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

Welcome to the Fly Fishing Report from the Great Smoky Mountains.  It is partly cloudy giving away to clear skies and 56 degrees this morning.  Traffic was very light when I drove to work.  I saw maybe 4 or 5 cars.  Fog is forming along the path of Little River through town.  It will burn off quickly. 

A thunderstorm blew through very early this morning.  It seems to have missed most of the Smoky Mountains on the Tennessee side.  We got ½ inch of rain here which is outside the Park.  The river is a little cloudy this morning, probably from runoff in town.

Little River’s flow is 465 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 381 cfs.  The rain hardly changed the flow since it was mostly local.  The water temperature was 58 degrees at 7:35 am.

It is going to be cooler for a while.  High temperatures this week will be in the 70’s and lows are predicted to be in the high 40’s to low 50’s.  Perfect.

We may get more rain today and tonight.   

Fishing is very good.  Rainbow, brown and brook trout are feeding well in the mountain streams.  Dry flies and nymphs are working well.  To cover your bases use a dark mayfly or caddis imitation in sizes #12 or #14.  March Browns are on the water in the lower elevations.  There are plenty of stoneflies on the water too. 

When conditions are like this, most patterns will work.  More importantly is stealth, presentation and drift.  If it looks like food the trout should take your fly if you don’t spook them or drag your fly.

Fishing for smallmouth bass in East Tennessee and Western North Carolina is picking up.  Now that the Tennessee streams have receded, fishing will be more angler friendly.  Unless these storms that came through yesterday and last night muddied the water, fishing should be good except in the lowest sections of the river that may not have cleared yet.

The Clinch River below Norris dam is not getting water through the generators this morning.  They are supposed to turn one on at 11:00 am.  Generation looks to be about the same at Cherokee Dam this morning, they will start generating at 11:00 am. The South Holston is off all day.  TVA will be generating all day at Apalachia Dam.  Please check with TVA yourself before going.  Schedules can change, it is early and I could have made a mistake.

The 7 major lakes here are getting warmer.  Jack and I talked extensively about smallmouth bass fishing on the lakes yesterday.  We both believe it is time and I’m planning to go fishing with Paula on Monday so we’ll see.  I’m hoping the smallies are near the banks in 2 or 3 feet of water.  We’ll be using streamers but may try some top water flies or poppers for kicks and grins. You never know.

The Park Service has all but called off the two non-related searchs for missing persons.  I guess you can only look so long.  One search went on for a week.  It appears these people don’t want to be found.  In both cases, these guys probably made the choice to get off the trails.  When that happens, there is not much the searchers, friends and families can do but wait.  Maybe they will decide to come back out if they can.

If you step off the trail and there is not a stream to guide you, there is a very good chance you will become disoriented, exhausted, dehydrated and hypothermic.  I wish these people and families well.  I hope everything turns out OK. 

Our store is stocked with new gear and now we are already re-stocking.  Spring came early this year and surprised us all.  Anglers had a great Winter.  Fishing in the Smokies was as good as it gets for January and February. 

We really bumped up our Reel Department this year with more models from Orvis, Ross and Waterworks Lamson.  I have two new favorites.  I bought an Orvis Hydros Large Arbor last year and love it.  It is light and solid.  They start at $210.  Now the Waterworks Lamson Guru has caught my eye.  They are machined like the Hydros and start at $198.  There is a special edition Black Guru that will be arriving soon.  We ordered a few and one is sold when they arrive.  I think I will buy the clear anodized version. 

This is going to be a nice weekend so get out and fish. 

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

Byron Begley
March 24, 2012

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