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 Spring in the Smokies but it feels like Summer is attempting to rush its way in. Sunny and 80's. I guess it could be could be 10 degrees like back in the Winter.

Water levels are great for fishing. Hopefully this weekend we'll get some rain so they don't start getting too low. The gauge reading this morning was 1.77 feet or 182 c.f.s. This is below the daily normal of 253 c.f.s. Last year it seemed like we didn't get down to a "normal" flow till very late in the Summer. This year has been drastically different from last year as far as rain fall goes. Year to date we have gotten 14.81" of rain (as measured at the Knoxville Airport). The normal is 17.68" so we are almost 3 inches below what normal is. A comparison...last year by this time we had received 29.67". That is TWICE the amount we have gotten this year. A little rain to keep the water levels up would be nice. I definitely don't want a repeat of last year though.

If you are headed to the Smokies today fishing should be very good. I would start with a dry....but then I prefer dries. I like to see them come up and take the lure off the surface. It might also have something to do with not being a very good nymph fisherman. I'll have to take Rob and Bill's Nymphing Tactics class. The dries are transitioning to the light tans and yellows. Many anglers are starting to fish Yellow Sallies. The hatch hasn't begun in any great quantity but they are catching trout with the patterns. Look for Sallies right before dark.

Anglers are starting to think about Terrestrials again also. These patterns are generally looked on as Summer-time flies, especially when it starts to get hot. Ants are always out in the woods. They can be very effective. Many ant patterns can be very difficult to see on the water due to being black. You can counter this by fishing them as a dropper. A dropper doesn't have to be a sinking fly. If conditions require you to fish a small dark dry, pair it up with a fly you can see.

As the weather warms people are thinking more and more about warmwater fishing. I've been seeing a lot of smallmouth and bream pictures on Facebook. These species can provide incredible top water action. Poppers, grasshoppers, Stealth Bombers etc can entice the bass to break the surface.

The Popper tying class with Anthony Hipps is coming up soon. This class is a bargain at $65. You will learn how to tie Anthony's Soft-Bodied Poppers. While not an advanced class, this class requires that you have a basic knowledge of fly tying techniques. All the tools and materials will be provided and even lunch. Please call us to reserve a spot. 865-448-9459.

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

Daniel Drake
May 6, 2014 

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