Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is cloudy and a very cool 50 degrees this morning in Townsend. Everything is damp.  Though we have not had much rain it has occurred off and on for a few days.  That whip-poor-will showed up outside our bedroom loft window again this morning at 6:00 am.  I hear them all around at night.  But this guy like to finish the evening right outside our window.  As I drove out our private gravel road, a hen turkey walked in front of me, jumped up on Frank’s split rail fence and watched as I drove by.

Little River looks good.  The water level is normal for this time of year.  Flow is 211 cubic feet per second.  Median for this date is 229 cfs.  The water temperature was a very cool 52 degrees at the swinging bridge.  The water is clear and inviting. 

Fishing has been great.  There are plenty of hatches.  I heard yesterday there are still some march browns, some large mayflies that look like green drakes but are probably hexagenia, and of course plenty of Yellow Sally stoneflies.  These green drake sightings don’t make sense but maybe they actually are in the freestone stretches of Little River.  I’m no expert.  I do know that they live in silty rivers.  Little River’s silt load moves out and is replaced often during a year.  Bill and I were talking the other day.  He thinks they are hex mayflies.  I just don’t know. 

Nymphs are what I would use today until I found a good reason to change.  It is going to be overcast and the water temperature is cool.  You could see a hatch and trout rising.  Change to a dry then.  But I would probably drift nymphs.  The cloud cover will be beneficial to the angler today and tomorrow.

Some of the lake levels are high in Tennessee.  We’re watching Dale Hollow closely.  Here is a good website to visit if you are interested in this information.  The site is called  CLICK HERE.

Wow, South Holston Lake is 11.8 feet above summer pool.  That could be an error.  Dale Hollow is 3.6 feet higher than normal.  I found a mistake for sure.  Great Falls Lake is showing a normal level of 30,500 feet mean sea level (MSL).  But now it is down to 792 feet msl.  That is one high lake! 

Lake Cumberland is at 718.6 feet which is actually below full pool.  But, they have been trying to keep it at a much lower level while they repair the dam.  They have been generating 28,140 cfs there today.  TVA is trying to drop it fast.  The lake level has dropped two feet in 48 hours.  That is incredible.

It was not long ago that we could not get information like this.  We didn’t have the internet.  Information you can obtain daily right here on this page with the click of a mouse was not available to you a few years ago.  I like this information.

The flow gauges operated by the US Geological Survey are really important to trout anglers.  Our gauge just outside Townsend in the Park has been the focus of this report for years.  I know the USGS guy who is in charge of that station.  There is some sophisticated equipment in that little building.  The information gathered there is sent via satellite to an office in Nashville and you can watch it on a website.  CLICK HERE.  These gauges are scattered around the country.  There are several in Tennessee.  USGS receives money from sponsors to operate this system of gauges.  Sponsors include municipalities.  People who run towns, water and sewer departments and those that are prone of vulnerable to flooding pay to keep those gauges operational.  I’m glad we have one.  We almost lost it once due to lack of funding.  That could happen again.  If it does I’ll let you know. 

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

Byron Begley
May 18, 2011

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Our fly fishing classes will be offered from March to October 2011.   To sign up just call the shop at 877-448-3474.  You can read more on our website in the Schools Section.  The fly fishing class schedule follows:

Saturday May 21 – Beginner Day One
Sunday May 22 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday June 11 – Beginner Day One
Saturday June 25 – Beginner Day One
Sunday June 26 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday July 9 – Beginner Day One
Saturday July 23 – Beginner Day One
Sunday July 24 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday September 10 – Beginner Day One
Saturday September 24 – Beginner Day One
Sunday September 25 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday October 8 – Beginner Day One
Saturday October 22 – Beginner Day One
Sunday October 23 – Beginner Onstream Day Two

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