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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is sunny and 41 degrees in Townsend this morning.  The high temperature today should be 80 degrees.  Tomorrow will be sunny and 85 degrees. 

Streams in the Smoky Mountains are dropping back to normal levels.  Flow is perfect.  Little River is flowing at 315 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.30 feet on the gauge.  Some people think this water is on the high side.  Maybe so.  To me it’s perfect.  Median flow for this date is 223 cfs.  The water temperature this morning is a cool 50 degrees below the Townsend “Y”.  Yesterday the temperature there peaked at 55 degrees. 

The water is going to be much warmer over the next few days.  Fishing in the Smokies will be very good.  The water is chilly now so if you go fishing today, wait a while.  After today, fishing should be good all day.

Bugs are hatching and trout are feeding.  You will see many different aquatic insects on the water.  Yellow Sally stoneflies are abundant.  Light Cahills are present.  Caddis are flittering and dropping to the surface.  Food is on the table for trout and they will be hungry as soon as this water warms a bit.  This is an exciting time that we have waited for all year.

The lowland rivers will be warmer and lower.  Fishing downstream will be very good.  Smallmouth bass can be caught on nymphs, streamers and poppers.  Water levels are good. 

The lakes should also be fishing very well.  They were before this cold snap we just had.  I’ll find out about that first hand tomorrow.  I can’t wait.

This warm sun will heat the boulders found on lakes, mainly along roads.  The warm boulders attract fish when the water is cool.  I bet we will be fishing along those rocky shores tomorrow with Wooly Buggers and maybe top water flies. 

Speaking of lakes, have you been hearing about the bass fishing on Chickamauga Lake?  My plumber has a cabin down there.  He was telling me about the awesome fishing last week.  I heard about a bass tournament that was won by a fisherman who turned in 5 bass weighing over 50 pounds.  I was changing the oil in our boat motor after work yesterday and Jack pulled in.  We talked for a couple of hours.  He told me again about that bass tournament.  He also said TWRA stocked Florida strain bass and they have grown to be huge.  I heard about a 14 pound bass that was caught recently from somebody else.

I have not fished there but I’m thinking about it.  I bet not many people fish that lake with a fly rod. 

Chickamagua Lake is an impoundment on the Tennessee River below Watts Bar.  It is not a long drive from here, probably an hour and a half.  I’ll check into cabin rentals and marinas and give that lake a try.  This sounds too good to pass up. 

It’s time to open the store.  If you can get away over the next few days you should come to Townsend.  The mountains are lush and beautiful.  The streams have plenty of water.  This is prime time in the Smokies. 

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

Byron Begley
May 14, 2013

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