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 Mountians.  It is partly sunny and 70 degrees in Townsend this morning.  A small thunderstorm moved across our area early this morning.  It wasn’t large but it packed a wallop. We had exactly 1” in our rain gauge this morning.  Little River was clear in town but the drainage system is muddy so I would suspect, the river is off color down stream.

Also, we don’t know what is coming down the mountains.  I’m pretty sure there will be some sediment stained water and it may be high in some streams.  This small storm did not cover the entire Park.  Maybe others did last night that I don’t know about. 

Right now, Little River is flowing at 156 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.68 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 209 cfs.  The USGS flow chart indicates the river is rising quickly.  The water temperature at 8:10 am is 63.8 degrees.

Rob Fightmaster is out with clients this morning.  They could either be experiencing exceptional water conditions or looking for something better.

We have a chance for thunderstorms every day this week.  We need the rain.  I’m not complaining.

Fly fishing around here slowed down this weekend, probably more than anything, due to low water.  People were catching trout but the numbers and excitement we saw in here was lower than it has been.  The trout are taking dry flies, mainly Light Cahills and Yellow Sally Stonefly imitations.  They would probably eat anything reasonable.  With the favorable water temperatures, they are hungry.

I read on our message board that Norris Dam had been shut off for 24 hours and the water was very low.  The Clinch has been fishing pretty well from what I’ve heard.  That low water problem is not good.   I’m trying to look at the water level in Norris Lake on the TVA website but a window asking me to fill out a survey popped up and is blocking the information.  I can’t get rid of the darned thing.  I believe Norris Lake is lower than normal right now.  Let’s try Douglas Lake.  Same problem.  I’ll send the TVA webmaster an e-mail.

There are special statements on the TVA impoundment pages that I can read, describing the current low water situation.  Rainfall in the Norris Lake watershed is down 44% this year.  They say the rainfall in the Cherokee Lake watershed is down 39%.  It appears some of the lakes are low.  TVA is mandated to raise the lake levels for recreation use during the warm months.  They have lake level goals.  They are not reaching them.

Wow, did we have a lot of visitors in Townsend this weekend.  It was crazy.  A lot of people were camping in the great campgrounds we have in Townend as well as those in the Park. 

I keep hearing that camping is becoming more popular.  I’m glad to hear that.  Maybe some kids are getting to do what I did at their age.  My parents took me and my sister camping often, usually to Lake Cumberland.  They had a travel trailer.  We enjoyed those times.

Campgrounds are much better now, at least the ones we have here.  For one thing, our campgrounds are located on Little River.  The bath house facilities are much better than they were when my family camped in the 50’s and 60’s.  Camping is big business in Townsend and Walland. 

Our campgrounds are near essential amenities like a grocery store, hardware store, restaurants and retail shops but you are not camping in a big town.  Bicycle trails are nearby.  Great Smoky Mountains National Park is right here.  Townsend and Walland are great places for people to camp.

TWRA stocks trout anywhere there is a campground here and in Walland.   

Camping in the Park is nice too.  There are not hot showers or hookups in the Park campgrounds.  You need to be self contained except for toilets and sinks.  But still, camping in the Park is a lot of fun and you really are in a wilderness.  The streams in the park are not stocked.  They don’t need to be.  Those trout are wild.

We have a lot to offer in Townsend and Walland.  I can’t think of a better place to be.  If you like camping, take a close look at our campground list on the above menu “Plan Your Trip”.  You will be pleasantly surprised if you have not camped here. 

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

Byron Begley
May 27, 2014 


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