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 sunny and 59 degrees in Townsend this morning.  The windows are open at our house, even during the day.  No air conditioning!  Instead of hearing the rumble of forced air, compressor motors and fans, we are hearing birds, frogs, insects, turkeys and crows.  Now that is a good thing! 

We live in a remote area.  We hardly ever hear cars at our house.  We do hear tractors occasionally.  We’ve been talking about moving to town at some point.  I would like a smaller house on less land.  But, sitting there last night listening to the forest sounds uninterrupted by human mechanical noise, made us realize how lucky we are to be out there.  We started talking about remodeling our house.  I built it over 20 years ago before we married.  It’s about time for some upgrades and replacements.

Little River is still in good shape despite the fact that we have not had rain in a few days.  Flow is 120 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.7 feet on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 71 cfs.  The water temperature at 7:55 am is 62.8 degrees.  Awesome.

Fishing was very good this weekend in the Smokies.  We heard very few complaints from anglers.  I’m sure some trout had a few complaints.  Four young men who had been camping at Elkmont came up to my office yesterday.  They were on their way home in Nashville.  One of the guys sent me an e-mail last week asking for advice.  I told them to fish around Elkmont and venture upstream.  They did and reported the fishing was great.  Their top producing fly was the Yellow Neversink Caddis.  What a great dry fly.

We buy hundreds of Neversink Caddis each year from Holly Flies in Mount Holly Springs, Pennsylvania. I say “hundreds”, it is more accurate to say “thousands”.  Sometimes we sell “hundreds” in a week or so.  Why?  Because they work in the Smokies.  The trout think they are yellow stoneflies.  Anglers can see the fly on the water.  The foam body floats well.  We know your chances for catching trout will be good when you use the Neversink from mid Spring through the Fall. 

Though the water is much higher than normal, it is still on the low side.  “Dress for success” in camo or muted colors so you can stay hidden from the trout.  Make short casts in choppy water and make sure your fly is moving at the same rate of speed that the current is moving.  Keep as much fly line off the water as you can.  You might want to use 6X tippet today depending on where you are fishing.  5X may be OK.  I would start with 5X.

Josh is reporting some great smallmouth bass fishing in the tailwaters.  The bass are taking poppers and other topwater flies.  Tom came by yesterday and said he has been catching some nice smallies on poppers in the lakes.  He said he is catching big bluegill on poppers too.  I don’t fish the lakes he fishes.  I never have.  We have so many lakes around here, we fish those close to home.  Maybe it is time to venture out to Cherokee or Douglas.  I’ve never been on either one.  Maybe it’s time to start using poppers again.  Wednesday will be popper day for me.

Cool weather remains and the chance for rain returns this week.  We all love that.  It is going to be comfortable and quiet.

Lets face it, Fall has pretty much arrived.  It could be snowing in 6 weeks.  That has happened before in October. 

Paula and I planned a short backpacking/fishing trip to campsite 18 on the West Prong of Little River a few years ago.  It was Halloween.  It snowed the night before our trip.  It was still snowing when we hiked in.  It was one of those sticky snow events.  The roads in the Park were fine.  I remember walking through the woods and having snow drop down my neck into my jacket.  Once we got there, pitched the tent and built a fire, everything was great.  Fishing was great too.  I’ll never forget that trip.  Camping in the snow is a lot of fun.

We have a mountain view from our house.  Often, it snows in the mountains but only rains where we live in the valley.  When the sun comes up the next morning, the mountains are white.  It can be a welcome surprise.  I like snow much better when I don’t have to drive in it.  I do like looking at it.  It won’t be long.

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

Byron Begley
September 16, 2013

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