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

Welcome to the Fishing Report from the Great Smoky Mountains.  It is sunny and 53 degrees in Townsend this morning.  The trees are turning green quickly. I was sitting on our top floor porch last night looking out at the mountains that will soon disappear.  That porch is 10’ x 50’ and 25 feet from the ground.  It’s like being in a tree house.  I can see the mountain range on the west side of Cades Cove from there.  In a week or two, the trees will block the view until Fall.  I’m going to be out there as much as possible until then. After that, I’ll just sit in the trees.

I saw a lot of people I know on my way to work.  I was constantly waving at people.  I think I saw Joe Mcgroom.  An identical truck to his with a brook trout Tennessee tag drove by me from the direction of the Park.  Knowing Joe, he was probably on Little River at daybreak.  When I saw him it was 8:05 am.  He was going home.

This is going to be a beautiful day.  It will be sunny this morning.  Clouds and possible thunderstorms will move in this afternoon.  The chance is only 30% for the storms.

Little River is flowing at 208 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.85 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 268 cfs.  The water temperature is 56 degrees this morning.

Fly fishing in the Smokies is very good.  The water is getting fairly low but not bad.  That’s going to change very soon.  Trout are taking dry flies and nymphs.  I would fish with a dry.  It would be a Parachute Adams, Elk Hair Caddis or Neversink Caddis. 

I would try to fish late and until dark if the weather cooperates.  If you fish during the day, pick shaded areas of streams.

If you are planning a fishing trip here this week, watch the weather and this report.  We may have some nasty thunderstorms.  The National Weather Service is warning us that:  RISK OF SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS…HEAVY RAINFALL AND FLASH FLOODING MONDAY NIGHT INTO WEDNESDAY…

That doesn’t sound good.  They also say “there is a good deal of uncertainty”.  I like uncertainty.  Maybe that’s why I like fishing so much.  You never know what to expect. 

When I write this fishing report, I try to tell you what I think the fishing will be like.  That doesn’t mean it will be what I report.  It could be worse or better.  Predicting fishing is not a finite science.  I do know that water temperature and the sun or lack of it sets the groundwork for the best-known conditions.  Water levels play into the scenario.  It’s hard to catch a trout in a flood. 

Time of day is important.  That takes us back to the sun and clouds.  The barometer may be used to determine fishing results.  I don’t know how that works.  Everyone disagrees. 

The moon phase may be important.  Most anglers think fish feed on clear nights when there is a bright moon.  Then, they are not hungry the next day.  I believe it.  But, I won’t know for sure unless I happen to catch a talking fish.  That will be one of my first questions.

Food availability can affect fishing.  When there is plenty of food, opportunistic fish feed.  On the other hand, when there is too much food, the fish might not see your offering.  Maybe the fish are not hungry.  They are full.  I’ve caught a lot of fish that had apparently been gorging on food.  But, that didn’t stop them for eating more.  I catch a lot of smallmouth bass with crawfish claws sticking out of their throat.  Still, they tried to eat my fly.  I caught a northern pike once with a 2-pound walleye partially swallowed.  We ate both.

So, we don’t know for sure when or where fishing is going to be good.  We think we know and get fooled.  Going up to the Smokies to catch trout today may be a no-brianer for some anglers while others struggle.  You do have to know how to fish in a particular body of water.  Fishing in Little River is not the same as fishing in the Clinch River.  They require different skills and knowledge.  Learning to fish in a particular body of water is what makes fishing fun for me.  Once I figure something out, I try something else.  Maybe that statement should be qualified.  Once I figure something out, I keep doing it, over and over for a while, maybe days or weeks, then I move on to something else.

We are open today from 9 am until 5 pm.  We are open every Sunday.  Come on over.

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

Byron Begley
April 27, 2014

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