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 5:58 am, the temperature is 64.9 degrees.  We have a 60% to 70% chance for rain every day through Saturday.  High temperatures will be in the 60’s and 70’s with lows in the 50’s through this period. 

.83 inches of rain fell during the past 24 hours in Townsend.  Little River is flowing at 162 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.69 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 83 cfs.  The water temperature is 66.7 degrees.

Flows are perfect for fishing, higher than normal, but normal is low.  You may find stained water is some streams today but I doubt it.  I was home all day yesterday and here, it never rained hard, just constantly.  Conditions could be different in other areas of the Park.

Fishing should be great in the Smoky Mountains this week unless heavy rain causes flooding.  I don’t see any indication of heavy rain in the forecast.  One weather website mentioned scattered thunderstorms today, so I guess heavy rain is possible. 

Good flows, lower water temperatures and cloudy days equal good fishing.  This is what we’ve been waiting for.

Brown and brook trout are preparing to spawn.  They are active.  The browns are out in the open during the day.  It is Fall folks!  Tomorrow is October.

I would fish with nymphs.  Nymphs have always worked well for me after we have rain and the streams rise.  Maybe the trout are used to seeing food washed down the streams, either terrestrial or aquatic insects.  My experience has been, the trout are usually looking down, not up, when the water has risen. I could be totally wrong. After all, these are fish we’re dealing with.  They are not that predictable. 

Looking at long range predictions, it appears, October, through the middle of the month, will be cool and wet.  October can be hot and dry.  That is probably not going to be the case this year.  This may be the perfect October for fishermen in the Great Smoky Mountains.  I like the way that sounds.

I worked 11 hours yesterday, on this website and marketing for Fly Tyers Weekend.  I’m really happy with one page in particular, that really describes the event well. It’s new.  You probably have not seen it.  You can read it by CLICKING HERE.

We are working now with our Tourism Authority, to provide more parking and shuttle service, if needed for Fly Tyers Weekend.  This is a contingency plan, in case we get more people attending than expected.  I’ve been involved, in many events over the past 20 years, including being Chairman of Troutfest for three years.  We have held a lot of special events at our store.  In every case, attendance has exceeded my expectations.  Maybe I’m a pessimist. I worry people won’t show up. They always do.

Tomorrow we will send out a newsletter, advertising Fly Tyers Weekend to thousands of people.  We’ll do it again in two weeks.  The Southeastern Council of the International Federation of Fly Fishing is doing the same thing. 

The Park is going to be packed with tourists over the next 3 weeks.  They will be here to view the Fall colors.  Rain may be a deterrent.  It looks like we are going to get rain.  But, most of these people made their plans long ago.  They had to.  If they didn’t, they could not find accommodations.  They will be here. 

Fly fishermen will be busy too. We love Fall.  It feels good outside and the fish are actively feeding.  Spring and Fall are our favorite seasons. 

Camping, in developed campgrounds and in the backcountry is on the increase.  All data shows an increase in camping participation.  According to the National Park Service, in 2014,  Great Smoky Mountains National Park ranked 5th in camping compared to other parks.  #1 is Yosemite, #2 is Yellowstone, Lake Meade ranked #3 and Grand Canyon #4.

I might add, we have some of the nicest developed campgrounds in Townsend and Walland that I’ve seen anywhere.  Most of the year, our town is not crowded.  So, you may be camping right in a small town, but it doesn’t feel like it.  Little River is one reason.  This scenic river flows right by all of our campgrounds.  Campers can fish for trout too.  That’s a plus.  We have the bicycle trail that runs 3 miles through town and to the National Park.

Townsend has all the conveniences you need close by when you camp here. You can walk or ride your bicycle to the grocery store.  In many cases, campers can walk into the National Park.  If you fly fish, like many campers do, the Park offers hundreds of miles of wild trout fishing. 

We see every kind of camper you can imagine driving through town most of the year.  At times, it is a long progression of campers.  We see $750,000 motor homes, to cars pulling utility trailers loaded with a tent, cots and coolers.  Backcountry backpackers are more discrete.  They may have everything they need in the trunk of a compact car.

A lot of people live in motor homes, year round.  If you prefer to own your own dirt, you can do that too, and camp.  I camped on this property here for years, before building a home. 

All of this makes me want to go camping.  

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

Byron Begley
September 30, 2015

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