Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is raining and 63 degrees in Townsend this morning.  The Great Smoky Mountains are fogged in.  Leaves are turning a little and there are plenty on the ground.  Traffic is light in town.  There is not much going on right now.  Paula and I have been on vacation for a week and it is, as usual, good to be home.

Little River looks great.  The flow is above normal and the water temperature is getting cooler.  Currently the flow is 107 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 85 cfs.  The water temperature is 66 degrees in town, cooler than that in the mountains.  Fishing should be very good right now.  Though we have been out of town, I watched Daniel’s reports last week.  Anglers are catching trout and the fishing will only get better.  Use dry flies or nymphs.  They are both working well.  I would probably start with a foam beetle and a Green Weenie dropper or I would fish the weenie alone and deeper.

Wow!  Fall weather has arrived, finally.  We are going to see highs in the 70’s all week and lows in the 50’s even dipping to around 51 degrees tomorrow night.  The water temperatures in the Smokies streams will be right in the trout’s preferred range in many of the watersheds and elevations.  This is what we’ve been waiting for.

Most trout prefer their habitat to be between 56 and 62 degrees.  Brookies like it a little cooler down to 52 degrees.  These numbers will vary depending on who you are talking to but they are generally correct.

Water temperature plays an important part in our fishing success.  That’s why I take the water temperature in town every morning.  Though that reading is not what you will find in the higher elevations but it is a benchmark you can check out every day.  You can compare what you read here to your favorite stream and get a general idea what the conditions are like where you fish.  If you are fishing for smallmouth bass below Townsend, you can get a good idea what the fishing will be like downstream.  Smallmouth bass prefer temperature in the 68 to 72 degree range.  It should be perfect for smallmouth fishing right now in Little River.

Temperature is also important in lakes.  I know that for a fact after spending 6 days fishing on Dale Hollow.  Last week was unseasonably hot.  High temperatures were in the 90’s almost every day.  The lake temperature started the morning at 79 degrees then crept up to 82 or 83 degrees later in the mornings.  The temperature at 10 feet depth was around 80 degrees all week.  Of course, now that we are home the lake will be cooling down.  Knowing that smallmouth bass like the 68 to 72 degree range, we knew those bass were deep.  We were fishing with fly rods.

The first couple of days were tough until we learned to fish deeper.  I expected more largemouth bass and bluegill to be near the surface.  They are more tolerant to the warmer water than smallmouth bass.  But, all we caught on the banks were small fish, mostly bluegill and largemouth bass.  We started fishing early every morning.  We were usually on the boat at around 6:30 am. 

We had a few flies that were weighted with bead chain eyes.  As soon as we switched to them, we started catching fish.  We caught over 100 fish Saturday morning.  There were some nice bluegill and bass mixed in with smaller fish.  It was not what I would call excellent fishing but under the circumstances we did well.  We had a great time and really enjoyed Sunset Marina and Resort.  We rented a cabin and boat slip.  Our slip had a locker to put all our gear in which was really nice.  I highly recommend this place.  We will be going back.

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

Byron Begley
September 27, 2010 


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