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

Welcome to the Fishing Report from Townsend, Tennessee in the Great Smoky Mountains.  At 6:49 am, the temperature is 56.8 degrees.  The chance for rain is increasing according to weather websites, to 80% tonight and tomorrow, then 40% to 60% Saturday.  High temperatures will be in the 70’s this weekend with lows in the low 60’s.

Little River is flowing very low, at 29 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.01 feet on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 81 cfs.  The water temperature is 65.3 degrees. 

Going by memory, which is a dangerous thing, I can’t remember Little River being this low all year.

Fishing in the Park has been fair.  Those who are catching trout are first, good at fishing low water and second, probably fishing the larger rivers.  Since the water temperatures have dropped, that is now possible.  Everything may change this weekend for fly fishermen, hopefully for the better.  All we need is rain.

Dan and Turby fished some streams on the Cumberland Plateau this week for smallmouth bass.  They did well.  I’m not surprised, they are both excellent anglers.  They had to be creative because the streams are very low there too.  Dan said he used poppers and Tequeely flies. 

Tailwater trout wade fishermen should look at the generation schedule today for Cherokee Dam and see if you can make it work for you. It looks like the generation schedules at this point, will not be angler friendly on the Clinch and Caney Fork rivers today, if you are wading.  There may be some opportunities today on the Cumberland River below Wolf Creek Dam in Kentucky. Some of the tailwaters in upper East Tennessee are pulsing today, so you may have reasonable flows there.  Check the TVA website and make that determination.

The lower tailwaters are fishing very well for smallmouth bass.  I’ve seen some incredible pictures lately and heard many stories recounted by anglers and guides.  I saw a photo of one 22” smallie this week.  It was measured by Josh.  One of his clients caught it.  Fly fishing for smallmouth bass is becoming increasing popular among fly fishermen, including me.

This predicted rain, though a welcome bit of news for fishermen, is coming at the wrong time for Townsend’s planned festivals this weekend.  They begin tomorrow.  One glimmer of hope I saw this morning, was a forecast indicating the rain Saturday will begin in the afternoon.  I hope it is late in the afternoon, if it actually occurs. 

Wildlife is foraging for food.  I’m seeing lots of animals, but not much to eat.  Acorns are tiny and almost absent in the woods around our house.  Wild turkey, deer, squirrels and bear are on the prowl, look for a meal. 

I was watering the vinca behind our house yesterday evening.  Paula was sitting on the lower front porch reading.  Two bears, a huge sow and a very large cub, walked by the house, just a few feet from her.  At that end of the house, the porch is 12 feet from the ground.  Those bear had to walk by, 30 to 40 feet from me, and I didn’t see them.  Paula walked to the back of the house to get me.

We watched as they ambled down our driveway, to the private gravel road.  Then, we could only get a glimpse of them occasionally, through the trees.  They fed on apples in the orchard.  They would have eaten our neighbor’s grapes.  He has an electric fence around them, to keep the bear and deer away.

A few minutes later, the bears walked back to our drive, then turned to another driveway that leads to the barn.  They were gone.  I think I saw these same two bears, a couple of months ago, up close, maybe 25 feet away.  I was in this room and they walked by the windows. I bet they will be back tonight to feed on those apples.  Last Fall, we didn’t see many bears at all around our house.  The forest was littered with huge acorns then.

Today is my day off this week.  We are not going fishing.  I need to work on the boat and kayak trailers.  I bought some new Bearing Buddies to be installed on both and I have a short in the wiring on the kayak trailer to find and repair.  We’re going fishing in Florida soon, and I need to get our saltwater flies and gear organized.

I hope you can fish somewhere today, wherever you live. 

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

Byron Begley
September 24, 2015 

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