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 overcast and 50 degrees this morning in Townsend.  Traffic was fairly heavy this morning.  I encountered at least 50 vehicles on my commute and that was at 7:50 am.  I don’t know what’s going on.  The cold front has moved on and we are going to have warm weather for the next few days.  It may rain today and tomorrow.  The wind is supposed to be gusty, up to 25 miles per hour tomorrow.  I’m supposed to be fishing on the lake.  We may need to re-think that.

Fishing is going to get much better.  I heard reports yesterday of slow fishing on the Clinch River, in the Park and on the lakes.  The water temperature took a dive and that can turn the fish off.  I guess it did.  I’m sure there were exceptions.  I will hear from Bill in a little while.  He and Josh fished the Clinch River yesterday.  We’ll see how they did.  They did good.  Sulphurs came off in the afternoon.  Bill’s first trout was a 20” rainbow.

Little River is flowing at 284 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 235 cfs.  The water temperature at the “Y” was 50.3 degrees at 7:55 am.  We got .10” of rain at the shop last night.  The Airport got less than that.

Nymphs are working best in the mornings for now.  Dry fly fishing should be good this afternoon.  The water is going to warm back up throughout East Tennessee and Western North Carolina over the next few days.  Fishing will improve.

Anglers are still encountering hatches in the Park despite the cooler water and they are catching fish on the flies that match the hatch.  Most aquatic insects you will see in the lower elevations are light in color.  They may be sulphurs or yellow stoneflies.  So, use any pattern to imitate those.  That could be a Light Cahill, Parachute Light Cahill, Yellow Stimulator, Yellow Sally Patterns and Yellow Elk Hair Caddis.  A Parachute Adams or darker Elk Hair Caddis will work to.  I don’t think these trout will be picky about pattern.  What they want is a good drift.

Large browns are hitting dry flies too.  There have been some beauties caught lately.  I’ve seen photos of several 20” + browns caught in the Park on dries.  You have to find them, stay hidden, get into position, make a good cast without lining the fish and get a good drift.  If everything works out perfect, they might eat your fly.  Then you’ve got to figure out how to land them.

I expect the lowland rivers and lake fishing will pick up and the smallmouth bass will be taking top water flies again soon.  I hoped to find out tomorrow.  Doug and I are going fishing in his brand new boat.  I am going to suggest we fish on Friday instead.

I plan to fish the lakes at least once a week until I find that perfect time when the smallmouth bass are taking poppers on the surface with vigor and frequency.  In other words, the fishing will be fantastic.  It will be better than it will be all year.  We are just days away.  Then I’m going to call Frank and tell him to get down here.

I’ve got another big problem.  I got a notice to serve as a juror starting May 15th.  I wrote a letter and asked for my service to be postponed to December, January or February.  I have not heard back.  This can really mess me up.  First, I can’t commit to anything because I may have to take those days off.  Troutfest starts on the 18th.  If I do serve I have to work my tail off getting ready for that.  Additionally, David and I need to work on the Troutfest website.  I can’t do that If I’m going to be off for a week serving as a juror.  I can’t do volunteer work before or after I serve.  I’ve got to do fly shop work.  I also have to design the Troutfest program to be handed out at the gate.  I won’t be able to get that done either.  I just got a notice about this a week ago. 

I am perfectly willing to serve.  The timing is just awful.

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

Byron Begley
April 25, 2012 

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