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 in Townsend, Tennessee.  At 6:35 am, the temperature is 67.6 degrees.  Today’s high temperature should reach 80 or slightly above.  Then, the cold front arrives.  Highs for the next few days will be in the 70’s.  Lows will dip into the 40’s to 50’s.  Rain is likely tonight and tomorrow. Then, it will be dry through Tuesday.

I can’t imagine how this cool weather is going to feel.  Maybe Fall temperatures are here.  Maybe not.  We’ve been fooled before.  The long term forecast indicates the cool nights are here to stay through September 25th.

Little River is flowing at 76 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.32 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 85 cfs.  The water temperature below the confluence of the three prongs is 69.1 degrees.  

Fly fishing in the Smokies and in the lowland rivers will improve.  The water temperature will drop.  The low elevations streams will be cooler.  You will be able to fish the larger rivers again.  If that is not good news, I don’t know what is.

Fishing this Summer never really got bad, if you were willing to fish the higher elevations.  Despite low water, fishermen adapted.  More fishermen have learned.

You may have some wade fishing opportunities on the Holston River this morning.  Check the TVA website and determine if you can work with their generation schedule.

Fall is often a great time to float lowland rivers in canoes and kayaks.  I’ve been thinking about that often lately.  In fact, Paula and I are planning to clean up our canoe, which has been stored in the barn, and put her back into service.  We have fishing kayaks.  I just miss that canoe.

I bought that Royalex canoe about 35 years ago.  I used it when I lived in Nashville.  Since I moved here 24 years ago, it has not spent much time wet. Paula and I floated Little River occasionally.  That boat spent most of it’s life on the Harpeth and Duck Rivers in Middle Tennessee.  I used it often in the Caney Fork, which is a great trout tailwater.

We used to float and fish a spot on the Harpeth River called the Narrows. There, the river makes a huge 5 mile loop, then comes right back to within a few hundred feet from where we launched.  We would drop the canoes off at the put in, drive to the take out, then walk back to the put in.  That takes just a few minutes. 

The put-in and take out are considered a State Park, and a Ranger was usually on-duty.  Some friends and I were launching one day, and the Ranger drove up.  We talked and he checked our fishing licenses.  I didn’t have mine.  I can’t remember why.  We agreed I would leave my rod in the truck and just paddle that day.  The Ranger drove off.

Now, I could have easily just stuck my rod in the canoe and he would not have known.  I did the right thing, and put the rod in the truck, then drove to the take out.  There, the Ranger pulled up again.  He told me I could take my rod down the river and use it that day, without the license. I thanked him and took my rod out of the truck.  He offered me a ride to the put in. As we drove to the put in and we talked.  He was a very nice guy. I thanked him again and we floated and fished all day.

This was an honesty test.  If my rod had not been in the truck, I would have failed. If I had disobeyed his order, I guess he would have given me a ticket.  We sort of became friends.  I saw him many times after that.  He always remembered me.  I did the right thing and he was probably surprised.  Maybe he thought I would be honest.  I didn’t give the thought of putting my rod in the canoe and not in the truck that day. 

The Cumberland Plateau and Middle Tennesse have some wonderful rivers to float. 

You may have noticed, I added some new links below to lowland river gauges.  One is the gauge on Little River in Maryville.  Another is the Big South Fork. I plan to add more, mostly on the Plateau and in Middle Tennessee.

Data indicates that many of you live in Tennessee.  I can even determine the towns where our readers live.  A large number of you live in Nashville or nearby in Middle Tennessee.  Of all the towns, where readers live, Knoxville has the highest number.  Nashville is #2. 

So, I’m going to try to include you more often in this report.  I may need some help. I’m not there.  I don’t know what is happening there, unless someone tells me.  But I’m very familiar with the rivers where I fly fished in Middle Tennessee for many years.  I almost always fly fished for smallmouth bass, except for the Elk River and the Caney Fork, where we fished for trout.

I looked at the States where our website visitors live, over the past 30 days.  There were 50 states listed in the report.  People who live in 50 states visited our website during that period.  Some of you live in Europe and Australia, as well as other countries around the globe.  I’m going by memory right now but I think, about 1/3 of you live in Tennessee.

I appreciate all of you very much, no matter where you live.  You are all certainly interested in fly fishing, and probably interested in the Smoky Mountains.  Your support, by reading this report, keeps me going every day.

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

Byron Begley
September 11, 2015

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