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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  The fog is thick and it is 68 degrees in Townsend this morning.  All the businesses in town are preparing for the holiday weekend.  I’m sure we’ll have plenty of visitors in Townsend and outside of town in the cabins and lodges.  Tourism has been good this year.  The bed tax numbers are up from last year.  For the most part, business owners are pretty happy. 

The streams in the Smokies are finally flowing lower than they have all year.  The flows are finally normal.  I like higher flows than we have right now.  Some anglers like what we have today.

Little River is flowing at 107 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.65 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 103 cfs.  The water temperature at 7:45 am is 66.2 degrees. 

It is going to be warm through Sunday with highs near or right at 90 degrees.  Lows at night are going to be around 70 degrees.  Well, that’s what the National Weather Service says. has a different opinion.  They say the highs are going to be in the high 80’s with lows around 66 degrees at night. 

Starting Monday, we are going to enjoy a cool spell with highs in the high 70’s to low 80’s and lows in the high 50’s to low 60’s.  Now that is what I’m looking forward to.

Fishing is good in the Smoky Mountains.  Some anglers are doing well with dry flies and others are doing better with nymphs.  Probably, the overwhelming consensus from fly fishermen is, you should use a dry and a dropper.  I am noticing more fishermen are concentrating on smaller streams too though there are exceptions. 

I would use a Yellow Neversink, Yellow Stimulator, Yellow Elk Hair Caddis or a Parachute Adams for the dry.  I would drop a Green Weenie, Barbie Bug or a bead head fly off the dry.  Terrestrial insects are plentiful and make up a big chunk of what Smokies trout are eating right now.  For that reason, I would consider a beetle or ant pattern.  Try a black Chernobyl Ant.

Fly fishing for smallmouth bass in the tailwaters is really good right now.  Stealth Bombers are working well.  Josh from Frontier Anglers was in yesterday and smiling ear to ear.  He loves floating clients down the tailwaters in his drifboat in August.  Smallie fishing is very good during the heat of the Summer on the rivers below dams.

Stan, Dan and I were talking about fly fishing for carp yesterday.  I was telling Dan about a place we found that were loaded with carp two weeks ago.  Evidently Stan fishes there often.  Dan works at Blackberry Farm in the fly fishing program.  He has become addicted to fly fishing for carp.  He is good at it too.  Stan has caught more than his share of carp on a fly.  Both of these guys make and fish with bamboo rods.  Dan fishes from a paddle board, slipping into shallow water and casting to carp feeding on the flats.

I am a frustrated carp fly fisher.  I’ve caught a few and been shunned by thousands of them. I have not resorted to chumming with bread yet.  I have not scented my flies yet.  But I’m getting close to stepping over the line if something doesn’t start happening soon.

Our conversation turned to eating carp.  Stan has done it.  I have not.  I don’t think Dan has eaten a carp.  I searched the internet this morning, looking for comments from people who eat carp.  I learned a lot from that experience. 

First, carp were brought to America to be eaten.  I found many comments about how great they are to eat.  Other people talked about how boney they are.  Of course we know they are a delicacy in Asia.  They can’t get enough good carp in China.  In fact, I’ve heard of two processing plants that have been built recently in the United States, to clean, freeze and ship Asian carp back to Asia.  Good riddance!  We need to rid our rivers and lakes of these invasive silver and bighead Asian carp.

Carp are eaten in Europe as well.  I read Canadians eat a lot of carp. 

I’m going to take the next small to medium sized carp I catch home and eat it.  I’m not sure if Paula will dig in.  She doesn’t seem too keen on the idea.

I practice catch and release almost exclusively.  I have never eaten a smallmouth bass and I never will.  I have eaten maybe two or three trout in the last 30 years.  I did catch a trophy yellow perch a few weeks ago on a wooly bugger.  I released him in the deep fryer.  Yellow perch are excellent. 

I do eat bluegill and crappie.  But I prefer to release big bluegill. One of our customers caught a 12” bluegill on a popper recently.  He released that fish.  Now that is a trophy in our neck of the woods.  I’ve never caught one that big.  I would release a fish like that one.

So maybe, just maybe, some of you will enjoy a great carp holiday meal this weekend.  I can just see a 24” carp on the grill.  If you do, let me know about it.

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

Byron Begley
August 28, 2013

Respond to:

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