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 57 degrees this morning.  I like that.  The temperature may drop into the 40’s Monday.  This weekend will be beautiful with sunshine, highs in the low 80’s and lows in the high 50’s.  This is camping weather.  It’s fishing weather too.

Little River is flowing at 115 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.59 feet on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 71 cfs.  The water temperature at 6:41 am is 63.7 degrees. 

Cooler temperatures have lowered the water temps in the low to mid elevations.  What we have now is perfect for the trout.  It is perfect for fly fishing.  Also important to mountain anglers, flows are above normal. 

It has been very cool at night in the high elevations.  Allyson at Mount LeConte reported a low temperature of 44 degrees night before last.  It was probably colder than that last night. 

Fly fishing in the Smoky Mountains should be very good to excellent through the weekend.  The conditions are just right. 

We are seeing the onset of Fall.  It is happening right before our eyes.  Leaves are falling.  Acorns and walnuts are on the ground.  They are all large too.  Wildlife is preparing for Winter.  Antlered animals are anticipating the mating season.  Very soon, brown trout will be out in the open during the day.  The leaves will be showing their Fall colors in a couple of weeks.

Fishermen are more active.  We are seeing more every day.  Campgrounds will be full this weekend in the Park.  As of yesterday, there were only a few spots left at Elkmont. 

Simms Fall clothing is arriving at the shop.  I noticed that yesterday.  I guess Daniel decided to get into the clothing business. 

I’m looking forward to next Wednesday.  Frank and I will be spending the day, fly fishing Tellico Lake in our kayaks.  Frank wants to try our kayaks before he decides what to buy.  We will be fishing for smallmouth bass, largemouth bass and bluegill. 

I talked to the owner of Holly Flies yesterday.  They will be tying some bass and bluegill patterns for us.  Two will be Knuckleheads, black and chartreuse.  The third will be a weighted Wooly Bugger, tied on a Gamakatsu stinger bass hook. 

I looked at our fly tying companies catalogs a year ago.  None sold a Wooly Bugger tied that way.  I tied them for the shop and they sold well.  I can tell you for sure, they are excellent patterns for bass.  And of course, the Knucklhead works well for bass and big bluegill.  I even caught a trout on one a few weeks ago.

I’m sending Holly 6 flies I tied of each pattern with explicit instructions.  They will tie them and send me the samples.  Upon approval by me, they will be tied and stocked for sale.  The process takes about 14 weeks.  After that, we will need to give them 6 weeks notice when we need more.

When production tying a Knucklehead they will need a cutting guide like I have.  You can cut hundreds of bodies in a short period of time.  They will also use a paper cutter to make 3, 2” body pieces from a 6” piece of foam. Because the glue needs to set up for 90 seconds after the first piece of foam is tied in, the person tying this fly will need a second vise to start a new fly.  These people can’t wait 90 seconds and do nothing.

You can see how it is tied by CLICKING HERE

If this works out well, I’ll have them tie Yellow Knuckleheads.  For some reason, that is a great smallmouth bass color on our tailwaters. 

Holly ties two other special order flies for us.  They are the Sand Shrimp and the Copperhead.  The Sand Shrimp is my favorite saltwater fly for redfish and speckled trout.  The Copperhead is my second favorite saltwater fly for both species.  They are effective.  Paula and I spent a week, fishing in Florida in May.  She used a Sand Shrimp exclusively, all week.  I used that fly 90% of the time.  They caught the heck out of fish. 

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

Byron Begley
September 19, 2014

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