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

Welcome to the Fishing Report from the Great Smoky Mountains.  It is sunny and 35 degrees in Townsend this morning.  The weather websites are saying the temperature is 44 degrees.  They are wrong.  It’s 35 and we have frost on the west side of our roof at the shop.

We do have Spring-like weather coming back today.  The high should be around 74 degrees.  The heat will be turned up through the weekend with highs in the high 70’s to low 80’s in the valley.  There is no rain in the forecast this weekend.  It is going to be beautiful.  The dogwoods are blooming.  I noticed that yesterday.  The landscape here is turning green.  It is going to get greener, quickly.

Little River if flowing at 505 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.56 feet on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 346 cfs.  The water temperature is a chilly 48 degrees at 8:00 am.

Here is what to expect this weekend.  The water flows will be lower.  There will still be plenty of flow in the streams, maybe a little higher than normal.  But, the streams will certainly be fishable.  The water temperature is going to rise to the preferred trout range.  Fishing is going to be very good. 

You will see aquatic insects on the water and trout rising to them.  Dry fly fishing will be good at times and off at other times.  It’s always that way during the Spring and Summer.  There will be varied species of aquatic insects.  We are getting into the season when you can expect about anything, depending on where you are.  I would choose a dark mayfly, probably a Parachute Adams in sizes #12 through #16.  I would have some Elk Hair Caddis in my box.  You may be nymphs fishing some so have a typical selection of Pheasant Tail, Tellico, Prince and Hare’s Ear patterns. 

The trout are going to be feeding well this weekend.

Try to avoid sunny stretches of the streams.  We don’t have full foliage so the trees are not blocking much of the sun. Bright sun can be a friend or foe.  The sun will warm the water.  It also causes any fish to be careful.  They want to avoid detection.  They like shade.  If you are fishing sunny areas, you will probably do best with nymphs.  Or, fish the pockets behind boulders and rocks where the current is choppy.  Trout feel more secure in choppy water when the sun is on the water.

Fishing will be very good late in the day when the sun drops below the mountain ridges. The water should be warm in the mornings so fish then too, before the sun gets high.

You should not have any trouble catching trout this weekend on flies, dry or nymphs.

I think the lake fishing will pick up some. I’ve found the smallmouth bass suspended in deeper water close to rocky banks.  If the water temperature rises to around 60 degrees, they will move close to the banks.  Fish early and late.  Find shaded banks.

I would be on the lakes either early or late since this will be a sunny weekend.  In the evenings the water will be warmer.  As the sun sets, plankton will rise to the surface.  Shad will follow the plankton.  Sport fish will follow the shad.

Many of us think fishing is slow when the wind is out of the East.  I don’t see any Easterly wind predictions until next Thursday, April 17th.  Of course that could change and we could also all be wrong about the East Wind Effect.

I spent some time with Jerry Reed, one of the owners of the new Cades Cove Cellars winery yesterday.  We talked for about an hour about business, wine and fishing.  I learned a lot about the wine business.  He owns a vineyard too.  I bought a bottle of Chardonnay from them this week.  It was very good, I mean “really good”.

You should talk to winery owners about inventory turns.  I did.  I don’t think I want to be in the wine making business.  That bottle of chardonnay I bought had been in inventory for over a year, I think he said a year and a half.  In that business, you make it, bottle it, then wait.  They have been making their wines at another winery while they built this one.

In the back wine-making area is all kinds of cool looking tanks and machines.  The fermenters are huge.  I think two of them hold 1,600 gallons each.  There were some others about half that size.  The automated bottle and capping machine looked complicated and expensive.

These families know all about growing grapes and making wines.  They will do well here.  I don’t think there is any doubt.  Cades Cove Cellars is family owned and operated. 

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

Byron Begley
April 10, 2014   

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