Townsend, Tennessee - Fly Fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, East Tennessee and Western North Carolina

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Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is dark because it is very early.  The temperature outside is 51 degrees.  I noticed the leaves have lost much of their color while Wayne and I were fishing yesterday.  But, tourists are still in the Smokies in large numbers.  Though the vivid colors are gone, the golden hue of the mountains is still beautiful.  The sun has been bright the past few days and it has been warm.  That will continue through tomorrow. 

Little River is flowing well below normal this morning.  One reason is, historical flows based on 48 years of data begin to climb higher this late in October.  Over the years, rain has begun falling now, later in the month.  This morning the flow is 63 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 87 cfs.  The water temperature at 7:00 am was 55.4 degrees.

Brown trout males are fighting for spawning rights in Little River.  Alex and Daniel who take care of the Blackberry Farm guests’ fly fishing needs saw an amazing display of that a few days ago.  They described it in detail to me yesterday.  They witnessed a viscous fight between two large males.  At one point, one of the trout grabbed the other in it’s jaws and shook the captured fish.  They were ramming and biting each other.  At one point, one of the fish turned belly up.  The guys thought it would die but it didn’t. 

I’ve seen brown trout chasing other trout away from spawning females.  But I’ve never witnessed such a show of brutal fighting.  It must have been an incredible.  One of those fish will win and fertilize the female’s eggs in her nest.  We’ll be seeing more of that activity over the next few days and weeks. Most people don’t realize it, unless they fish in the Smokies in the Fall.  There are large browns in these streams that stay hidden most of the year.  They range in sizes from 20” to 28” long.  It is this time of year that they are out during the day where they can be seen. 

Fishing for the normal trout population in the Smokies is getting harder due to the lower water.  You will find the rainbows, younger browns and brook trout trying to stay hidden.  They will be stationed near current, in the riffles and deep runs.  They will take dry flies and nymphs.  Try both.  The smaller shaded streams may be best today.  The sun will be bright and the temperature in the valley is expected to be close to 80 degrees today.  The weather tomorrow will be similar.  Fishing will be good.  The water temperature is perfect.  You need to stay hidden from the trout.  Get a good drift.  The fish are actively feeding. 

Get ready for some cooler temperatures.  Get ready for some rain.  Over the next few days, starting Sunday the low temperatures at night will dip into the low 30’s. We may see our first frost of the season Monday night.  High temperatures will be in the 40’s and 50’s.  Today and tomorrow will be very nice.  After that, things are going to change.

Wayne and I spent the day on the Little Tennessee River all day yesterday.  Fishing was very slow.  I talked to one angler who is a frequent visitor to the river.  He said the fishing has been very slow for a few weeks.  The water temperature was 59 degrees.  The smallmouth bass must have been deeper than Wayne and I were reaching with our flies.  We could see the bottom in 10 feet of water clearly. 

Today we are going to try something different.  We plan to fish below Chilhowee Dam in the old river bed. We’ll drive the boat upstream and drift back down using baitfish patterns.  Hopefully, we’ll find some rainbow trout and smallmouth bass.  It is going to be another perfect day, sunny and warm.  We’ll see what happens.

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

Byron Begley
October 25, 2012   


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