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 cloudy and 62 degrees in Townsend this morning.  Hardly anyone is stirring around town.  My five-minute commute was peaceful.  Nothing much is happening in town.  I attended our monthly Business Alliance meeting last night.  We just gave committee presentations and voted on important issues.  After the meeting we mostly talked about fishing and hunting.  Janice announced that Miss Lily’s Restaurant would open soon.  I did not hear the date.  Everyone cheered.  She and Steve have been remodeling all Winter.

Fishing is good everywhere.  I did hear one person say he had a slow day in the Park yesterday.  I would say timing was his issue.  It was early in the day.  But, the conditions are perfect up there.  The water is a little lower than normal but not low.  Little River is flowing at 240 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 265 cfs.  The water temperature at 8:00 am was 60 degrees.  The high water temperature yesterday in Little River was 62 degrees.

The weather is going to be fairly cool for the next two days and rain is predicted.  One weather website indicated we might get 1.75” of rain starting this afternoon and continuing through tomorrow night.  If we get that much precipitation the streams will be swollen by Thursday morning.  We’ll have to wait and see what happens. 

I would use nymphs in the mornings in the Park.  A Prince, Tellico, Bead Head Pheasant Tail or Copper John should work.  You might even try a Green Weenie.  For a dry fly I would use a Parachute Adams, Thunderhead, Elk Hair Caddis, Yellow Stimulator or any Yellow Sally pattern.  A Yellow Elk Hair Caddis might be a good choice.  A yellow Neversink Caddis is another.  Fishing should be good today mainly due to the cloud cover. 

I finally got a report from the Hiwassee.  Mark Beattie fished there for a day and a half.  He caught about 80 trout using Prince and Copper John nymphs.  He also did well on a Zebra Midge.  It is good to hear the Hiwassee is fishing well.  That is one beautiful river.

I imagine the fishing for trout is good on all the tailwaters right now though I have not personally talked to anyone who is fishing them for about a week.  But, I was away from here for 4 days. 

The lowland rivers are fishing well for smallmouth bass.  I’ve seen some incredible pictures lately.  And, the lower tailwaters are producing some good catches of smallies on the fly.  The bass are hitting on top.  Blockhead Poppers and Stealth Bombers are working well.

I have not heard anything about smallmouth bass on the lakes in about a week.  I’m going Thursday so I will find out then.  My guess is, the fishing is good.  I know for sure the fishing will be excellent at some point in the next two weeks.  That is when I believe the bass will be off the beds.  Every bit of nature you encounter this year is earlier than normal.  Heck, the bass could have finished spawning two weeks ago. 

I talked to a striper guide who is having a great time fishing huge streamers below the dams.  I’m thinking about trying that soon.  Ron and I talked about that while we were driving back from Kentucky last week.  Time to get out the 10 weight. 

I talked to two different companies yesterday about selling me some Extra Large Mono Eyes in different colors.  Right now they are only available in Black and Olive.  The large mono eyes are too small for the Knuckleheads I’m tying.  I would be willing to buy a few thousand if they could have them made.  I have not heard back from either company. I did bring in some yellow Knuckleheads this morning.  They will be on the wall and for sale today.  Yellow seems to be a great color for bass on Fort Loudoun Lake.  I don’t know why but that is what anglers tell me.  By the way, Fort Loudoun Lake is clear.  I saw it Sunday. 

Yellow poppers seems to work well on the lower Little River too according to our customers who fish there.  I have found chartreuse to be my preferred color in the lower stretches of the river.  I tried yellow a couple of times last year and didn’t have much success. 

Our meeting last night was held at Misty River Campground on the Little River in Walland.  I walked down to the bank and stood for a while.  It looked perfect.  I wanted to fish instead of talking about business. 

We have a lot of choices right now.  Fishing is good and it will get better.  May is usually prime time.

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

Byron Begley
April 17, 2012

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