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

Welcome to the Fly Fishing Report from Townsend Tennessee in the Great Smoky Mountains.  It’s good to be back.  I’ve been in the woods with my buddies on a “turkey hunting” trip for four days.  We had a ball.  I noticed 2 hens and a gobbler in our neighbors field this morning.  There are more wild turkeys this year than ever or so it seems.

Little River is flowing at 254 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 281 cfs.  The water temperature is 58 degrees this morning at the Townsend “Y”.  We have not seen the river flowing below normal often this year.  Rain should move in here tonight and continue through Tuesday night.  So, normality may be temporary.  We are going to have some warm temperatures.  Fishing everywhere in East Tennessee and Western North Carolina should be good for several days.

I don’t know how the Park has been fishing since I’ve been gone but I image it has been very good.  The conditions now are excellent.  Daniel wrote that the trout were taking March Browns in some streams.  So, I would try those.  Additionally, a Parachute Adams, Elk Hair Caddis, Yellow Stimulator and any Yellow Sally Stonefly pattern should work.  I don’t think the trout will be particular about the offering. 

The trout will be sensitive to your appearance and drag.  I am talking about the drift of the fly and hiding from the trout when I say this, not the other sense of the words.  The water is fairly low so stay hidden.  Wearing camo is not a bad idea unless you are fishing where other people are turkey hunting. 

Smallmouth bass fishing is picking up again.  The water should warm further this week making the fishing better.  They are taking poppers and other topwater offerings in the lowland rivers, tailwaters and lakes.  I’m planning on at least one day on the water this week fishing for them.  I got home from Kentucky late yesterday afternoon and tied a dozen yellow Knuckleheads.  I’ll tie another couple of dozen of those, switch to white then move on to Fire Tiger. 

This is my favorite time of year if you factor out the pollen.  Wildlife is active.  The woods have come alive.  Trout and bass are hungry.  Winter (though we barely had one) is over.  It’s time to fish.  Actually it has been time to fish for months.

I have not checked the lake level information yet.  I bet the lakes have risen since I last wrote this report.  TVA raises them up for recreation purposes during the Summer.  Pleasure boaters will be out in droves.  Or will they?  Higher gasoline prices have been tough on the captains of the large boats.  Marinas are struggling.  Marina gas must be out the roof.  You can usually add a $1 to a couple of bucks to the gallon at a marina. 

One of my best friends has a 29 foot boat with two 454 cu. in. engines.  I suggested last week on our turkey hunt that he sell the boat, take a temporary beating and get something smaller.  I offered up the idea of a 17’ Boston Whaler with a 90 on it.  The more I think about it, maybe he needs a 19’ with a 115 hp since he has grandkids. He could dock that boat at his lake home and pull it to Florida if he wanted to.  I’ll have one of those during my golden years.  I had one once.  Wish I had never sold it.

A woman riding a bicycle in town as hit by a car last night.  The driver of the car was arrested.  The woman was flown out of here on a helicopter.  Her injuries were not life threatening.  Her two daughters, also on bicycles were not hit thank goodness.  The woman lives in Townsend.  I hope she is OK.

Traffic going out of town was backed up for miles late yesterday.  A TDOT funded contractor is working on what could potentially be a rock slide.  Highway 321 is narrowed to one lane during this construction project.  During the week, the wait is not bad, usually 5 minutes.  I bet it took an hour or more to get through that mess late yesterday.

You can take old highway 73 from Walland to Townsend and back.  You will miss this traffic backup.  It appears this construction will be finished and the mountain will be stable in a few days.  The project was scheduled to be finished in May.  The work appears to be ahead of schedule.

We are holding our monthly Townsend/Walland Business Alliance meeting this afternoon at Misty River Campground.  I would like to go fishing right there after the meeting but that won’t happen.  I’ve got boat stuff and fly tying to tend to.  I love fishing down there.  That campground is a great place to stay.  It is on Little River in Walland.  Check out their website HERE.  You can rent a cabin there too.  We move our monthly meetings to different venues.  Maybe we will meet outside by the river.  Of course I would be distracted and I have to give a presentation.

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

Byron Begley
April 16, 2012

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