Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is sunny and 70 degrees at 8:30 am in Townsend.  The high today is expected to be in the 80’s.  There is already more traffic in town.  Easter weekend is always busy here and it starts early in the week.  It is going to be a beautiful weekend.  We will be closed Sunday. 

Little River looks great today.  The water level is dropping and the water is warming up.  Flow is currently 616 cubic feet per second.  Median flow for this date is 255 cfs.  The water temperature was 55 degrees early this morning.  We do have a chance for thunderstorms tomorrow with a lower threat on Thursday and Friday.  I’m hoping we don’t get much more rain.  We’ve had enough for a while. 

You can certainly fish in the Smokies.  Though the water is high now, you should have seen it this weekend.  It was really high then.  You still need to be careful wading.  You will have to pick your spots.  But, the trout will be eager and hungry.  The warming water will get their metabolism into high gear.  Fishing should be good at least in the lower elevations from daylight until dark.  The reports we are getting since the water dropped are very good.

I would use a Parachute Adams, Thunderhead, Elk Hair Caddis, Neversink Caddis or Stimulator for a dry fly.  Anything that looks like local aquatic insects should work.  You will see plenty of mayflies, stoneflies and caddis on the water.  To increase your odds, drop a nymph off the dry.  A Bead Head Pheasant Tail, Copper John, Prince Nymph or Hare’s Ear should work for the nymph. 

Yesterday I noticed hundreds of bees swarming around the blooming plants at the shop.  So don’t forget about terrestrial patterns.  There are plenty of terrestrial insects on the water.  Also, get ready for the periodic cicada emergence.  I know, I’ve talked about that a lot lately.  I can’t help it.  When this even happens and if it happens in your area the fly fishing can be incredible.  I’ve done it before, as early as the 1970’s.  I ordered several cicada patterns last week.  I’m looking at some right now that came from Umpqua yesterday.  I’m tying a Stealth Bomber Cicada at home too.  Mine our big!  I tested them in a bowl full of water.  They always landed upright and floated well during the test. 

This weekend, Paula and I are going to drive over to the Tellico River section of Tellico Lake.  We’re planning to start fishing in that fork of the lake.  We always fish the Little Tennessee River.  But, it is my understanding that the Tellico fork is better fishing for cool and warmwater fish.  There are more nutrients there because the river runs through farmland.  I was looking on Google Earth this morning at the lake, ramps and marinas located there. What we’ll find are smallmouth and largemouth bass. Shellcrackers and bluegill fishing is awesome in that area too.  There are trout in the lake but as far as I know they are on the Little Tennessee River tailwater at the upper end of that fork of the lake.  Since we don’t fish for trout in that lake, I don’t know for sure they are there.  I’ve never caught one in Tellico Lake.

One thing I want to learn how to do this year is catch rockfish or stripers on a fly.  I have never done it.  I did catch plenty of them on live bait or plugs when I was much younger.  Catching a 20 pound or 30 pound fish on a fly is a hoot.

So many places to fish.  So little time.

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

Byron Begley
April 19, 2011 

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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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