Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is sunny this morning.  Townsend is quiet.  The visitors we had here this weekend have gone home.  The rain that was predicted yesterday and last night did not materialize.  I stopped at the swinging bridge at 8:00 am to take the water temperature.  Frank, one of our police officers was parked there.  We started talking and before I knew it an hour had gone by.  He and I have a lot of fun but we never solve any serious problems. 

Little River is very low right now.  Flow is 57 cubic feet per second.  Median flow for this date is 115 cfs.  The lowest recorded flow for this date was 30 cfs in 1987.  The water temperature was 71 degrees.

Fishing is decent in the Park if you are extremely careful not to be seen by the trout.  I’m not good at not being seen anymore because it sometimes requires stooping down or casting from your knees.  It’s not worth it to me anymore.  I’ll wait for higher water.  The trout will probably take any dry fly that drifts like the real thing provided you don’t scare the heck out of them before you get your chance.  Beetles, ants, Yellow Sally Stones and Green Weenies are what we are telling customers to use.  Go fishing early or late.

It is going to get cool.  Tonight the low temperature is supposed to be 58 degrees in the valley, colder than that in the mountains.  Highs will be in the 80’s this week. 

Fly fishing for smallmouth bass in the lower river will be best very early or late too.  In the deeper pools you might catch them in the shade.  But overall, the river is not fly fishing friendly right now.  I would rent and canoe and shuttle from River John’s and find some deep holes along the way.  I would use poppers, Stealth Bombers or Stillwater Bombers.

Josh Pfeiffer and I are going to float one of the rivers feeding the Tennessee River on Wednesday.  He is a guide so we’ll probably have a good shot at some smallies.  I offered to take him to the lake in our boat but he thinks we’ll do better on a river in his drift boat.  We’ll probably fish a lake when he gets a free day on a Wednesday.

I was talking to Josh yesterday afternoon in the parking lot.  He, Rob and Sean all had clients.  Ronnie, our Police Chief pulled in and we talked.  I asked about the bear that was terrorizing our town.  He set a trap to catch the bruin.  It turns out that bear was attracted to bird feeders including a hummingbird feeder.  Once they were removed the bear went away. 

He did say that two panthers with young have been spotted in Dry Valley.  And he said one of the local guys found panther tracks on our property along the creek bank behind our house.  Dry Valley is a large cove with hardly any creeks running above ground.  The water runs underground.  We have lots of caves out there and Tuckaleechee Caverns is just a mile from our house.  The only water I know of in Dry Valley surfaces right near our property.  The spring creek is named Short Creek.  The only wooded areas the creek runs through is on our property and our neighbor’s property.  Other than that, the stream meanders through fields and enters Little River near the Back Porch Restaurant.

That stretch of cold water attracts wildlife.  Also, the old roadbed that settlers in Cades Cove used to reach Townsend runs along our property line.  It has not been used for human transportation for a hundred years or so.  But that road, over time, wore down and washed out to a level several feet below the ground around it.  It is a perfect corridor for wild animals to use.  The road ford used to cross Short Creek is on our property.  So, as you can imagine, wildlife uses that corridor as a safe passage to water, the only water I know of in the valley.

Now, was Chief Ronnie pulling my leg?  It has happened before.  Are there really two panthers with kittens running around in Dry Valley.  Those guys who live out there have game cameras.  Where are the photos?

So this morning I mentioned to Frank that Ronnie might be BS’n me about some panthers.  Frank said immediately that some have been spotted in Dry Valley.  He said one of the animals jumped out of a tree behind someone I had not heard of.  So, is this a conspiracy?  I wouldn’t put it past them.  They love to mess with me.  Or, is it fact?

All I know is, I upgraded to a larger caliber pistol this morning when I carried the trash out to my truck.  And, maybe the local guys who hunt and trap behind our house will actually put some game cameras out along with some meat if this is really true.  They are welcome to do that on our property.  I wish they would. I bet our men in blue will be reading this report at City Hall today and get a good laugh.  Or, maybe not.

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

Byron Begley
August 22, 2011 

Respond to:


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

Respond to:

Home - Contact Us - About Us - Fishing Report - Online Catalog - Message Board - Sitemap