Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report from Townsend, Tennessee.  It is cloudy, warm and we have had some rain, not much, since late last night.  Great Smoky Mountains National Park is in clear view right now from here.  Trees are displaying their Spring leaves, some in muted colors, other are bright green.  The flowering trees are in full bloom.  The bears have emerged from their dens as hibernation ends.  Bear sightings are occurring. 

Little River looked fine this morning.  The water level is still holding on.  The ground is saturated and though the river is dropping, it is happening very slowly.  The flow now is 723 cubic feet per second compared to median flow of 312 cfs.  The water temperature in town was 50 degrees at 8:35 am in town.

Bugs are hatching in the Smokies.  Mayflies such as quill gordons, blue quills and blue wing olives are on the water.  Trout are slurping them down.  There are caddis and stoneflies on the water too.  Anglers are having good days on the water.  The feeding activity will increase more over the next three days.  Air temperatures are expected to be in the 70’s starting Thursday.  That will warm the water and turn on the trout’s metabolism causing them to feed more frequently.  Fishing is going to get very good by the weekend.

There is a good chance for more rain today and tonight though I don’t see any heavy precipitation on the radar.  Maybe some storm cells will develop but I can’t imagine an event that would drive up the water levels very much.  If you are thinking about fishing here, this weekend should be a good one.  Expect the water levels to be higher than normal. 

A fly pick for me would be a Quill Gordon #10 for the dry and a dark colored wet fly as a dropper.  If the trout are feeding on smaller gray flies they are probably blue quills. Drop down to a smaller dry fly if that happens.  These fish are going to get hungry so almost anything could work.  It’s hard to beat a Parachute Adams.  Have #10, #12 and #14 flies in your box.

I know, some of the fly anglers who fish for smallmouth bass will be in the lower reaches of the rivers and on the lakes this weekend.  As the sun and warm air heats up the water these fish should become active.  I don’t know what the water temperature is on the rivers further down in the valleys.  I can only guess at this point they will be warmer this weekend and within the range that turns these bass on.

I’ve heard the tailwater rivers are experiencing a lot of high water due to extensive generation schedules.  I just looked at the dam release data.  The trend to generate continues today.  Maybe by the weekend they will turn them off for a while.  Or maybe they won’t, there is a lot of water to be released.  Freestone streams and free flowing river might be your best choice.

Paul and I plan to fish on one of the Little Tennessee River lakes on Friday.  I’m thinking the bass may move to on the rocky shores.  Rocks generate heat, warming the water around them.  Warmer water will attract baitfish and predators.  I think we’ll be tossing flies into those warm rocky banks.  I can be at Tellico Lake in 35 minutes. My plan is to drive over there after work on Wednesday and take the water temperature in several places.  Then we will decide where to fish on Friday.

So, get ready for the weekend.  There are going to be plenty of options around here.  There will be even more options if TVA turns off the water.

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

Byron Begley
March 15, 2011

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Our fly fishing classes will be offered from March to October 2011.   To sign up just call the shop at 877-448-3474.  You can read more on our website in the Schools Section.  The fly fishing class schedule follows:

Saturday March 26 – Beginner Day One
Saturday April 9 – Beginner Day One
Saturday April 30 – Beginner Day One
Sunday May 1 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday May 7 – Beginner Day One
Saturday May 21 – Beginner Day One
Sunday May 22 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday June 11 – Beginner Day One
Saturday June 25 – Beginner Day One
Sunday June 26 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday July 9 – Beginner Day One
Saturday July 23 – Beginner Day One
Sunday July 24 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday September 10 – Beginner Day One
Saturday September 24 – Beginner Day One
Sunday September 25 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday October 8 – Beginner Day One
Saturday October 22 – Beginner Day One
Sunday October 23 – Beginner Onstream Day Two

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