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 Mountains.  It is 68 degrees outside.  We got a little rain this morning early.

Little River is flowing at 103 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.53 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 86 cfs.  The water temperature at 6:31 am is 69.5 degrees.  The river rose slightly this morning after the rain fell.  The water level quickly peaked.

This will be a beautiful day.  The heat wave we’ve been through is about over.  By the weekend we should see high temperatures in the high 70’s and lows in the 50’s.  It looks like we’ll have rain Thursday.  If the streams don’t get blown out, this weekend will be perfect for fly fishing in the Smoky Mountains.

Fishing is good now and anglers are active again.  I would fish in the higher elevations until the weekend.  Then, you should find cooler water in the lower elevations and better fishing down here.

Fly patterns are not as important right now.  If it looks like food, the trout should eat it.  There are plenty of terrestrials in the forest.  Beetles and inchworms are plentiful.  Still, Neversink Caddis and Green or Pink Weenies are recommended.  It’s hard to beat those two flies during the warm months.

Leaves are falling in the forest.  Fall is around the corner.  I am ready for some cooler days and nights.  Most people in the South are.  If we keep getting rain, like we have been, we are going to have some great fishing around here.  If buying habits are any indication, fishermen lay off for a brief period during August and early September.  In late September and October, anglers get busy fishing again.  I can see that is happening now.

Our beginner fly fishing classes are going gangbusters this year.  We had a class this weekend.  We had 8 students Saturday, 4 men and 4 women.  The Sunday on-stream class had about the same gender mix.  There is no doubt in my mind that more women are taking up the sport of fly fishing.  The numbers, from research, offered by fishing organizations, reinforce my suspicion.  Young people are taking up the sport according to the same research.  We’re seeing it here and I’m glad.

We are also seeing a shift to more interest in warmwater fly fishing among our customer base.  That happened to me 5 years ago.  It’s happening to my close friends too.  It’s been that way in the States to our south that don’t have trout like we have here. 

One thing you will see at Fly Tyers Weekend in November, is a number of warmwater fishermen tying flies and talking about bass fishing.  Many of these fly tyers will come from States to our south. 

A large chunk of the warmwater fly fishermen I know here, still prefer rivers over lakes.  I had a conversation with a Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency officer this weekend.  He patrols one of the lakes Paula and I fish.  He told me he almost never sees anyone fly fishing on the lake.  He said he saw one boat recently, with one person spin fishing and the other was fly fishing.  He pulled up to talk to the guys.  One of them was Jack.  He was fishing with Joe.  They had caught 15 smallmouth bass and Jack said they worked hard to get those.  That’s a slow day for those two guys.

After today, I will have worked 7 days a week for two weeks.  I’m taking tomorrow off.  I planned to do nothing, just rest.  Well, things have changed.  Jack and the block masons are coming tomorrow to lay the foundation for the new boat house next to our home.  They were coming Thursday but it is supposed to rain.  Now, my plans have changed.  I’ll be handing them concrete blocks all day.  Jack is using 12” concrete blocks.  He says they are the heaviest and largest he could buy.  Maybe I should take off Friday instead.

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

Byron Begley
September 9, 2014

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