Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is sunny and warm in Townsend this morning.  Judging by the traffic, people have already showed up for the weekend.  It is beautiful here right now.  Everything seems to be blooming, or that’s what my allergies are telling me.  I saw a man putting his gear back in a station wagon at streamside when I stopped to take the water temperature.  I didn’t get to find out what the fishing was like for him.  The river looks great and the water temperature was 53 degrees at 8:20 am.

Flow is higher than normal at 425 cubic feet per second.  Median flow for this date is 284 cfs.  Fishing is excellent.  Daniel and Ethan both went fishing after work yesterday.  They both reported catching trout on dry flies.  Daniel saw some Yellow Sally Stoneflies.  He said he caught most of his trout on a Yellow Stimulator. 

Fishing today should be good unless this front moving in puts them down.  Sometimes it does.  We are going to see high winds tonight and thunderstorms.  We will have some rain tomorrow.  They say there is a 30% chance. 

I would fish dry flies today.  That seems to be working well.  I don’t think the pattern you use really matters.  The fish are hungry and the conditions are perfect.  You will find the water to be higher than normal and maybe higher than you like it.  Personally, I like it just the way it is.  It does make wading more difficult.  Now you have to walk around some places you could wade right through during low water conditions.

I have a cold, I’m taking antibiotics plus a lot of other stuff and as a result I could not go on the annual turkey hunting trip in Kentucky.  We go every year and some of my friends have been just that for over 50 years.  I hate not being there with them.  I stayed home yesterday and will probably go home after I finish this report. 

Between naps yesterday I worked on some new cicada patterns.  What I came up with is a revised Stealth Bomber.  The orange eyes are black mono eyes painted then covered with a coat of Clear Cure Goo.  They are attached by folding the foam back over to for the head.  The legs are orange rubber, marked with a Sharpie and tied in a knot to make them short and bent.  For the wings I used Krystal Flash.  After tying it in I stretched the material back and painted on some Clear Cure Goo.  I love this stuff.  Since it hit the market I have quit using epoxy.  It dries in seconds using a UV flashlight.

I’m getting ready for what is called the XIX 13 year periodical cicada emergence.  This is going to be a very important event for fish and fishermen this year.  Last year Jack and I started using a all-black Stealth Bomber for smallmouth bass.  The results were unbelievable.  I’m wondering if the bass thought this bug was an annual cicada.  They are solid black.  The periodical cicada we’ll see this year has some orange color on the body as well as black.  Their eyes are bright orange.   

If these insects are available to fish in the Smokies you are going to see some feeding going on.  The insects are supposed to emerge here in May.  They have already been spotted as far North as Chattanooga.  If you fish in an area where the cicadas emerge you are going to see some great fishing on the lakes too.  Downstream in the smallmouth streams, smallmouth bass will be eating these huge insects.   

I’ll show you this one when I’ve got it figured out and tested in the water.  If I were you I would Google Cicada and look at these things. Then, start tying some flies so you will be ready.

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

Byron Begley
April 15, 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.

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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

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