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 5:19 am, it is a warm and muggy 70 degrees.  We have a 100% chance for rain and thunderstorms today. Rain may be heavy at times. We have a good chance for more rain tomorrow, and possibly every day this week through Sunday.  It is going to be cooler this week with highs in the 60’s to 70’s and lows in the 40’s to 60’s.

Little River is flowing at 41 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.11 on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 89 cfs.  The water temperature is 68.4 degrees.

Fishing in the Smoky Mountains will be good this week unless we get too much rain and that is possible today in some or all watersheds.  We will have to wait and see what happens.  Later this week, rain is less likely and better fishing is more likely.

You should do well with dry flies or nymphs.  This seems like nymph conditions to me.  You may encounter stained water at times this week.  Actually, we hope so.  If you do, and the water is not too muddy, nymphs work well. 

Brown and brook trout are preparing to spawn.  Cloudy conditions can bring on an earlier spawn.  It will be cloudy most of the week.  It is not likely trout will be spawning this early, but it has happened.

It looks like Fall around here.  Leaves are falling and trees are turning.  Cool air is coming.  It’s going to be wet.  The days are getting short and the nights are long. Tourists are arriving in big numbers but nothing like we’ll see next week.  Motels, campgrounds, lodges and cabin rental companies are busy.  Restaurants are busy.  They will be busier over the next 3 weeks. 

Wildlife is active.  Photographers will be in pursuit.  Landscape photography peak is coming soon.  This is one of the most photographed places in the East, especially during the Fall.

Fly fishing for trout and smallmouth bass has been excellent in the tailwaters. I’ve talked to many customers who have been floating with guides.  They have shown me their photos.  I’ve seen a lot of 20”+ trout and one 22” smallmouth bass photos. 

Little River and most lowland rivers in our area are flowing very low.  I saw Little River, downstream from Townsend several times yesterday.  It didn’t look very floatable to me where I was.  In the very lower reaches, it may be floatable.  I didn’t see the river that far down yesterday.

Chilhowee Reservoir has been drawn down to a level of 23.5 feet below full pool as of this morning.  Within a few weeks, it will be lowered to 40+ feet below full pool to inspect the dam for leakage and possibly do some work on the dam.  This drawdown will essentially drain the whole lake, leaving only the river bed of the Little Tennessee River.  You can see some recent photographs on Jim Matheny’s WBIR Facebook Page by CLICKING HERE.  Chilhowee Reservoir is a 1,200 acre lake located not far from Townsend. The dam was completed and the lake created in 1957.  The lake was drawn down in 2008 for the same reason, though not to the extent it will be drawn down this time.

Jim is a reporter for WBIR Channel 10 Television in Knoxville.  I’ve done several stories with Jim.  He as a professional, in every sense of the word.  I can also say that about WBIR.  When they do a story, they take their time, get the facts straight and shoot a lot of footage.  When they edit, they seem to take out the parts that make me sound like an idiot.  I appreciate that. Maybe I didn’t sound like an idiot and editing was not necessary. I’m always second guessing myself when dealing with the media.  But, I always feel comfortable with WBIR. 

We are working on Fly Tyers Weekend.  It will be held November 7th and 8th.  If you are tying or planning to attend, please make your reservations at Tremont Lodge by calling 865-448-3200 as soon as possible.  We have rooms and suites set aside and eligible for a 15% discount if you are attending.  The fly tyers get a deeper discount. When the rooms are gone, they are gone. 

You can read more about Fly Tyers Weekend by CLICKING HERE.  I should finish those web pages today.  Marvin Cash and Anthony Hipps from the Southeastern Council of the International Federation of Fly Fishers have done a great job organizing this event.  They are great guys to work with.  Wilson and Wendy at Tremont Lodge and Resort are our gracious hosts.  Without them, this event would not be possible. If we don’t support them by renting rooms, future events may not be feasible.  All catering for Fly Tyers Weekend will be handled by Miss Lily’s, including the BBQ dinner Saturday night and food service during the fly tying demonstrations.

Dan Munger has a great lineup of classes offered at our school this Fall.  They include Beginner Fly Fishing Day 1 and 2, Free Fly Fishing 101 2-hour Ovis introductory classes and Beginner and Intermediate Fly Tying Classes.  You can view the schedule by CLICKING HERE.

We are all looking forward to Fall fly fishing too, in the Great Smoky Mountains, lowland rivers, tailwaters and lakes.  We have so much to choose from here.  That’s why I moved here. 

Have a great day and thank you for being here with us and also for supporting me by reading this fishing report.

Byron Begley
September 29, 2015

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