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 Mountains.  It is foggy and 69 degrees in Townsend this morning.  We got some rain yesterday and last night.  We’re all happy about that.  Our gauge at the shop had .60” in it this morning.  There is a slight chance for more rain every day through Tuesday with Sunday and Monday being the days with the best chance, 60% to 70%.

Little River was clear when I drove by this morning.  Flow is currently 122 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.64 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 158 cfs.  The water temperature at 8:00 am is 66 degrees.

Fly fishing for trout in the Smoky Mountains is good.  Evenings and early morning are best unless it is cloudy.  We should see clouds often this week.  Trout are taking dry flies with a passion but nymphs will work.  Drop a nymph off the dry for best results.  A small foam strike indicator is a good idea if you are fishing a weighted nymph.  When I do that, I usually pinch on a #6 split shot a few inches above the nymph.

For fly choices, our picks are Yellow Sally Sonefly patterns and Green Weenies.  Pink Weenies work well too, especially for brook trout. 

I talked to Josh yesterday.  He is a guide who loves to take clients fishing for smallmouth bass on the tailwaters and Little River.  He floats Little River in a raft when the water is high enough.  He uses his drift boat on the tailwaters.

He said the smallies are taking poppers well on the tailwaters.  He also said smallmouth bass fishing on Little River has slowed.  The water is warm and low.  So, fish the tailwaters.  I talked to another customer yesterday who fished briefly on the lower Little Pigeon River.  He said fishing was slow.  He caught one smallmouth and it wasn’t very large. 

Discussion on our message board continues about a permanent solution to the trout stocking funding shortfall expected after 2016.  Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and United States Fish and Wildlife USFW want to end their contributions to the program.  I don’t know all the facts, just what I have read.  But, this is a serious issue in Tennessee and other states.

Our Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) can’t handle the cost alone. I think the trout shortfall will be in the neighborhood of 1.5 million.  That’s a lot of fish.  It costs a lot of money to raise 1.5 million adult trout.

TVA is asking for your comments.  Send them your thoughts.  If they pull their funding after 2016, we may be in trouble as trout fishermen.  The more responses they get, asking for continued funding, the better our chances are of enjoying a wonderful trout fishery in our State.  Don’t give up!  The deadline for comments is next week, June 10th.  Please send yours now.  You can comment online by clicking on the following link:

I will send mine today.  Between 400 and 800 people read this report each day.  Some read every day.  Others read this report once a week or less often.  If each of you sent in a comment, it would make a huge difference.  Please do it.  You may live in Miami, New York, Chicago or Hawaii.  It doesn’t matter.  If you care please respond.

You can get more facts by visiting our Message Board under the topic “Tennessee Trout Streams and Tailwaters.”  Here’s the direct link:

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

Byron Begley
June 6, 2014

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