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


Welcome to the Fly Fishing Report.  The sun is shining and the temperature is a moderate 65 degrees.  This is a great time to be vacationing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  It has been cool and dry for a few days.  That will change tomorrow.  It will be cool and wet for a few days just in time to bring the water levels back up to above normal.  Traffic was light this morning even though it is a Saturday.  Plenty of visitors will be out and about soon.  They are on vacation.  They can sleep in if they want to. 

There are a lot of people camping.  This is a camping destination.  Elkmont and Cades Cove are popular spots on this side of the Smokies.  Also, we have plenty of great full service campgrounds in Townsend and Walland.  I’m sure most of them are at full capacity or close to it.  When the rain arrives, many will hook up and go home. 

Little River is flowing at 120 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 146 cfs.  The water temperature at 7:45 was 62.3 degrees.  It is going to be hot today, 86 degrees if the weather predictors are correct.  Tomorrow’s high is supposed to be 79 degrees. 

Fishing is really good in the Park.  The best fishing is early and late.  I would still use those Yellow Sally stonefly patterns for the dry.  We’ve been selling a lot of Yellow Parachute Adams too and Sulphur patterns.  They must be working.  I would also use beetles and Green Weenies.  Wherever you go, you should not have trouble catching trout unless you are fishing behind someone.  I did hear a couple of people tell me the fishing was fairly slow yesterday on the Middle Prong.  But, the fishing was fantastic day before yesterday in the Park.

Fly fishing the lowland streams for smallmouth bass will be better early and late.  Poppers, Stealth Bombers and Knuckleheads in Black or Chartreuse will work fine.  The water is fairly low in the rivers.  Fishing will improve after the rain moves through and the water clears. 

Fishing is decent in the lakes using top water flies.  I found lately, that the better fishing is in the afternoons until dark.  Just three weeks ago, the lake fishing was best between 11:00 am and 2:00 pm or at least it was for me.  If I get to go fishing next week it will be on the Little Tennessee River on Tellico Lake.  I love the fishing down there but I hate the standing timber that was left in tact when they built Tellico Dam.  It would be fine if there were not current in the river.  I get the jitters when the current moves the boat over a tree or big rock.

If I don’t go fishing this week it will be due to the thunderstorms.  I also get the jitters when those thunderheads suddenly appear over the mountains and white caps form one the lake.  Lightning is also an unpleasant experience on the lake in a boat.  If I don’t go fishing I am going to make foam cylinder poppers.  Paula and I are getting low on those.  They are working very well for smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, bluegill and shellcrackers.  You can learn to make them by CLICKING HERE.  I created these web pages a few years ago and you may have seen them.  These poppers are easy to make and they work.  My favorite colors are black and chartreuse.  I use 3/8” cylinders and a #8 kink shank popper hook.

There was a serious bicycle wreck near town yesterday.  One man is in critical condition.  You can read about it by CLICKING HERE.  The event was a tandem bike rally. The driver of the bicycle was riding too close to the bike in front of him and he clipped that bike’s wheel with his own which cause the terrible accident.  I home he is OK.  His wife was on the bike too.  I don’t know what condition she is in.

I ride a little on the back streets in town but I’m always careful not to do anything to cause an accident. If I break an arm, I’m out of work.  My doctor is an avid rider.  He told me one time, “It is not a matter of if you will have an accident, it is a matter of when you will have an accident.” 

I see large groups of bicycle riders go through town.  They are all bunched up in a group and appear to be riding only inches from each other.  It seems to me that it would be easy for one of them to collide with another.  Our Police Chief says the same laws apply to bicycles that apply to motorized vehicles on Tennessee roads.  You are supposed to stay one vehicle length behind another for each 10 miles per hour you are traveling. So if a bicycle is traveling at 30 miles per hour, there should be three bicycle lengths between it and the one in front.  It seems like that would be a safer way to ride. 

Kathy at Gracehill B & B sent me a link to a photo show on Youtube that she created.  The theme is sunsets in the Smoky Mountains.  She did a great job.  Kathy is very web savvy.  Her B & B is at about 3,000 feet elevation. I can see it from my office. As you will see, the views from up there are unbelievable.  Her B & B is awesome.  Check it out if I can figure out how to imbed the video.  Enjoy!  Let’s make it go viral.



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

Byron Begley
June 9, 2012 


Respond to: byron@littleriveroutfitters.com


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