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 4:45 am, the temperature is a very warm 58.3 degrees.  Today and tomorrow will be unseasonably warm, in the mid 70’s.  Lows at night will be in the low 60’s.  This is incredible fly fishing weather.  I would love to go.

Little River is flowing at 159 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.68 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 122 cfs.  The water temperature this morning is 59 degrees.

When the water is in the high 50’s, trout are very active.  Water comes out of the ground, in two huge springs that feed a spring creek behind our house.  The temperature is almost always 58 degrees.  It varies a degree or two, on hot summer days or during the winter. My buddies and I camped and fished here when I lived in Nashville.  During the warm months, we would go down to the swimming hole and jump in.  Even in August, that quick plunge would take your breath.

Upstream is an old gristmill and upstream from that is a trout farm, that has been there for decades.  It is closed now. When I bought this property in the 80’s, I got to know Terry Johnson, who owned Tuckeleechee Trout Farm and Restaurant. I would buy adult trout, and run them across the road in coolers, to stock the fish in this section of the creek. I fed them in those days, using battery powered deer feeders. There were always small wild trout in the stream, but not much food for them. Thanks to the feeders and supplemental stocking, the trout grew to be as large as 22 inches.

Terry told me back then, the 58 degree water, allows him to grow trout all year.  He said, the temperature is perfect for rearing trout. The fish’s metabolism is in high gear.  They eat like crazy and grow fast. I now believe, 58 degrees is the perfect trout temperature.

This morning, the temperature in Little River is 59 degrees.

Perfect water temperature, above normal flows and cloudy days, mark this period of the year, as a great time to fly fish in Little River and other streams in the Park. Dry flies or nymphs will both work. 

I would enjoy fishing in the Smokies today or tomorrow.  Today is my day off this week.  I’ll be working, preparing for fly tyers weekend.  But, it’s there for you to enjoy.

Fishing has also been incredible on the tailwaters.  All year long, I’ve seen photos of trout caught in the Clinch River that are large, fat and healthy.  A friend of mine called yesterday and told me the generation schedule on the Clinch over the next few days is going to be angler friendly. I’m not sure how he knew.  I think he knows someone at TVA.  Sure enough, I just checked the TVA website.  On today’s schedule there are only two periods of generation mentioned, for one hour each with the later occurring tonight after dark.

Check the schedule yourself before going.

Due to the Spring like conditions, fishing is good everywhere in our area.  Pick a lake, lowland river or mountains stream.  Now is the time for excellent late Fall fly fishing.

I was looking at news websites, like I do early every morning, for stories you might find interesting.  Boy, did I find one.  It is about a friend of ours and mine at the shop, Jessica Callihan.  The story is on the Daily Times website.  You can read it by CLICKING HERE.

Jessica met her husband Josh while both were serving in the United States Navy.  She was severely injured in an accident involving a helicopter.  Later, Josh was injured in a similar accident.  I know Jess has been through several spine surgeries.  I’ve seen her in all phases of recovery. They were both forced to retire from the military due to their injuries, at a very young age. They are both such nice people, all of us at the shop were drawn to them.

Somehow, they found fly fishing.  They found Project Healing Waters.  During one of her recoveries, she took up painting. She painted trout and fly fishing scenes. She showed me her projects, usually on her iPhone.  I was amazed. She went on to attend Maryville College working toward a degree in fine art.  I think she graduated or is about to graduate.  Jessica and Josh, are two people I’m fortunate enough to know, whose lives were changed, in a very positive way, by fly fishing.

You can visit her website by CLICKING HERE.  You all really need to read the article and visit her website. You will be inspired.

I spent 13 hours yesterday, working in my man cave. Other than writing yesterday’s fishing report, that time as all spent on Fly Tyers Weekend.  It was tough.  I would look out the large windows behind this desk, and watch wild turkeys and other wildlife walk by.  I wanted to be outside.  I made name tags, table tents, signs, talked on the phone to I don’t know how many people, and the time got away from me. 

I found one bad mistake I made on the Fly Tyers Weekend web pages.  I left my friend Mike Bone off.  How could that happen?  I guess there are just too man details involved in all of this.  I probably made more mistakes to be found later.

Mike is an old friend of mine and one of the first fly fishing guides in this area to float anglers down rivers. I think I’ve known him 25 years or longer. Being with Mike or fishing with him is always a treat.  It would be hard to find a nicer person or a man who is always that happy.  That is not where it ends.  Mike is a seasoned professional guide, one of the best.  You will find him working every day, when the weather cooperates, floating clients down the Clinch or Holston Rivers. You can learn more about Mike by CLICKING HERE

I learned something new this morning.  Mike has an eBook titled, Fly Fishing the Clinch River, published by Stonefly Press. I’m probably the last to know.  Lately, I’ve been exchanging e-mail with Robert Clouse, the Publisher of Stonefly Press.  I wish he had mentioned this book.  Now that I’ve got an iPhone, I’m going to order one when I figure out how.  You can order yours by CLICKING HERE. They cost $4.99. Most of you probably know how.

Mike Bone will be tying at Fly Tyers Weekend all day Sunday.  We have a total of 46 fly tyers lined up for free demonstrations this weekend, both Saturday and Sunday, 9-5, at Tremont Loge and Resort in Townsend.  All you have to do is show up. 

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

Byron Begley
November 5, 2015

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