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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is sunny and warm, 74 degrees at 7:50 am.  It is going to be hot again today.  Then, it will cool off for a few days.  We ended the month with a bang yesterday, the best sales day of the year so far.  May started out dismal due to bad weather, then came on strong at the end.  We are all happy, happy, happy.

Little River is getting lower.  Currently, the flow is 133 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 178 cfs.  The water temperature earlier was 66.3 degrees.

Fishing is good, but you must use caution when approaching some of the slower runs so you don’t scare the trout.  They are spooky when the water is at levels like we have now. The water flow in Little River is not that low.  Many people prefer this flow. It is different from what we experienced most of the Spring.

Use dry flies and a dropper if you want to.  Some nice trout have been taken on droppers lately.  Just to clear up a discussion about how far the dropper fly should be from the primary fly, the length is 12” according to Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s regulations.  Two readers of this report sent me the link to the regs yesterday.  I thought it was 16” to 18” but I never found it in the regulations.  To be legal, tie on 12” of tippet and attach your dropper to the primary fly.  I would say there must be some flexibility here.

The dry flies I would choose are, Yellow Sally Stoneflies,  Yellow Neversink Caddis, Yellow Stimulator, Light Cahill, Parachute Adams or a foam beetle pattern.  You could drop a small bead head nymph off the dry.  The best flies to use as a primary fly with a dropper is a Yellow Stimulator or a foam beetle.  They are very buoyant, which is needed to float with the nymph dragging 12” behind. I would use #14 or #16 dry flies and nymphs.  Choose a #16 for a Light Cahill or Yellow Sally pattern.

I’m hearing that fishing in the lowland rivers for smallmouth bass I good right now.  Josh  with FRONTIER ANGERS had some clients on the river a couple of days ago and there were one or two big smallies in the 20” range caught.  He said fishing was slow in the afternoon but great in the early part of the day. 

We are expecting rain tomorrow, maybe quite a bit.  The deadly storm system that pounded Oklahoma is headed our way.  We are not expecting what we saw on TV last night here tomorrow.  But, some storms could be severe and rainfall could be heavy according to the National Weather Service.

I am also hearing that the water levels on the North Carolina side of the Smoky Mountains are closer to normal than what we have in the Little River watershed.  I’m looking at Cataloochee’s USGS flow data page right now.  The beautiful river has been flowing above normal all week.

Michael Cox e-mailed his great fishing report yesterday.  Michael is a seasoned guide in our area with years of guiding clients on area tailwaters in his drift boat.  His guide clients all say he is excellent.  I know him as a friend.  I will say he is one heck of a nice guy and I never have fished with him.  I hear from enough of his customers to recommend him to anyone.  I know him as Rocky.  You can visit his website and read his latest fishing report by CLICKING HERE.

He reports good fishing on the Clinch River tailwater below Norris Dam.  I am hearing that too.  Frequent generation at Cherokee Dam have made it tough for many anglers to fish the Holston River.  And, Rocky even goes on to talk about the Cumberland River tailwater below Wolf Creek Dam in Kentucky.  Read his fishing report.  He does a great job.

Fred Turner from Saint Clair Mapping will be here between 9:00 am and noon.  He will be demonstrating his website download versions of his great Smoky Mountains maps.  Just come on by and meet Fred.  You will be very impressed.

We are ready for another big day at the store.

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

Byron Begley
June 1, 2013 

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