Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is foggy in Townsend this morning and 47 degrees.  There was more traffic than usual for a Wednesday in April at 8:30 am.  Maybe the reason for that is, cars were moving slow and it just seemed like more traffic.  We have seen plenty of anglers from other states.  It is still like winter in the north or it was.  Our early Spring has drawn them here. 

Little River looks just dandy.  What a beautiful place to start your workday.  I noticed while standing on the bank taking the temperature this morning that the level was up from yesterday.  We did not have enough rain here to call it measurable.  But somewhere upstream there must have been some.  The flow rose during the day a little then peaked last night.  Right now the flow is 521 cubic feet per second.  Normal for this date is 291 cfs.  The water temperature was 51 degrees at 8:30 am.

Some anglers reported slow fishing yesterday and the day before.  Sometimes when a cold front moves in the trout stop feeding temporarily.  Maybe that is what happened.  Sometimes angler tend to stick with the tactic they like best.  I can be that way.  I know a lot of people who will use dry flies only.  It’s the way they like to fish.  If the fishing is slow, it is slow.  There is nothing wrong with that at all.  After all, catching a lot of fish does not necessarily make for a great day.

I did hear complaints about the high water.  You need to be more careful when the water is high like it is.  Also, you will find yourself climbing out of the creek more often to avoid deep or swift water.  That makes you more tired and that is what most people really complain about.  Me too!  But, I’ll take high water over low water anytime.   

I would start today with nymphs.  You will increase your odds by using two.  I like using one.  Try a Bead Head Pheasant Tail, Tellico Nymph, Copper John or Prince.  Make the higher water your friend, not your enemy.  Or, try some dries.  Tie on a Parachute Adams or Stimulator.  Try a Elk Hair Caddis.  There are lots of bugs on the water now.  Anything might work if it looks like local cuisine.  It will be sunny today and tomorrow so terrestrial activity could be high and a bee or ant pattern might work. 

I’m wondering what’s happening on the lakes.  My guess is the fishing is probably slow.  It was for me last week.  They say the first full moon in May triggers the shellcracker spawn.  We checked some spawning areas last week and there were no beds yet.  The first full moon in May falls around the 16th, the day after Troutfest.  Paula and I are going to fish for a full week after Troutfest on Dale Hollow Lake.  I know some spots there where shellcrackers will be spawning.  The smallmouth bass spawn will probably be over by then on Dale Hollow.  That will be prime time fishing, I hope.  On top of that, the periodical cicadas will be active.  Doesn’t that paint a pretty picture?

It looks like we’ll get some more rain this weekend and the temperatures will be cooler than they have been.

I just talked to Brent Golden who owns Hart Graphics in Knoxville. He just got back from the Bahamas fishing for bonefish, cuda and shark.  He is an avid fly fisherman.  His company just finished printing the Troutfest Journal.  This magazine is going to be awesome, I’ve seen the proofs.  The magazine is the brainchild/ball and chain of Neil Smith.  Neil put a lot of time in this collectable masterpiece.  We will be selling them at Troutfest for $5 each.  We are hoping to make about $10,000 profit on this venture.  You will be able to buy them at our shop this afternoon.  We will buy them for $5 then sell them to you for $5.  We don’t make a profit, it all goes to Troutfest.  I think Neil has the same arrangement at Orvis Sevierville, Smoky Mountain Angler in Gatlinburg and the NOC Outpost in Gatlinburg. We are also selling full color Troutfest car stickers and Troutfest Posters.  Everything is printed by Hart Graphics at their cost.

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

Byron Begley
April 13, 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