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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is foggy and 65 degrees in Dry Valley this morning.  It is Tuesday and this is my day off for the week.  I’m going to service our boat engine to get ready for Fall fishing.  In a few days, it will be September.  Fall in the Northern Hemisphere begins September 22.

We have a chance for rain almost every day for the next 10.  Moist air has moved into our region.  At 8:00 am this morning the humidity is 84%.

Little River is flowing slow and low.  Right now the flow is 41 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 104 cfs.  The water temperature is starting this day at 69.5 degrees.

Most of the days in the near future will be cloudy or partly cloudy.  That will help our angling success immensely.  Trout in the Smokies will feel less threatened.  The water is currently low so the fish will be seeking cover in riffles and deep runs.  But you won’t be casting shadows on the water due to the absence of sunshine.  They won’t see you as well either.  Of course you won’t see them. 

The thunderstorms that are predicted will most likely be scattered.  So, some rivers may rise with increased turbidity, while others may remain low and clear.  Up to date fishing reports combined with flow gauges on the web might keep you informed so you can choose which streams to fish over the next few days.  The higher water will improve the fishing.  Too much water may temporarily cause a disruption or require a change in tactics. 

Be ready with dry flies, nymphs and possibly streamers.  Slightly turbid water is favorable to us.  Sometime a big black Wooly Bugger or large dark nymph is the right fly to use when the water turns dark.  Have an assortment of dry flies in your pack or vest.  I would choose beetles, Yellow Sally Stoneflies, Neversink Caddis, Parachute Adams, Yellow Stimulator or Elk Hair Caddis.  If you switch to nymphs be prepared with Prince, Green Weenie, Bead Head Pheasant Tail or hellgramite patterns.  Don’t forget, big trout like big foam patterns such as a Chernobyl Ant or even a Stealth Bomber. 

I’ve talked to a lot of Clinch River anglers lately.  Fishing has been good if you can get a proper discharge schedule from the dam.  That has been hard lately.  The lakes are being slowly drained to feed the large rivers and maintain commercial shipping while generating cheap electricity.  Rain will help that situation.  Tropical Storm Isaac may bring relief to the Mississippi River watershed in a few days.

Smallmouth fishing is fair in the lowland rivers.  More water will help. 

Fishing in the lakes with a fly rod for smallmouth bass has been slow.  The water is warm and those fish are deep.  Some possible exceptions might be the cooler reservoirs.  The bass are very active in the tailwaters where the water is cool. 

It is good to be thinking about fishing again.  The heat and warm water has allowed me to work more but it is time for a positive change.  Preparation for the coming months will be my mission now.

Today I’ll change the oil, oil filter, spark plugs and fuel filter in our outboard.  Then I’ll hook the hose up to the water intake and run the engine for a few minutes.

Next, I’ll start cleaning fly lines.  It feels good to cast a clean fly line.  I’ll change all the leaders.  Paula and I have 8 outfits that we use for lake fishing.  They range from a 4 weight for bluegill to an 8 weight with a sinking line for casting big baitfish patterns and getting them deep.  I may need to tie some Puglisi Threadfin shad patterns.  They take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour to complete each.  Those big 4” to 5” flies take a long time to tie.

We’ve got new TWRA boat license stickers and I’ll put them on today.  Ours expired two weeks ago.  Then we’ll be good to go for 3 years.

I met with the Laurel Valley Property Owners Association board last night to discuss re-building Laurel Lake and it’s amenities.  This will be a County Park if we can make it happen.  There will be a 35-acre lake and hiking trails.  Everything else is up for discussion and subject to input from the community.  They are a great group of folks to work with.  We had an excellent discussion for an hour and a half.

To make this work we will need to raise private funding.  We will need to obtain grants.  This project will require widespread support to succeed.  Fundraisers will be held.  To make our life easier, we may not set up a formal non-profit organization.  Randy, our County Budget director will set up a Laurel Lake fund account to accept tax-deductible contributions.  That will be done very soon.  I talked to our County Mayor about it yesterday.

We are off to a good start.  There will be obstacles and disappointments along the way.  We have a good mission and plenty of enthusiasm.  I think we’ll get it done.

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

Byron Begley
August 28, 2012 


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