Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is sunny, breezy and warm in Townsend, Tennessee this morning.  It was 76 degrees at 8:15 am.  That is unusual.  I talked to a couple of guys who were fishing at the swinging bridge using live minnows.  They had not caught any trout.  I usually run into a fisherman there and lately they are not catching much.  I took the water temperature.  It was 68 degrees.  It is probably going to warm up into the 70’s today.  Trout don’t like water that warm.  I bet the state wildlife agency TWRA has stopped stocking the river through town.  They usually curtail that activity when the water reaches the 70 degree mark.  Then they wait until fall and stocking resumes.

The Park streams will be cooler, especially in the higher elevations.  Packing a thermometer in your vest is a good idea right now.  If fishing is slow you will be able to find out why.  Then, you can drive up higher and find cooler water.

Fishing was good in the Park yesterday.  Most fishermen I talked to had done pretty well.  The water is low though.  Flow on Little River below the “Y” is currently 142 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 164 cfs.  We do have a 90% chance for thunderstorms today.  Those are pretty good odds.

It is starting to look and feel like Summer.  Maybe it is Summer.  You should always be willing to fish higher elevation streams, fish early and late and concentrate on shaded runs and riffles.  You have to use lighter tippet when the water is low.  Then switch to heavier tippet and streamers when the water rises after thunderstorms and showers bring up  the water level and the water becomes more turbid.

Dry flies will work much of the time but I like to use them late in the evenings.  Some of my best days on the water during the Summer were late, just before dark.  Most people use smaller dry flies when the water is low and they catch more fish.  I like a #16 Yellow Stimulator but sometimes that can be too large.  Try a Yellow Elk Hair Caddis in a #16 or smaller.  An angler showed me one yesterday and said it was working well.  Terrestrials work well in the Summer months.  A black foam fly with rubber legs tossed into the overhanging flora can produce some amazing attacks from browns.  Using a Green Weenie, weighted and drifting below a dry fly or strike indicator works well. 

Small flies and skinny water may require a tippet size as small as 6X.  Don’t put too much pressure on the trout when you are fighting them.  They’ll break you off.

Paula and I are going smallmouth fishing on one or two of the lakes around here.  We plan to fish tomorrow through Wednesday.  Tonight I’ll haul all of our tackle and boat equipment out to the truck, hook up the boat and take it all home.  Tomorrow morning we’ll head out early.  I can’t wait.  Daniel will be writing the Fishing Report for the next three days.

It is dark and cloudy right now.  I hope we get a good rainfall today.  We could use it. 

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

Byron Begley
June 6, 2010


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