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 5:31 am, the temperature is a chilly 42.1 degrees.  Today will be mostly cloudy with a high temperature of 65 degrees. We have a chance for rain tonight with a low of 55 degrees. There is a 60% chance for rain tomorrow.  Monday will be warmer, with rain that may total ½”.

Little River is flowing at 109 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.48 feet on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 85 cfs.  The water temperature is 52.7 degrees.

Fishing will be good today and tomorrow.  The water is cool this morning.  Fishing will be best later today.  After a warm night tonight, water temps will be good tomorrow.  It will be cloudy both days, which is a benefit to anglers.  Dry flies or nymphs should both work well. 

Leaves are falling and you will have your share of hookups at times. Main roads in and out of the Park will have heavy traffic.  The Fall colors are still vivid in the lower elevations.  This is going to be a nice weekend in the Park with comfortable temperatures.

Check the TVA website for generation schedules on the Clinch and Holston rivers.  You may have an opportunity for wade fishing on both at times.  See if their schedule works with yours.

TVA is dropping the levels in many lakes, mostly those that do not handle barge traffic.  It looks like, at first glance, they are being lowered about like they were last year at this time.

The extended weather forecast for next weekend, Fly Tyers Weekend, calls for warm temperatures and a 50% to 60% chance for rain.  Thankfully there is no snow in the forecast.  If it rains Saturday night, we will move the IF4 Fly Fishing Film Festival indoors.  Marvin Cash will make that call probably on Friday.

The big event is coming soon.  Fly tying demonstrations both days are FREE.  We have 48 fly tyers lined up to demonstrate in shifts throughout the weekend. It will be held at Tremont Lodge and Resort in Townsend.  You can learn more by CLICKING HERE.

This is an exciting time of year in the fly fishing industry.  Many new 2016 products are available for sale now. Others will come to the market early next year.  That is the way our business works.  We see the prototypes or samples during the Summer, and we order for the next year.  And, like I said, some products are at market, by the holidays, before the new year begins.

Fishpond is a perfect example of this.  They want their products on the store shelves during the holidays. All of their 2016 merchandise was promised to us by November 1st, tomorrow.  Some shipments have arrived.  I updated our online store with everything, which is a big job.  You can see that by CLICKING HERE.

Another project I’m working on now, is updating our Fishpond Website, called  I hope to have that complete and on the web next week or the week after Fly Tyers Weekend.  I am totally re-designing the site, including breaking up categories into smaller categories, and creating a new menu for the pages.

Writing the text is a time consuming job.  In the web business, you have to have your own text, unique to any in the world, to be indexed high by the search engines.  So, I have to write for both websites, using completely unique descriptions of the merchandise we are selling.  It is the writing that takes time.  The rest of the work goes quickly.  I think Fishpond has about 70 different items, going by memory this morning.

Our store, and especially mail order, will be busy the next two months.  January and February slow down.  What we do during those months is, beef up the fly tying department and offer fly tying classes and free Saturday fly tying demonstrations. 

Then we wait for Spring fishing in the Smokies.  We wait for and talk about those first hatches, Quill Gordons, Blue Quills, Blue Wing Olives and other early aquatic insects. The early spring fly patterns have been delivered to our store by mid-February to wait for their day. 

Sometimes that happens in late February.  Everything is driven by water temperature.  If we have water temperatures in the low 50’s for a few days, it starts.  You find out by reading this report, and you come to Townsend to fly fish for wild trout.

A long Winter can push that start date to late March.  So, we never know what to expect.  Late February can be the beginning, and it has, but it usually happens in March. When the Spring hatches begin here, states to our north are usually experiencing Winter.  So, the Southern Appalachians are a destination for anglers from the north, who know their fishing will begin much later.

Anglers are also waiting for the smallmouth bass to become active in the lowland rivers, tailwaters and lakes. 

Tailwater trout anglers can do well during the Winter months.  The water temperatures are typically warmer than what you find in the freestone streams in the Smokies.

TWRA usually stocks large rainbow trout in Little River, in November and December.  Sometimes, these trout are brood fish, much larger than those stocked during the peak stocking season in the Spring.  Even when the water is cold, and the trout’s metabolism is slowed down, the stock trout seem to be more active.  They can be caught here in January.  We don’t know for sure why.  Maybe stocked trout strains are not as affected by cold temperatures like the wild trout in the mountains.  Or, maybe they are dumped into a stream that does not have enough food to go around.  So, when they see something that looks edible, they eat.  It’s a mystery to me but they do seem to feed better than the wild trout, when the water is cold.

I hope you can find time to fish this weekend.  Winter will be here before we know it.

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

Byron Begley
October 31, 2015

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