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.  It is 5:39 am and the temperature outside is a cool 59.2 degrees.  This weather we are having is comfortable.  We could use some rain, and that is in our near future, I hope. We have a slight chance for rain today and the high temperature is expected to be 82 degrees.  It will be partly cloudy.

Today is my day off this week.  Paula and I are taking our kayaks to Indian Boundary Lake, a 1.5 hour drive from here. We will paddle around and possibly catch some bluegill and bass.  Her Subaru is loaded and ready.  We just need to hook up the kayak trailer and go.  I’m liking this “partly cloudy” component of the forecast.  We may catch some fish after all.  We’re using 6 weight fly rods and I threw in a 7 weight as an extra.

The wind will be out of the east.  I don’t know why an east wind is bad for fishing.  It seems to be true.  I try not to believe that, especially today.   

I’m trying something different today, that I’ve never done before.  Instead of my usual double bladed paddle, I’m going to use a single blade.  It works for canoeing.  Why not kayaks?  Those double bladed paddles are long and cumbersome.  I’m putting a double in the hatch in case the single doesn’t work.

Little River is flowing at 49 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.20 feet on the flow gauge.  That is low!  Median flow for this date is 104 cfs.  The water temperature is 66.9 degrees.

Anglers are catching trout in the Smokies.  I got an e-mail from Josh Pfeiffer, who is a guide and a very good one.  He reported good fishing in the Park and on the tailwaters for smallmouth bass.  You need to be sneaky in the Smokies right now.  The trout are spooky in this low water.  Due to the cooler water temperatures, you should be able to fish in the lower elevations.  Try fishing around Elkmont on the East Prong.  Try Lynn Camp Prong. 

I would wear muted clothing, use finer tippets and fish with dry flies.  Small Yellow Stimulators and Yellow Sally Stonefly patterns are what I would use.  Josh said the same thing.

TVA says they will start generating at Norris Dam at 7 am and run turbines all day.  Their prediction for Cherokee Dam looks more promising, with generation beginning at 11 am.  Check the TVA website before going.  I’m not a TVA generation planner.  I’m just reading what you can read, and that is subject to change, or misinterpreted by me this early in the morning.  Most of the links to their dam generation pages, in our area are below.  Just pick and click. 

TVA is lowering some of the lakes, including Norris, Cherokee and Douglas.  The lakes on the Tennessee River are at full pool.  Lake fishing is good in the mornings and evenings, when bass and bluegill are more active in shallow water.  I’m not a big fan of sinking fly lines.  So, I’m always looking for shallow water fishing opportunities.  You can get down fairly deep with a long leader and a floating fly line.  I like catching them on top, so fishing late or on cloudy days are my preference. 

The National Weather Service is predicting a wetter than usual Fall.  They say temperatures will be about normal.  I hope they are correct.  Fall fishing is about to get underway.  Fall, particularly October is usually dry here.  Fishing for trout in the Smokies and smallmouth bass in the lowland rivers would be much better if we get some rain and have higher water.

Canoeing and fly fishing in Little River, below Townsend is a great way to spend a Fall day.  We have an excellent canoe livery on Little River, called River Johns.  John has a beautiful campground right on the river.  You can park there, rent a canoe or kayak from him, and he will take you upstream 7 miles.  You can float down to his place where you are parked.  You can visit his website by CLICKING HERE.  If you are taking a Fall vacation in Townsend, this is something you might want to try.  He closes for the Winter at the end of October.  The smallmouth bass, rock bass and bluegill fishing is excellent in that section of Little River.

If you like rivers and lakes, Townsend is the place to visit or live.  If you enjoy fly fishing, this is paradise.  That is why I live here.  There are hundreds of thousands of acres, of public land, contiguous to Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Paula and I will be visiting the Cherokee National Forest today.  That is only one of the National Forests contiguous to the National Park.

Paula will be kayaking on the Hiwassee River Sunday with a bunch of our friends.  That is a beautiful river.  I’m sure they will have a great time if the thunderstorms don’t get them.  I will be working Sunday. 

We floated and fished the French Broad river a few weeks ago.  We encountered one of the worst thunderstorms I’ve seen while on the water. The storms kept coming, all day long.   We were committed to an 8-mile float with no way to get out until the end.  We knew storms were a possibility, but what we what we got that day was much worse than expected.  Our kayak paddles are made from carbon fiber, just like our fly rods.  It was a little tense, to say the least, paddling on a river during thunderstorms, holding lightning rods.  We did catch some smallmouth bass and nobody got hurt.

Well, I’m ready to enjoy a day off on the water.

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

Byron Begley
August 27, 2015

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