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 in East Tennessee.  What a place to be today.  What a nice morning.  My commute started outdoors listening to wild turkeys gobbling. Turkey hunting season opens Saturday in Tennessee.  I will be working.  One of my neighbors or a friend of his will be using my blind. The birds are plentiful this year.  Traffic was fairly heavy this morning.  I saw about 20 vehicles on the roads.  People got out early this morning.

The mountain views are crisp and clear.  Everything you can think of is blooming.  The valley and lower elevations in Great Smoky Mountains National Park are turning greener by the day.  The fish are active too.

Flow in Little River is 383 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 303 cfs.  The water temperature at the swinging bridge was 58 degrees at 7:50 am.  The water will warm during the day and probably at night for the next few days.  High temperatures in the valley will be around 80 degrees during the day and in the 50’s at night for the next several days.  We may see some rain tomorrow and tomorrow night.

Fishing in the Smokies is very good on the East Tennessee and Western North Carolina sides of the Park.  Stream levels are perfect.  Water temperatures are very good.  Fishing seems to be best in the afternoons. That is when dry flies are working best.  You might want to start with nymphs in the mornings.  For a dry fly I would pick a Parachute Adams, Thunderhead or March Brown.  Use something dark in sizes #12 through #14.  For nymphs, pick the usual patterns: Prince Nymph, Bead Head Pheasant Tail or Tellico Nymph.

As the water gets lower the brown trout will become more reclusive during the day.  If you spot one try a large nymph and maybe a small Girdle Bug.  But don’t expect your chances to be great at catching a trophy brown unless the rain raises the streams and colors the water.

The smallmouth bass should be biting good in the lowland rivers and lakes.  The water temperature is rising.  They are preparing to spawn.  But what I’m hearing from my friends is, they are not hot quite yet.  I’m too busy to go.  I’ll have to wait until Monday. 

The tailwaters are fishing well for trout.  I would expect the smallmouth bass fishing to be picking up there too.  Again, a friend of mine who is a smallmouth guide is saying, “Not yet”.  But that was a few days ago.  Things could have changed.

I’ve been working on the Wader Department at our Online Store.  I have a couple of Chota and Orvis items to add, then I’ll move to Simms.  When that is done, I have to write content for the category and the brand sub-categories.  If I can work uninterrupted this department could be finished by Monday.  If I get pulled away it might take an extra week. 

Daniel placed a Fishpond order last week and I had him order a Cloudburst Gear Bag just for me.  I’ve been wanting one of these since Donna bought Jack one for Christmas. I did not know until then that is bag has gunnel hooks to hold the bag on the side of your boat and off the floor. My spell checker hates the word gunnel.  You don’t see the red line that I do.  It prefers gunwale.  I still call it a gunnel. 

Jack says this bag is the best he has ever seen and I feel the same way about it.  If you fly fish from a boat or canoe, this bag is the ideal accessory.  When I get mine and fill it up, I’ll put the photos on our online store and we’ll sell them by the hundreds.  Well, maybe not that many. Maybe we’ll sell 20.  

I still want to buy tackle after all these years.  You would think I would be over it.  The problem is, the tackle manufactures keep coming out with better stuff.  For instance, I have a couple of older 7 weight fly rods.  Now I want one of the new generation light rods like a Temple Fork BVK, Sage One or Orvis Helios.  I will probably go for the BVK since it costs less and I’ll be casting with it out of a boat in 15 to 25 feet of water.  Dropping a Helios or One overboard would be heartbreaking .  Dropping a BVK into the lake would be bad but not as bad. 

I think I might try owning a Waterworks Lamson reel this year for the first time.  We have most of them in stock and I hardly walk by the reel department without touching one.  Again, I’ll probably opt for the less expensive model for the same reason I described above.  It will probably be a Guru. 

Other than the bag and the outfit I’ll just need leaders and tippet this year.  Actually I don’t need any of them (except the leaders and tippet).  I don’t spend much money.  My truck has 127,000 miles on it and it still runs great.  I drive 4,000 miles per year.  It should last 10 more years and I don’t use a lot of gas.  Our boat is not exactly “top of the line”.  It is more like “bottom of the line”. 

Since the Dow went over the 13000 mark, I’m feeling better about investing in the markets and the economy is slowly improving.  I guess I’m optimistic.  I hope more people in our Country become more optimistic.  That would really get the economy going again and more people would be employed.  That is what we need.

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

Byron Begley
March 29, 2012

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