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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is foggy and 43 degrees at 7:40 am in Townsend.  Wow, it feels like camping weather to me.  Come to think of it, it feels like good fishing weather too.  I wish I were camping on a trout stream this morning.  The high temperature today should be around 76 in the valley and cooler than that in the mountains.

Little River has plenty of flow but not too much.  Flow is currently 234 cubic feet per second (cfs) and the flow gauge is reading 2.08 feet.  Median flow for this date is 188 cfs.  That’s pretty close to normal. 

Fishing is great.  It may be a little slow this morning.  The water temperature at the Townsend “Y” was 55.7 earlier.  I would be out there anyway.  I pulled into the shop parking lot this morning and parked next to our boat.  The boat cover was wet.  It did not rain so that must be dew.  Sprinkled all over the cover were some very small sulphur colored mayflies.  They must have thought they were landing on a stream to lay eggs. 

I think I would use some small #16 or smaller sulphur colored mayfly patterns today.  I don’t know why I say that.  Call it a hunch. A Light Cahill will closely match that hatch.  Small Yellow Sally stonefly patterns will also work well.  A Yellow Neversink Caddis would be my choice.  A Parachute Adams is another good choice for a dry fly.  It does not look like a Sulphur or Yellow Stonefly.  It looks like a dark mayfly.  A Bead Head Pheasant Tail or a Pheasant Tail without a bead will be a good nymph to use. 

Fishing should be much better in the lowland rivers for smallmouth bass and rock bass.  The water levels are more friendly but there is enough depth and current to allow for roaming bass.  Use crayfish patterns, a Wooly Bugger, or try something on top like a Stealth Bomber or Knucklehead. 

I’ve got a feeling, though I’ve been wrong many times, that the shellcrackers are spawning.  Its that full moon that makes me think it is happening.  I also know they have not spawned in several of our lakes but the adult females were chocked full of eggs this week. 

Paula and I will be shellcracker fishing next week.  We’ll use Carter’s Rubber Legged Dragons and Knuckleheads or small poppers.  I’m running low on leaders and tippet so I’ll take care of that today.  Then, I’ll re-rig all of our lake fly rods for big, huge, hard fighting shellcrackers.  The anticipation is killing me.  Wednesday is my only day off.  And finally, it looks like the weather is going to be awesome. It wasn’t bad this past Wednesday but the water was very cold in the lake and the smallmouth bass were deep in most places.

Well, we are getting our winery in Townsend.  It will be called Cades Cove Cellars.  All kinds of laws had to be changed in our City Ordinances. We’ve been talking about this for months.  I drove by the land where the winery will be, at the other end of town and they were moving dirt. It’s a done deal.  Rule #1: “You don’t move dirt until it is a done deal.”  We are going to be seeing more breweries, wineries and distillers in Tennessee. 

Speaking of breweries, growlers are back in Tennessee.  I didn’t know they went away.  I don’t own a growler.  Maybe I should buy a growler.  Small breweries in Tennessee sold beer for off premises consumption.  Customers would bring in the growlers (a fairly large glass jar made for beer) and have them filled at the micro-breweries.  There was some concern by State officials that this practice may be illegal.  So, all the breweries had to stop selling their beer for off premises consumption.  The State Legislature and Senate passed a bill allowing this activity to be legal again and the law became effective May 14th. Growlers are back, no more prohibition. Happy days are here again.   You can read the story on the Daily Times website by CLICKING HERE.

Our new staff person, Alex Bone started working here yesterday.  She will be a freshman at Maryville College this Fall. She is very nice and very smart.  Alex caught on to stuff yesterday that would have taken me days to learn.  I like that.  Fly fishing is certainly not new to Alex.  Her dad is a fly fishing guide, who in my opinion pioneered the drift boat on a tailwater business in our area.  His name is Mike Bone. Alex has been floating down rivers with a fly rod in her hand, with her dad, most of her life.  We are all happy to have her join us at the shop.   

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

Byron Begley
May 25, 2013

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