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 6:45 am, the temperature is 64.4 degrees.  The rain missed us yesterday.  I was hoping for rain and it didn’t come. We do have a 30% chance for showers today.

Then, it is going to be warm again, in the upper 80’s this week.  It doesn’t look like we’ll get much if any rain.

The USGS flow gauges in East Tennessee are still inoperable, or at least, not visible online.  USGS flows have not been available since Friday afternoon.  Hopefully that will get fixed today.  The gauges in North Carolina are operating properly.

I bet it will be hectic at the USGS office in Nashville this morning, when everyone comes to work, to find out, everything shut down over the weekend.

I can only assume, the streams are still flowing low in the Great Smoky Mountains.  The water temperatures in the low elevations are likely still warm.

With that in mind, fishing will be best in the mid to high elevations.  I talked to a regular Smokies angler yesterday.  He has been fishing the upper end of Lynn Camp Prong and doing well.  Other streams at that elevation or higher are fishing fairly well, despite the low water.  Use your low water tactics.  Fish the broken water where the trout are hiding.  Dress to blend in with the forest.  Trout will take dry flies or just about any fly that looks like food but you still have to get a good drift.  A fly, behaving unusual won’t catch many trout, if any.

This is not a good time to be making a long distance fly fishing trip to the Smoky Mountains. Until we get some rain, you may be disappointed. You can catch trout in this low water. If you are visiting or live here, give it a shot. 

TVA plans to generate full bore at Norris Dam today.  The generation at Cherokee Dam will be sporadic.  I don’t think there are opportunities to wade fish on the Holston River but you could check their website and make a determination yourself.

The lakes are fishing well for bass and bluegill in the evenings.  Fish are taking poppers, foam floating flies, nymphs and streamers.  Jack and I caught some big bluegill last week.  I think Paula and I will go to that exact spot to fish one evening this week.

It’s easy to see, Fall is showing signs of arriving soon.  We live deep in the woods, surrounded by thick forest.  Leaves are dropping.  Squirrels are running around with hickory nuts in their mouths.  Paula and I were talking about it last night, sitting on a deck.  Soon, the leaves will drop, and our view of the Smoky Mountains will return.  This Summer has flown by. 

I am looking forward to Fall fishing.  I’m also looking forward to fishing in Florida this Fall.  I need to tie some saltwater flies. 

Business has been good at the shop this month.  Frankly, I’m surprised.  We have not had great fishing conditions in the Southeast.  August will be up from last August.  Every month this year has been up except February.  We had snow and ice storms that month this year.  The store was even closed a couple of days.  Before that, I think we only closed one other day due to weather, in the last 20 years.

I am looking forward to feeding the birds again. We can’t do that here until the bears hibernate.  If I put a bird feeder up right now and filled it with seed, it would be torn down in a day or so.  A bear destroyed an empty bird feeder this Spring.  I watched a bear stand and sniff a feeder that was over 6 feet from the ground one day this Spring, just a few feet from our house.  It was empty.  That bear decided not to tear the feeder down.  After that, I took them down.  Ours were mounted on 4 x 4 posts, buried deep in the ground. Those animals are smart. When they see a bird feeder, they go for it.

The acorn dropping season is fast approaching.  The roofs on our house, carport and boat house are metal.  Large oak trees are all around us.  We even have a deck built around a big oak tree.  When the nuts fall, we hear every one that hits a building or my truck.  After a while, we get used to it.

Fall in the Smoky Mountains is a wonderful time of the year.  The brown and brook trout are colored up for the spawn.  The fish and wildlife are active.  We have a lot of people here until the leaves drop.  Our tourism business shifts into high gear for a while during that time.  You would not believe how many motor homes and vehicles pulling travel trailers we see in the Fall.  More people are camping and outdoor activity is on the increase.  Fuel prices are low.  We are going to see hoards of campers this year.

I read an interesting article on the Daily Times website this morning.  You can read it by CLICKING HERE.  Hiking, and specifically hiking the Appalachian Trail participation has increased dramatically.  The through-hikers are putting a burden on the infrastructure, because there are so many hikers. 

Later this month, a movie based on the book, “A Walk in the Woods” will be released. The movie and book are based on a story about hiking the Appalachian Trail.  States, National Parks, National Forests and towns are wondering how they will handle the increased hiker traffic on the trail.  This movie is expected to create a lot of new hikers, now and for years to come.  It may be similar to the increase in fly fishing participation, created by the movie, “A River Runs Through It”.  This is going to be interesting.

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

Byron Begley
August 31, 2015

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