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, cloudy and 63 degrees in Townsend this morning.  I came to work earlier than usual so traffic was very light. 

Rain fell somewhere in the Little River watershed yesterday.  The river rose to 1.75 feet on the gauge which put the level at median flow for the date.  Right now, she is flowing at 1.58 feet or 107 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 165 cfs.  The water temperature at 7:40 am is 66 degrees.

Showers a likely today according to the National Weather Service.  No rain is predicted tomorrow.  They say the high will be 83 and the low 62 Saturday.  That will be nice.

Fishing remains fairly good, especially in the shaded smaller creeks.  The water levels are lower than normal and unless it’s raining somewhere upstream, the water will be very clear.  Stay low and blend in.  Don’t let those trout see you.  I would use a dry fly, a yellow sally stonefly pattern or maybe a Parachute Adams.  Use light tippet and get a good drift. 

As I reported yesterday, fly fishing for smallmouth bass is very good in the tailwaters.  We had a great day Tuesday on the Holston.  I don’t believe fishing for smallies in the lowland rivers will be that easy.  The water is low and warm.  If you go, fish early or late. 

Charles, who works for Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency was in yesterday.  He interviews anglers fishing Little River, downstream from the Smoky Mountains and lakes on the Little Tennessee River.  The way he talked, fishing has been pretty slow.  The water is low and warm in the lower Little River.

I haven’t heard much lately about trout fishing on the tailwaters.  There will be some generation on the Clinch today according to the TVA website.  It looks like they will do a little pulsing on the Holston today but not much. 

Lake levels on Norris and Cherokee are still very low, much lower than they should be.  Due to the dry conditions and low lake levels on those two reservoirs, TVA is not generating much, creating periods of low water in the tailwaters.  Planning to fish those rivers for trout is tricky.  Keep an eye on the TVA website and plan accordingly. 

The US drought monitor was updated June 10th.  The major change in our region was a sift from “Abnormally Dry” to “Moderate Drought” in parts of Virginia, Kentucky and upper East Tennessee.

David Knapp was in yesterday.  He was guiding a client in the Park.  It’s always good to see David.  He bought a drift boat and is drifting the Caney Fork in it.

I’ve always been a big fan of the Caney.  It was fairly close to my home in Nashville and I fished there often during the 80’s.  The lake level above Center Hill Dams is currently 15.70 feet below full pool.  The U.S. Corps of Engineers is repairing leaks in the dam.  Information concerning this project is hard to find. 

Lake Cumberland, the huge reservoir in Kentucky is back to normal water levels right now.  Wolf Creek Dam had a similar problem with water leaking and it seems, after several years of work, the leaks are plugged and the water level in the lake has been raised.  Anglers there are enjoying much better fishing in the tailwater.

That tailwater was one of the best trout fisheries in the East at one time.  It seems the river is on its way back to that status and I’m happy about it.  I hooked the largest brown trout of my life the below Wolf Creek Dam.  I will never forget it. I was floating with a guide and I doubt if he has forgotten that day. We both almost fell out of the boat when we saw the fish.

If you want to keep up with what’s going on there, a guide service called Cumberland Drifters has a great website with current fishing reports written well by Brandon Wade.  Brandon is a very good writer. I’m looking at the site right now and seeing some big trout their clients are catching.

Frank, Josh and I plan to fish one of our tailwaters for smallmouth bass next Tuesday.  I don’t know which river we’ll be fishing.  It depends on the generation schedules.  I’m really looking forward to Tuesday.  Hope the weather is good.

Well, I hear the store opening downstairs.  The weekend is beginning.

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

Byron Begley
June 13, 2014 

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