Townsend, Tennessee - Fly Fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, East Tennessee and Western North Carolina

Welcome to the Fishing Report from Townsend, Tennessee in the Great Smoky Mountains.  At 5:56 am, the temperature is 69.3 degrees.  We have a 50% to 60% chance for thunderstorms today.  The high temperature will be near 85 degrees.  It looks like we’ll have a dry, cool week through Thursday.  The National Weather Service predicts a high temperature of 79 degrees Wednesday.  Lows will drop to the 50’s this week.  Fall is coming.

Little River is flowing at 63 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.28 feet on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 112 cfs.  The water temperature is 70.9 degrees this morning.

I’m excited about this Fall-like weather.  Fishing will get better and better.  Water temperatures will drop in the low elevations.  Fishermen have shied away from the larger rivers lately due to the warm water.  Still, the temperatures are not as cool as they should be this time of year. 

Trout fishing is fine in the Smokies, if you travel to the higher elevations.  The water is low so you need to sneak up on the water you intend to fish.  Don’t spook the trout.  Dry flies are working well.  Use a beetle or other terrestrial for your dry fly.  Other patterns will produce as well.  The fish are not picky.  They are concentrated in holding areas with cover, to protect them from predators.  Cover is likely choppy water, rocks, ledges, deep runs or downed trees. 

The tailwaters are fishing very well for trout, especially the Clinch River.  The trout are fat and healthy.  It’s been hard to wade fish lately due to excessive generation.  TVA will be generating on the Clinch at times today.  The schedule looks much better on the Holston River, at least early today.  Check the TVA website and see if the schedules look good for you and where you like to fish.

Fly fishermen are doing well on the lakes late in the evening.  Find banks and coves that are shaded, and you will find bass and bluegill moving into shallow water.  They are looking up and taking poppers or foam floating flies.  It should be cloudy today, which is favorable to the shallow water fly fisherman.  I love cloudy days.

When I was a kid, back in the early 60’s, I often found myself at one of the ponds on our family farm in Kentucky during the Summer months, waiting for the sun to go down.  My first fly rod was a Shakespeare Wonder Rod, the white glass model.  The reel was a Pflueger Medalist.  During that period in my life, casting poppers on the water, was one of my favorite pastimes. 

As darkness fell, those ponds came alive with bass and bluegill taking those poppers on every cast.  I fished until I couldn’t see any longer, then walked home in the dark.  I can still remember those bright lights at our home, which guided me back in the darkness.  My mother turned them on, knowing I was out there somewhere, walking home.  The terrain was flat in Central Kentucky,  nothing like it is here.  I could see lighted homes for miles at night.  I seldom had a flashlight.  I didn’t need one.

Looking back over 50 years of my fly fishing life, it is amazing how many phases I’ve been through.  I started with bass and bluegill.  Then came trout, which stuck for decades, and still does.  Tarpon fishing with 12 weights lasted 9 years, consuming my thoughts.  Redfish and other species found in the Gulf took over the tarpon phase.  I’m still fond of saltwater fly fishing.  Then smallmouth bass became yet another passion in my life.  What a thrill that is.  And now, I find myself still waiting for dark and catching largemouth bass and bluegill until that last minute of the day. 

I guess it boils down to this, “If a fish will take a fly, I’ll fly fish for them and enjoy it all”.

Fly fishing consumes almost every waking hour of every day, in my life.  I do play guitar for an hour every day. I don't think about fly fishing at all during that time.

Much of my day involves working in the fly fishing business.  And when I’m not working, I’m either fly fishing, messing around with the boats or tying flies.  Heck, it’s 7 am and I’m writing about fly fishing.  See what I mean?  I’m never bored!  Thank God I’m married to a wonderful woman who loves cooking and fly fishing too.

Many of you will be fishing today.  I’ll be working on this website, then go to the shop to pay bills.  I hate paying bills.  I would rather be making deposits.  Daniel gets to do that.

UPDATE 9:59 AM - It is raining and weather radar indicates more on the way. Rain may taper off this afternoon. This could be a great day to fish. We are open today. Our shop is open every Sunday.

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

Byron Begley
August 23, 2015

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