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

Welcome to the Fly Fishing Report.  It is sunny and 47 degrees in Townsend this morning.  The trees, shrubbery, wildflowers and grass are a deep green in the valley.  The foliage is a gray green in the higher elevations of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  I was at 3,000 feet elevation for a meeting yesterday.  The trees there had sprouted leaves.  I was there two weeks ago and there was very little new growth.

The rivers in the Smokies are dropping back to normal flows or closer than they have been.  Little River is flowing at 416 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 325 cfs.  The water temperature at 8:15 was 51.8 degrees.  The high water temperature yesterday was 56 degrees. 

Fishing in the mountains should be fairly good in the mornings and much better in the afternoons.  It is going to be breezy today and 71 degrees in the valley.  We may see frost in the valley tomorrow and Wednesday.  The low temperatures will be in the 20’s high in the mountains.  The water temps will drop and the fishing will slow down for a couple of days.  It will be warm and sunny this weekend.

Try nymphs in the mornings.  The fish will be sluggish then.  Dry flies might work well in the afternoons, especially by the weekend.  For patterns I would use any Yellow Sally pattern including the yellow Neversink Caddis.  Parachute Adams and Elk Hair Caddis will work.  Small Yellow Stimulators would be a good choice.  The yellow stoneflies are on the water but not like you will see in a few weeks.  You never know.  Everything is early this year.

Smallmouth bass fishing is probably slow in the lowland rivers right now due to cold water temperatures.  You should be able to catch some bass of nymphs, crawfish and streamer patterns.  I think they will be hitting on top once we warm back up. 

I wish I had reliable real-time lake water temperatures.  If you know where to find that on the internet please let me know.  My experience last week was, the water stayed at around 71 degrees most of the day and the fish were hitting poppers.  They may retreat to deeper water during this cold snap.

During our business association meeting yesterday we discussed the completion of the Foothills Parkway.  Then today, the Daily Times had an article about the same subject.  Authorization by Congress to build this 71 mile scenic journey through the mountains occured in 1944.  It is still not completely finished.  I can see them working every day from my office window.  It appears this road with breathtaking views of our valley may open in 2016.  You can read a good history of this project on Wikipedia

Our goal is to turn this road into an asset, not a scenic bypass around our town.  We are discussing ways to do this.  I have been on the unfinished section which is closed.  I was escorted by Park Rangers.  The elevation of this road will come close to 3,000 feet above sea level with panoramic views of Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Tuckaleechee Cove, where we live and work.  I have seen these views.  They are spectacular.

They say Tuckaleechee means “Peaceful” in the Cherokee language.  We are known as the “Peaceful Side of the Smokies”. 

That we are and hopefully that’s how we will be. 

We have four distinct different accommodations to support visitors.  They are cabins, motels, lodges/bed & breakfasts and campgrounds.  Most of our accommodations are family owned and operated.  And each type of the properties appeal to a different visitor group. 

Our service to visitors is not limited to where they sleep.  People like to eat.  People do things, they shop, hike, swim, play golf, fish, tube, watch nature and photograph scenic views.  They learn about nature.  There is more to learn about nature here than anyplace in the world due to our diversity.  And, people like to learn about the Southern Appalachian culture, the Heritage of this land.

Marketing what we have is not easy.  Being in business here is not easy.  The more I see our business community come together and work as a team to provide service to our visitors, the better off we will be.  We are like one big store with departments and a park.  We are all dependent upon each other.  Our ultimate goal is to provide an excellent visitor experience.  We are working closely with the Park Service and other partners right now to that end.

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

Byron Begley
April 10, 2012

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