Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is partly cloudy and warm in Townsend this morning.  There are people everywhere.  Cars and trucks are buzzing around and folks are walking through town.  At 67 degrees, it is comfortable and inviting outside.  Our parking lot looks different this morning.  The Little River Chapter of Trout Unlimited and Keep Blount Beautiful are conducting a river cleanup today.  It is called the “Great American Cleanup”.  Our parking lot is the check-in point for our area.  Tom and Joe have a table set up near our sign.  A large banner indicating the check-in location has been attached to our pole sign.  They look organized and ready to go.

A beginner fly fishing school is also beginning here.  Walter Babb and Rob Fightmaster will be teaching it.  I’m locked in my office.  I’ve been sick.  It started with a cold and got worse.  Now I’m on antibiotics and all kinds of stuff.  I guess you could say I’m in quarantine. 

Little River looked awesome this morning.  The water is higher than normal.  Actually the water is 5 inches higher than it was before our last rain event that began late Monday.  After that rainfall, the river rose four feet.  Runoff has been slow because the ground is saturated.  The river gauge is reading 2.76 feet or 521 cubic feet per second.  On Tuesday the gauge reading was over 6 ½ feet.  Median flow for this date is 336 cfs.

A most important condition I noticed this morning is, the water temperature is 58 degrees in town.  That is what I’ve always considered the threshold of perfect water temperature for trout.  The spring creek that runs through our property behind our house has a constant water temperature of around 58 degrees.  I used to feed the trout in the creek.  Over time those trout grew to upwards of 22 inches in a short period of time.  That’s because those trout live in a perfect environment, temperature-wise.  They feed and gain weight year round. 

The wild trout in that creek have always been small due to the lack of nutrients and available food.  After I started feeding and they grew, fishermen found this small stream full of huge trout and started cleaning them out.  I stopped the feeding, the trout size eventually went back to normal and the fishermen went away. 

Fishing is very good in the Park.  Most people will think the water is high, higher than they like to fish.  To me, it’s perfect.  You will need to be careful wading.  Just a few extra inches of depth makes a difference when you are wading.  But you will be rewarded with eager trout and plenty of insect activity.  There is a chance for rain today and tonight.  But, warm temperatures day and night will push the BTU’s up even in higher elevation streams.  We’ve go plenty of water and it’s at the right temperature. 

Trout will be feeding on dries and nymphs.  You will have to pick your spots and maybe need to get in and out of the water at times.  Smaller streams will be easier to wade.  You have plenty of choices for flies and techniques.  You can fish a weighted nymph without a strike indicator concentrating on any change or a detectible tick.  Keep you line and leader as tight as possible.  You could fish a weighted nymph with a strike indicator.  Vary the distance between the indicator and your fly depending on what the water depth is.  Or fish a dry fly.  Try a Parachute Adams, March Brown, Elk Hair Caddis or small Stimulator.  There are a variety of bugs on the water and I would not think the trout will be selective.  Get a good drift and don’t let the fish see you. Today and tomorrow you will learn to fish higher water.  Don’t fall in.  58 degrees is still cold and the current is swift.

Since I have lived here, coyotes have become abundant.  We have been awakened many nights by a pack of these animals howling right outside our house.  We live in a isolated area so wildlife have always been living around us.  Bears have made us live differently than most folks.  Bird feeders are out of the question where we live.  The bears will tear them down.  We can’t put garbage outside in cans.  Garbage stays in the house until we take it to the dumpster here at the shop.  Now we have coyotes to deal with.  I have had them follow me in the dark when we had dogs and I walked them at night.  I had a coyote charge one of our dogs.  I yelled and it was gone. 

One coyote in Cades Cove was euthanized this week.  Evidently this critter was getting too close to humans.  Like all wild animals they are always looking for an easy meal.  Something could have been wrong with this animal.  The are checking for rabies.  You can read the story on the KnoxNews website by CLICKING HERE.  I visit this website every day among others.  It is the website of the Knoxville News Sentinel.  They really keep track of what is going on in the Park.  This website is well done. 

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

Byron Begley
April 9, 2011


Ross Shaver is in charge of Parking at Troutfest. He just let me know they need volunteers for that purpose. Please contact Ross directly (CLICK HERE) and sign up. You will only need to work four hours during the weekend and you will get a free Volunteer T Shirt. Additionally, your hours will be counted as Park volunteer hours which can be leverage for cash to be used in fisheries projects. So, you are giving back to the Park. Thank you.

Respond to:

Volunteer for Troutfest


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

Respond to:

Home - Contact Us - About Us - Fishing Report - Online Catalog - Message Board - Sitemap