I never have and won’t.  I have been invited to tour the facility, and did once, years ago. 

Today is my day off this week.  Paula is going out of town this morning with some girl friends.  I’m going to the lake this afternoon. I’ll launch the boat and fish by myself for a while.  Jack is meeting me at the ramp at 4:30.  We’ll fish for a few hours together.  I hope my reputation as, “Bad Weather Byron” does not come into play today. My bilge pump is working.

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

Byron Begley
August 20, 2015

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