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. Light clouds are obscuring the sun this Wednesday morning in Townsend. The cloud cover might even make fishing better than it has been.

Water levels are at an excellent level for fishing. The gauge is giving a reading of 1.79 feet or 189 c.f.s. The daily normal is 207 c.f.s. Water temperatures are very good also at 58.2F. The streams are running very clear.

A variety of bugs continue to hatch here in the Smokies. We are seeing Yellow Sally stoneflies later in the day. There is also sulphurs, cahills, caddis etc. Sizes are rangning from #14 - #16. Light colors like creams and yellow are the best bet but also try the old standards like Parachute Adams, Thunderheads and Royal patterns.

I got the chance to sneak out to the stream after work last night. For those of you that know me I need to say where I went, just that it was close, small and the fish were happy. One costly lesson was learned right at the start.....don't trust an old leader that is full of wind knots. I had grabbed the Orvis Superfine Glass rod we have here at the Shop and took it along to fish. Instead of changing out the leader I just tied a #14 Rob's Hellbender Dry onto the leader that easily had 3 windknots tied in it. Casting into the first pool I got a decent drift but noticed a trout rise down stream of my first cast. Wiggling the fly off the water as not to disturb the surface I dropped the fly back in just above where I had seen the rise. A few inches of drift and the rainbow ate the fly. Setting the hook I came back with nothing but half a leader. That was a quick $2.25 lesson in pay attention to your leader.

I added some 5X tippet, tied on another Hellbender and was back in the game. Not having a lot of time I concentrated on the larger pockets and pools. If I had all day I would have dropped the fly in every little pocket behind every rock and tried to catch those little 4 inchers that hang out in that tiny water. Instead I wanted to maximize catching by hitting the bigger pockets. I saw a few trout rise before I cast to them but mostly it was just fishing the likely spots.

I always find it enjoyable to wade my way up a creek. There is something about the plunging water, the cool air. It is like a mini adventure. Even though I have fished that creek many times it is so true what is said....that you never step in the same river twice. Things change from season to season. Right now there are a lot of trees blown down across the stream. This makes it a bit harder to get around.

Trying to move quick I cast my dry fly into the flowing current. Starting at the back of the pools I was getting multiple hits and sometimes multiple fish out of the larger pools. After losing a couple more flies....same old leader... I ended up with a Parachute Adams on. The trout kept eating it. All in all I landed 13 rainbows ranging from 6 - 9 inches (most in the 7 inch-ish range). I missed a lot more.

Ok the rod.....I have cast the new Orvis Superfine Glass rods in the yard and they are very sweet to cast. Slow action rods like this are perfect for the small mountain streams. They don't require a lot of line to cast short and they effortlessly lay the fly out there. I new I liked the rod when I grabbed it to fish with....what I wasn't ready for was when I hooked that first trout. Even a 6 inch rainbow had the rod bent in half. The fight was wonderful! Now it isn't a wimpy rod by any means. It flexed a lot but I still had no trouble fighting the fish in just as quickly as I do with my graphite rods. All the trout I caught were small.....a big trout would have been more of a challenge but this tons of fun.

This Saturday is a Popper Tying Class with Anthony Hipps. The cost is $65.00. There is still space so if you are interested in taking the class please give us a call. 865-448-9459.

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

Daniel Drake
May 21, 2014

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