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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is right at daybreak but I can see that the sky is overcast.  The temperature at 6:35 am is 69 degrees in Dry Valley.  I am home today.  My schedule is messed up this week.  Big fly tying orders are coming in, mainly due to a lost order at our largest supplier.  It should have been here a week ago.  And we have the Brook Trout Restoration T shirts that should be finished by Thursday, my normal fishing day.  So, I am taking today off and making poppers.  Paula and I are running low on poppers.

The huge front moving our way from the South petered out.  Up to 20 inches of rain fell in Florida causing flooding.  Alabama was drenched by the same weather event.  What was supposed to create havoc here did not happen.  Or it has not happened yet.  We do have a 100% chance for rain today and 80% tomorrow.  We will see how that plays out.  I hope we do get some rain, an inch or so would be nice.

Right now, Little River is flowing at 120 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 159 cfs.  The river rose briefly yesterday after some showers moved into the Smokies but it has receded now.  The water temperature this morning is 65.5 degrees.

Fishing is fine in the Smoky Mountains but the water is low on our side of the Park.  That may change later today or tomorrow.  Until something happens in the way of precipitation, dry flies will probably work best for you.  I would use yellow dry flies, something that resembles a Yellow Sally Stonefly or Light Cahill.  Terrestrials should work too.  Try beetles or Green Weenies.

The warmer water fly fishing in the lakes and lowland rivers is fair.  Early and late in the day offers the best fishing.  We caught a couple of nice smallmouth bass last week on the banks of the Little Tennessee River but that day the fishing was very slow and we did almost nothing until later in the afternoon, after 2:00 pm.  We were using top water flies.  The smallmouth bass in Little River below Townsend will be spooky due to the low water.  Further down stream, below Perry’s mill should be better.  The river is deeper down there. 

I think the best fishing on the Little T will be below Harrison Branch.  I had planned to go there on my day off this week. That probably won’t work out.

I am preparing for the last week of June.  Paula and I are taking off and plan to fish every day.  Yesterday I bought one of Gary Kreb’s popper jig sets.  We sell them at the shop.  I have not tried it yet but this device supposedly makes perfect popper bodies from foam cylinders.  If it works like I think it will, this is going to be awesome.  All I plan to do today is make poppers and maybe some of the huge Knuckleheads like I made last night.

These Knuckleheads are tied on a #2 Gamakatsu stinger hook.  They are exactly 2 inches long.  I know they will be a killer fly for smallmouth and largemouth bass.  What I don’t know is, how well they will float.  That #2 hook is heavy.  The foam strips are 3/8” wide.  For extra floatation I might try three strips instead of the usual two.  I am also going to tie some using olive foam to imitate the annual cicada.  Bass love annual cicadas. 

A bear found it’s way onto the University of Tennessee campus sometime Saturday.  When I read the headline on the KnoxNews website I just thought the Vet School had treated an injured bear and they planned to release it in the Cherokee National Forest.  That was not the case at all.  This bear climbed a tree and wildlife officers had to tranquilize the animal to remove it from the campus early Sunday morning.  You can read the story by CLICKING HERE.

Bears show up in  big towns around here and that always becomes a news story, though it happens frequently.  We have bears living around our house.  Our neighbors let us know when there is a sighting but the press is never contacted.  When one shows up in a highly populated area, it causes quite a stir.

Black bears walk through Gatlinburg like they are tourists.  They are attracted to the dumpsters located at restaurants.  Gatlinburg has some wonderful restaurants. People like to eat in Gatlinburg.  Bears do too.  They are referred to as “dumpster divers” in that town.

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

Byron Begley
June 11, 2012

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