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

Welcome to the Fly Fishing Report.  It is muggy, foggy and 70 degrees in Townsend this morning.  Tomorrow morning the temperature should be 10 degrees cooler.  And, it is going to stay cool for several days.  I can’t see any of the mountains from my window.  They are all fogged in. 

Little River appeared to be slightly stained.  That is good for fishing.  It was early when I walked out on the swinging bridge and looked down.  There wasn’t much light so maybe the water is clearer than I think.

The flow in Little River is up slightly this morning.  We had only .20” of rain in our gauge.  Flow is currently 198 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 193 cfs.  The water temperature was 65 degrees at 7:50 am.

Fishing in the Smokies has been really good.  Despite the human traffic on the streams and trails during the holiday weekend, the trout fed and they were taking dry flies.  From most accounts, the fishing was best early and late.  I’m sure that is still true.  Most anglers did best on yellow dry fly patterns.  A fly that looks like a small #16 Yellow Sally Stonefly is your best choice.  The pattern could be Yellow Elk Hair Caddis, Yellow Sally (many to choose from), Yellow Neversink Caddis, Yellow Parachute Adams or a Yellow Stimulator.  You will notice the common word in these flies' names include the word “Yellow”.

I guess that is why the old timers and even new anglers use a variation of the Yellowhammer.  The fly is also called the Yellerhammer or Yallarhammar.  The old pattern was tied using the wing of the common flicker.  The wing feathers have a yellow tint.  I’ve never seen a dead flicker but I do have some old flies tied from the feathers.  The flicker is a protected bird.  Dyed dove feathers work well as a substitute.

I’m going on a reconnaissance mission tomorrow to Tellico Plains, Tennessee.  That small town is a gateway to the Cherokee National Forest.  The area has a rich history dating back to the Muscogee who settled there.  Later the area was settled by the Cherokee that had been displaced.  The Tellico Iron and Manufacturing Company made munitions for the Confederacy.  General Sherman’s army destroyed the manufacturing facility. 

Coker Creek which is located about 9 miles from Tellico Plains was the location of a small gold rush.

Lumber replaced iron forges and gold mines.  640,000 acres of clear cut land was sold to the U.S. Forest Service in 1936.  Today we have yet another public playground that is similar in size to Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Wild trout streams and some stocked rivers lie within this beautiful wilderness.  Hunting is also allowed.

I’m going to be fishing a small 96 acre lake call Indian Boundary. I’ll pull the boat to the lake but I can’t use the gasoline engine.  This is a electric motor only lake. 

I’m looking for a place where Paula and I can get away for a couple of days from time to time.  It is hard to find accommodations in Tellico Plains.  I finally found a nice cabin rental company and talked to them yesterday.  I called another company and they didn’t answer the phone.

Since I might be working at this getaway, I need a high speed internet connection.  Those are rare in Tellico Plains.  So, I’m working with Verizon to buy a Jet Pack.  It is hard to tell if there is Verizon data service there.  Somehow I’ll figure that out.

Tellico Plains is something like Townsend used to be, maybe 30 years ago or more.  It is a beautiful place to visit.  Fishing is excellent and there are wild trout streams with artificial only lure designations.  Bait fishing is allowed in many streams. 

So, I’m looking forward to this day alone, searching for a peaceful place to get away and also doing some bass and bluegill fishing.  Gary Troutman told me to take some white Sealth Bombers.  I’ll buy some of those today.

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

Byron Begley
May 30, 2012

NOTE:  Starting June 2, the Elkmont Road will be closed at 5:00 pm so shuttles can transport people there to view the fireflies performing in phase synchronization.  This will continue through June 10th.


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