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

Welcome to the Fishing Report. It is a nice calm morning here in Townsend. Last night as we locked the door and I headed back to town the skies were growing dark and rain started to fall. I got out before the big thunderstorm rolled through. Driving in this morning I didn't see much of any damage. There was 0.75" of rain in the gauge here at the Shop.

The lower Little River below Townsend was muddy this morning. Up in the Smokies, Little River was pretty muddy and looked to be running swiftly. The Middle Prong of Little River (Tremont) looked good. It had a little stain to it but I could still see the bottom. West Prong of Little River was looking good also.
Due to last evening's thunderstorm, the Little River spiked over 3 feet on the gauge. It has quickly come down. The streamflow gauge this morning is reading 2.55 feet or 425 c.f.s. This is a fairly high flow so be careful.

As we move into Summer, afternoon thunderstorms will be the norm. When you are out fishing keep an ear on the sky. Also, don't forget to pay attention to the stream you are fishing. Just because it is clear and sunny where you are doesn't mean that it didn't come a frog strangler higher up the mountain and that a wall of water isn't coming your way. If the stream starts to change clarity or if you see debris, make sure you have an exit plan. Be on the trail or road side of the stream. That way if waters do rise rapidly you can get out. It's not a good idea to be trapped on the wrong side of the river.

Overall fishing has been very good in the Smokies. The Little River should clear quickly. Light colored flies are an excellent choice. Yellow Sally patterns (Neversink Caddis, Yellow Sally, Little Yellow Stone, Stimulators, Yellow Parachute Adams, etc) in the #14-#16 size range are great, especially later in the afternoon. I say a couple of small Sulphur Mayflies on the door of the Shop this morning. Sulphur patterns and Light Cahills in about a #16 will be good too.

Try adding a nymph dropper. A small pheasant tail or hares ear can be good. Also, Green Weenies make excellent dropper flies.

It should be time to start thinking about terrestrial patterns again also. Rain and wind knocks lots of insects out of the trees. Beetle and Ant patterns can be great through the middle part of the day.

Hopefully the weather cooperates for Byron and Paula today. If you head to the river have a great time. Keep an eye on the weather and stay safe. Have a great day and thank you for being here with us.

Daniel Drake
May 22, 2013

Smoky Mountain Fly Patterns for May


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