Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report. Townsend is waking up this morning with some thick clouds and no sun. As we were leaving last night around 5pm the sky had turned black and ominous. I missed the rain as I made a run for the big city of Maryville. The storm must have rolled through with some force. I was surprised to see a decent amount of trees broken over and branches tossed around. Most of the damage I saw was in a line from the Highland Manor Motel towards Miss Lily's Cafe. Nothing at all compared to the tragedy which befell Missouri.

Speaking of isolated storms... When I stopped to check the water temperature ( 62F ) at the Swinging Bridge the river was muddy but looked to be starting to clear. The river had not rising much in flow. The rain gauge at the Shop had 0.85" in it. I drove up to the Park to check the water clarity there and was surprised that Little River and its tributaries in the Park where flowing clear as ever. Water levels didn't come up any in the mountains. They are actually a little below normal at 1.79 feet or 139cfs.

This is an excellent time of year to be fishing in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Summer crowds haven't arrived yet...the tubers are still low in number. Lower elevation streams continue to fish well right along the road. The higher elevations have really picked up. Hiking up a trail into the backcountry can be very rewarding offering extra solitude and less wary trout.

The insect variety is wonderful. People have been catching trout on everything from Royal Wulffs to Prince nymphs. Many of the bugs out there right now are lighter in color and tending towards yellow.
Sulphur Parachute patterns in #16-#18 have been good along with patterns imitating the little yellow stonefly.

I would fish a 9 foot 5x leader. Water levels are lower so the extra length will help with spookier fish. Concentrate on the faster water. Remember that drift is more important than fly pattern ALWAYS.

A customer called this morning and said he headed to the Clinch this weekend. The TVA finally had the water turned off. He was fishing and doing ok. At some point he looked around him. He counted 43 other anglers on the water....that was just the people he could see and count. I guess everyone had the same idea. I'll stick to my little mountain streams.

The weather report is calling for scattered thunderstorms all week. Go fishing....just remember the rain jacket and keep an eye on the water levels.

Have a great day and good luck fishing out there. Thanks for being here with us.

Daniel Drake
May 23, 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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