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 Saturday morning, early, dark and 66 degrees in Townsend.  It just started raining, lightly.  There is more to come.

Little River is flowing at 112 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.58 feet on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 70 cfs.  The water temperature at 6:38 am is 62 degrees.

Fishing is very good in the Smoky Mountains.  Water levels are higher than normal but not what most fishermen consider high.  Typical flows this time of year are usually very low.  Not now.  The water temperature is perfect.  Trout activity is high.

Yesterday, customers recounted their day with mixed reports.  Some did well using dry flies, even early.  Others told us nymphs worked best.  I would have guessed nymphs would be the best choice.  One fisherman told me he did well with dries early, then the trout stopped feeding on top.  He switched to nymphs and fishing was good again.  David said he caught his largest Smokies rainbow of the year near Elkmont.   

It is going to be warm this weekend, very comfortable.  There is no doubt, it is going to rain today and tonight.  There is also a good chance for rain tomorrow. 

If we don’t get too much rain, fishing may be very good.  I think nymphs will produce best today.  I would use a Pheasant Tail or Hare’s Ear.  Those are two great patterns to use most any time in the mountains.  Green Weenies may still be working though the chance of seeing actual sourwood worms has diminished due to some cold days we had last week and even a light frost one morning.

There is terrestrial activity in the lower elevations.  I would not expect to see them in the high elevations.  We’ve had temperatures in the 20’s up there this Fall. 

The weather radar shows a band of rain extending from Texas and heading our way.  The National Weather Service forecast predicts thunderstorms are possible after 8 am.  I don’t see strong storms on the radar but there is a wide band of rain showers.  Thunderstorms may form soon.  The heavier rain looks like it will arrive at around 8, an hour from now.

If you plan to fish later today or tomorrow, keep an eye on the flow gauge.  I’ll be here all day and I will alert you here of any significant changes in the river conditions.

Some trees are showing fall colors.  Most are not, at least down in the valley and at elevations of 3,000 feet or less.  We have visitors in Townsend, here to enjoy the Fall. So far the visitors have been treated with comfortable weather except rain at times.  I noticed a lot of motor homes and travel trailers driving through town yesterday.  My guess is, the campgrounds are doing very well, including those in the Park.

A weekend with rain in the forecast can change that quickly.  What we apparently have now, are people who are visiting for an extended period of time.  They have planned Fall vacations.  A rainy weekend won’t run them off.  They will stay for the long haul.

Gas prices are dropping.  In Tennessee, a low fuel tax state, there have been reports of regular gas selling for under $3.00 per gallon.  Someone told me yesterday, the Townsend Shopping Center is selling regular at $2.999 per gallon. That’s great news, right?  If you drive a big motor home, it is excellent news.  Maybe it is good news to some, but not to others.  Most of us, you and me, own energy stocks.  They may be buried deep in your mutual funds but they are probably there.

Fuel prices drop for several reasons.  The refiners are probably sitting on a lot of inventory.  The US is producing plenty of oil, adding to that inventory.  On top of that, investors are worried about the economy in Europe and China.  From what I can tell, the stock markets are reacting to that same fear.

Since I don’t drive much, I usually buy a half of a tank for my truck monthly.  I think I may “fill her up” next time. Or, maybe I should wait for a further drop. 

Today I am going to work on adding flies to our new online store.  I have about 100 more to go.  The hard part is writing the content.  The photography is done for the flies.  The new store should launch by January 1.  All of our photography has to be re-shot due to the larger images required by the new software.  I met with two professional photographers yesterday who have a studio in Townsend.  They will help me if needed.

I hope you go fishing today and have a great time.  Take a rain jacket.  It is raining hard right now.  It just started.  This one should not last long.  Larger cells are headed our way.


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

Byron Begley
October 11, 2014

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