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

Welcome to the Fishing Report from the Great Smoky Mountians.  It is dark outside, I am at home and the temperature outside is 65 degrees.  It is going to be cooler over the next few days.  We’re all glad about that. 

Early this morning, some fairly heavy rain fell in the Little River watershed.  Flow right now is 195 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.86 feet on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 95 cfs.  The water temperature at 6:55 am is 70.2 degrees.

The flow we have now in Little River is perfect.  It is similar to what we see in the Spring.  Don’t be alarmed at the flow rate being higher than normal.  Normal this time of year is low.  We take beginner students on the river when the flow is below 2.5 feet.  Right now, the gauge reading is 1.86 feet.  This will be a good day to go fishing in the Smoky Mountains.

Some streams may be temporarily stained.  More rain could have fallen in other watersheds.  Maybe none fell in other watersheds.  The thunderstorms we are getting are scattered and isolated.  It’s hard to say what you will find up there.

Fishing is very good in the higher elevations.  The brook trout are beautiful, turning to their fall spawning colors.  Look at this post on our message board by CLICKING HERE.

You will notice this angler is using a Pink Weenie.  He does that often.  He also catches a lot of trout in small streams.  He’s a good fisherman. 

He is fishing a stream that is one of the tributaries to the West Prong of the Little Pigeon.  There are many of those streams up there and the water is cold.  David Knapp took the water temperature there last week.  Even with the heat wave that we are not enjoying down here, the water temperature was in the low 60’s high in the mountains.

If the long term weather forecast holds true, by next weekend we will have some great weather if you don’t mind rain.  Temperatures may be in the 70’s during the day and drop to the 50’s at night starting Friday.  That will turn the fishing in the lower elevation streams.  Fishing will be good everywhere. 

Rain chances persist most days.  This should turn out to be an excellent early Fall for those who fly fish in the Smoky Mountains.  We should have plenty of cool water to enjoy.

Bears are eating like there is no tomorrow.  They’ve got a lot to choose from.  Nuts are falling all around our house.  Bears are eating them almost as fast as they fall.  We had a good mast crop in the valley and probably in the higher elevations as well.  When Winter comes, we’re going to have some fat bears and probably plenty of cubs resting through the cold months.  Next Spring, there will be a lot of bears roaming around unless we have a severe Winter.

I’m not sure why, but the hemlock woolly adelgid has all but disappeared on our property.  We have some huge hemlock trees.  Some were infected with the exotic that would eventually wipe out the hemlocks.  That familiar white cotton looking critter is gone here.  Maybe it was the cold Winter we had.  Maybe the insect, released to feed on the adelgid worked.  Maybe they just left our property.  I’m glad to see them gone.  Our hemlocks have tons of cones this year, more than we’ve seen in years. 

The wild turkey population fared well this Spring.  I’ve never seen so many youngsters running around.  Two hens, who I know fairly well, had six poults each. I have never seen that before.  Maybe some were adopted.  Those two hens are usually together along with the 12 youngsters.  The young of the year turkeys are looking like adults now. They are slightly smaller than the hens.  Jack said he saw about 30 turkeys in front of our house when he pulled in one morning last week.

We have had a noticeable decline in the gray squirrel population at our house.  Paula saw a hawk grab one a couple of weeks ago.  The pair of bobcats who live here probably got some of them. Come to think of it, I’m seeing less rabbits too.  Earlier this year they were all over the place.  

We also had a family of red tailed hawks nesting behind our house this Spring.  This has been a great year for wildlife viewing.  We saw a bald eagle fly over the trees in front of the house about a month ago.

The leaves will be falling soon and we’ll be able to see the mountains again.  I’m looking forward to that.   

It’s Sunday.  We will be open.  It’s time for me to get ready for work.  I’ll be doing my weekly bookkeeping chores all day. 

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

Byron Begley
September 7, 2014

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