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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is overcast and raining lightly in Townsend this morning.  This rain is not expected to last all day.  There are many visitors here for the holiday weekend.  It is this weekend we honor our fallen military Americans who died defending our Country.  God bless these people and their families.  At the shop, we are honoring these brave Americans with our new flag, which flies every day on the front entry to the store.  Bill ordered a new flag and properly put the older one to rest.

Little River looks perfect.  Flow is currently 211 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.01 feet on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 192 cfs.  The water temperature was 56.2 degrees just inside Great Smoky Mountains National Park at 8:02 am.  The water is clear.

This is an excellent morning to fish about any in our area.  It is overcast now. The sun may be seen later today. Cloudy skies give the fly fishing angler an advantage.  Trout and other gamefish are more comfortable near the surface of the water.  I’ll take a cloudy day over a sunny day any day.

Trout in the Smokies are taking dry flies and nymphs.  Some people are doing best with nymphs like a Pheasant Tail or Copper John.  Others are doing well with dry flies.  Try any Yellow Sally Stonefly imitation, Light Cahill patterns or a Parachute Adams.  This is a perfect day for either.

Fly fishing for smallmouth bass in the lowland rivers is excellent right now.  The bass are taking poppers, Knuckleheads, Stealth Bombers, nymphs and streamers.  There is one problem.  Some of these rivers are very crowded with other fishermen.  Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has been generating at the dams and that keeps many anglers off the tailwaters.  I looked at the flows and generation schedules this morning on the TVA website.  Over the past 48 hours, they have been generating heavily during the day and turning off the turbines at night. 

As a result, angers are turning to the lowland, freestone, free flowing rivers because they are in good shape right now.

We are going to enjoy some excellent weather over the next few days.  The chance for rain is low.  Temperatures are going to be warmer beginning tomorrow. 

Are you like me and visit the USGS website to see what the flow is in Little River?  I do that every day.  You can CLICK HERE to visit the page or click on the link to the left.  Look at May 22nd.  There is a void in the data.  The graphs have a blank area for that day.  There is a reason for this.  The satellite that transmits this data became non-operational.

This 6,900 pound satellite is named GOES 13.  It was launched in May 2006.  GOES 13 has experienced several problems attributed to anomalies.  May 22nd 2013 was one of them.  From what I have read, it is still non-operational.  Data has been transmitted and received by GOES 14 which has taken over 13’s duties before.

You can read about this satellite on Wikipedia by CLICKING HERE.  I don’t know what we would do without our satellites.

I hope you are fishing this weekend.  I know a lot of people are.  Most anglers I have talked to say they have fished less this year than normal.  Our industry folks say that is true, not only in the Southeast United States, but all around the Country.  The fishing business has not been good this year.  One sales representative who works in the Southeast said this is the worst year he has seen in 17 years. 

The problem is weather.  The outdoor, fishing, camping and tourism industry success is always dependent upon weather. 

Detrimental weather events this year seemed to occur most frequently on weekends.  That compounds the problem.  In our case, the stream water levels have been closer to normal on weekdays, and very high on weekends. 

Visitors to our area have the same access to digital data that we do.  It only makes sense that visitors would prefer to be here when the weather is good.  Who wants to rent a cabin, motel room or campsite and watch it rain all weekend?  It also appears that visitors to our area, except for those visiting for special events, are reserving their accommodations at the last minute, based on the weather. 

It appears the weather is going to be normal here for a while. I hope, for the sake of our area business people, this is true.  Vacation season has begun, right now.  I’m glad.

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

Byron Begley
May 26, 2013

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