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.  It is overcast and 43 degrees at 8:05 am.  Is this Blackberry Winter?  Tonight the low is expected to be 36 degrees.  This is not going to do our fishing any good at all for the next couple of days.

The water temperature dropped last night to 50.2 degrees in Little River at the confluence of the three prongs.  Yesterday the high water temperature was 55.5 degrees.  The water will be colder tomorrow morning.  Flow in Little River is 287 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 242 cfs.  Some recent early morning temperature reading have been in the low 60’s.

Fishing may slow down some in the Smokies but not much if any in the tailwater trout fisheries.  I know the lowland river fishing for smallmouth bass in the lakes will change, it already has.  The fish are deeper.  Fishing in the lowland rivers should slow down too. 

This cold front will be replaced by warm temperatures on Wednesday and things will get back to the way it was by the weekend.

The way it was is great.  Fishing has been really good in the Smoky Mountains.  I heard from a lot of friends this weekend.  Fishing late in the week was excellent.  Aquatic insects were active early in the day.  Trout were taking dry flies in the mornings at times. 

You never know, fishing might be fine.  If you go in the mountains make sure you have some Yellow Sally stonefly patterns, Parachute Adams, Elk Hair Caddis, Light Cahills, Bead Head Pheasant Tails, Copper Johns and something like a Hare’s Ear. That should cover most hatches you might encounter on the water. If the trout are not taking dry flies and they may not be, use a nymph and get it down.

My guess is you should use streamers for smallmouth bass.  They might hit on top in the rivers.  I don’t think they will be taking poppers in the lakes until it warms up some. 

A young couple came in Friday.  They were going on a 6 day backpacking trip to Hazel Creek and Eagle Creek.  They bought a bunch of flies and said they had been reading this report every day in anticipation of their trip.  I hope they had some good fishing and maybe they will continue to do so.  I reminded them that cold weather was on the way. 

Snow was predicted to fall in the mountains last night.  I don’t think that happened.  The mountain peaks I can see from our house or my office are 3,200 feet in elevation.  There is no snow on those peaks. We are going to get some gusty wind today, tonight and tomorrow.  I would not fish the lakes until Wednesday.  I plan to go Thursday with Doug. 

Thursday looks good.  The low the night before will be about 57 degrees.  The high Thursday is predicted to be 74 degrees with no mention of windy conditions. 

I worked much of the weekend on an e-newsletter that I plan to send out today.  I wrote the fishing report on Friday for the newsletter.  I will have to work on that before it goes out to you.  The fishing has changed.  Much of the content in the newsletter will be devoted to Troutfest.  People are not buying banquet tickets as early as they have in the past.  Ticket sales have picked up.  You can buy them online HERE.  And, you can visit the Troutfest Website HERE. 

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

Byron Begley
April 23, 2012

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