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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is foggy and 40 degrees in Townsend this morning. Traffic was fairly heavy on the streets when I came to work.  It was later than usual.  It is really nice out there.  The high temperature today should reach 55 degrees.  We’ll see highs for the next two days in the 60’s, almost 70 tomorrow.  Then rain will move in Wednesday and it will be colder.

Little River looks awesome.  Just the sight of her makes we want to go fishing.  Flow right now is 291 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 299 cfs.  The water temperature is rising and it will get even warmer.  Right now the temp is 42.8 degrees.

Well, fishing is going to get better over the next couple of days, at least in the freestone streams of East Tennessee.  Don’t expect too much good luck, just expect better.  In the Smokies I would start with nymphs and fish them deep.  You might switch to a dry later in the day or earlier if you encounter a Blue Wing Olive hatch.

You might also have some luck fishing for smallmouth bass in the lowland rivers.  The water is still too cold for much activity but by tomorrow or Tuesday we may see those temperatures rise near the smallmouth activity level which is 50 degrees.  We’ll have to see.  I’m not very good at guessing what water temperatures will do in these rivers.  But, we are starting at almost 43 degrees right now and we have two warm days in front of us.  I think the lowland rivers will hit 50 degrees or better. 

TVA is still pulling the reservoir levels.  The secondary and primary dams in the Tennessee River drainage are in generation mode.  It looks like our three closest tailwaters which offer wade fishing will be running water all day.  They are Norris, Cherokee and Douglas.  Watch those TVA generation schedules closely over the next few days.  We might get a break.  We sure need one.

If the water temperature hits 50 degrees I’m going to go fishing after work this week.  I need to go fishing in the worst way. 

I’m photographing flies and building fly pages in the Online Store.  Daniel and I are re-designing the whole fly department on the website.  There are several hundred pages in there.  I set up a new sub-category called Smallmouth Bass Flies.  You can see it by CLICKING HERE.  I am not going to put a fly into that sub-category unless I know for sure they are top rated flies, especially in our region.  I had the hardest time photographing the Murdich Minnow.  The bodies of those flies disappear when flash hits them.  I finally got something worth showing.

I looked for and found a weighted Black Wooly Bugger.  That is one of the most awesome smallmouth bass flies I’ve used in the early Spring.  It’s hard to find weighted Wooly Buggers from our wholesalers.  And, what makes it even harder is, I want that fly tied without any flash or a bead.  I just want solid black streamer with a few wraps of lead free wire wrapped around the hook shank.  I found one.  The price was on the high side.  I may buy and sell them as a loss leader or low margin fly with huge angler satisfaction potential.  The largest smallmouth bass I’ve caught so far in this 4 year phase I’m going through, weighed exactly 5 pounds.  I caught it on a solid black Wooly Bugger that was weighted and had absolutely no flash.   

I’m also planning a Tailwater Trout section.  I’ll need some expert advice on that one.  I don’t fish tailwaters enough to know what the best flies are.  I know plenty of people who do so I can get that job done right with some help. 

We’ve got some marginally better fishing conditions right now.  Take advantage of them if you can.

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

Byron Begley
January 28, 2013


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