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 very foggy and 56 degrees this morning.  Colors have popped on the trees.  Some trees have already shed many of their leaves.  It is Fall in the Smoky Mountains, for many, their favorite season.

Little River is in great shape with the flow this morning at 131 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.65 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 76 cfs.  The water temperature is a perfect 59 degrees. 

Fly fishing for trout is very good right now.  All the conditions are excellent.  You could not ask for better fly fishing in the Fall.  Usually, our water is very low right now.  Not only do we have higher than normal flows, more rain is expected over the next few days. 

The high temperature today should be near 80.  Then, it will cool off some for several days. 

If you go today, nymphs might be your best fly choice.  The water is dropping for now so you may have some good dry fly fishing too.  Try both, top and bottom.  I think I would start with nymphs.

I would imagine, though I don’t know for sure, smallmouth bass fishing in the lowland rivers will be much better now that we have more flow and lower water temperatures.  Lower Little River and Little Pigeon River are two excellent choices for smallies.  Lower Abrams Creek is another. 

The lakes are cooling though many are being lowered by TVA to increase water storage capacity.  We should be seeing more rain over the next few months.  We’re probably going to get plenty over the next few days.

We have a 30% chance today, 50% tomorrow, 60% Saturday and 50% Sunday.  I would say, we’ll get some rain with odds like those.  We all hope we don’t get too much.  The longer term forecast indicates we have the potential for heavy rain Tuesday.  The weather service is already warning us about that. 

You would think, after being a fisherman for almost 60 years, I would be used to the fact that weather affects our sport.  The fly fishing business is the same.  After 20 years in the business, you would think I am used to it.  You can tell, by reading this report, I’m tuned in to the weather.  My life revolves around rain, temperature and occasionally, snow.

I used to lament the fact that this business is so weather dependent, but lately, due to the remodeling going on at our house, I don’t feel so bad.  The construction business has it worse. 

When the weather is not good, we don’t send our staff home.  Sometime we sit around doing nothing because business is slow due to the weather.  In the construction business, when the projects are outdoors, those people sit and home and most don’t get a paycheck. 

I always have plenty to do, rain or shine.  I can work from anywhere since about everything I do can be done on the internet.  Those people who build things outdoors, are completely at the whim of Mother Nature. 

I was off yesterday.  I stayed up late the night before listening to old Pink Floyd recordings.  I expected to be cleaning up the woodworking shop, kind of a lazy, laid back day yesterday.

One of my handful of best friends, Jack, who is also our contractor, showed up early yesterday morning.  He is trying to get ready for a framing crew to build a carport at our house.  The carport will be supported by four 8” x 8” pressure treated posts.  Each one has to be buried in a hole that is 24” x 24” square and 28” deep.  Jack and I dug two of those holes yesterday in hard wet clay.  We had to break up some rocks we found too. 

We dug the holes then mixed two wheelbarrows full of concrete for a layer that we added to the bottom of each hole.  Jack dug two holes this week before yesterday so now we have four.  We finished at 3 pm.  I am exhausted.   

A truck-load of trusses for the carport arrived yesterday morning, 6 days early.  We found a place to put them, which is not easy at our house.  We live in the forest, not in a field.  The framers are supposed to start Monday.  I’m looking at the weather and doubting if that will happen. 

From now on, when I start complaining to myself about the weather and how it changes my day or week, I’ll think of Jack and his people.

Jack, being a fly fisherman who is known for catching large brown trout can’t keep his mind off what is coming soon, the brown trout spawn.  He has caught many browns, in Little River ranging in lengths between 24” and 30”.  He will start looking for them now.  He thinks they will be out in the open in the Park any day.  Then, after they have spawned, he’ll go back and catch them.  His two favorite fish are brown trout and permit.

Jack is the best fly fisherman I know.  We’ve fished together for many different species all over the country.  He is deadly.  Thankfully, he releases the fish or there would not be many big brown trout in Little River.  They are very hard to catch.  Most people can’t do it.  He can.  He has the skill and patience.

So, when the rain sets in and he can’t work at our house, I know where he will be.  He’ll be up there in the mountains looking around and planning for November and December. I bet he’s up there right now.

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

Byron Begley
October 9, 2014 

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