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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is overcast and 48 degrees in Townsend this morning.  The best description I can think of right now, to describe our community is “soggy”.  We have had almost 2 inches of rain in two days.  That’s not bad considering the high amount of rainfall in Georgia and other areas around us.   

Little River is flowing at 3.9 feet on the gauge or 1,310 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 253 cfs.  The water is slightly turbid in town.  The water temperature is 51.7 degrees.

Actually the flow is little lower than the high a week ago.  It took 5 days for the water to drop to 2.4 feet.  I would expect the same thing to happen this week except for the fact we have more rain in the forecast, especially today and tonight. 

I think it is safe to say that most of the streams in the Smokies are high and if you go fishing here, be careful wading. 

Nymphs will probably work best for a couple of days or more. 

Fishing in the lowland rivers is going to be tough to do if you don’t have a boat.  I think Josh floated Little River yesterday in his raft.  Though I have not seen the water downstream, my guess is it will be muddy in some areas.  The same most likely holds true on the Little Pigeon. 

I did look at some TVA and USGS websites this morning.  There are some tailwater fishing opportunities today.  I saw a few generation schedules that indicated some off periods.  Check your favorite tailwater and you might find a place to fish today.

Also surprisingly, most of the lakes are at normal operating levels for this time of year.  Many of them were flushed out a weeks ago.  They may be rising and this could change but right now, I would fish one of the many lakes we have near here.  I think we have 8 lakes within an hour or so drive.  Paula and I are planning to fish on one of them Wednesday. 

Those who fish with spinning or bait casting tackle are reporting excellent fishing on the lakes.  I think they are fishing deeper than we normally do with fly fishing tackle.  I’m not a fan of dredging deep with sinking fly lines.  I’ll do it in a pinch. 

Someone told me there is a sign on the Smoky Junction Restaurant that reads, “Smok’n Joe’s Coming Soon.”  I’ve been driving by and seeing evidence of remodeling but never saw anyone there until Friday.  There were two guys tending a big smoker in front of the restaurant.  I pulled in and asked if this was the original Smok’n Joes.  A young man walked over to my truck to talk.

He is Joe’s grandson.  The other man is Joe’s son in law.  The young fellow told me his grandpa moved his barbecue restaurant from Townsend to Maryville several years ago.  Evidently Joe has done well there.  This will be a second location, back in Townsend.

This is great news.  I really like Smok’n Joe.  I love to hear him talk about barbecue.  To him, Q is like fly fishing is to me. He talks about cooking and much as I talk about fishing.  When they had their restaurant here, it was a huge success.  Joe and his wife served up some fantastic barbeque.  I think they lost their lease here.  This restaurant will last and you will enjoy eating there, I promise you.  This is great news.  They are open now.

We have some excellent restaurants in Townsend.  These days, many of them are open year round.  That was not the case a few years ago.  There are some that close for the Winter.  But, more are staying open.  We need restaurants to be open in the Winter to attract tourists during the slow months.  Without food, visitors will not come.

If we had a delayed harvest trout fishery here during the Winter, I believe more fishermen from the North would visit us during that time.  Every time I bring the idea up, it gets knocked down for one reason or another.  I finally gave up on that one.

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

Byron Begley
May 6, 2013

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