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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is partly cloudy and a very nice 56 degrees in Townsend this morning.  What a beautiful day!  It is going to be very comfortable in the forest today.

Little River looked about as beautiful as I have seen it this morning at 7:40 am.  There is plenty of flow, the water is clear and the vegetation is lush.  I almost wish I were not working today. 

Flow in Little River is 604 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.89 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date based on 48 years of data is 153 cfs.  You can almost rule out the past 48 years.  Normal this year is quite different.  Over the past 120 days, I can only find 2 days when the flow was under 2 feet on the gauge.  So, at the reading this morning, the water level is less than 1 foot above the lows established by the new norm this year.

The flow gauge is located in a wide, flat area on Little River just inside Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  In other areas, where the river is constricted by boulders or rock bluffs, the river level will be higher.  So, be careful wading.  Stay near the bank on the larger rivers where the level is high.

I would either fish a smaller stream maybe a mile or so from a road.  I would probably fish above Elkmont or way up on the Middle Prong of Little River.  I might fish the West Prong of Little River.  You want to find streams that have less flow.  The water levels will be dropping all day.  Tomorrow should be very good.  Some streams in the Smokies were not clobbered by the rain we had Thursday.  Some streams are very peaceful.

Fishing in our area is excellent with exceptions.  The Smokies streams are fishing great.  Use dry flies like a Parachute Adams, Yellow Neversink Caddis, Yellow Stimulators, Foam Beetles and the list goes on and on.  To fish below the surface use nymphs or Green Weenies.  Try what we call a Barbie Bug.  It is a pink Green Weenie.  These trout are hungry.  The water temperatures that drive feeding behavior are perfect.  These rainbows, browns and brookies are going to try to eat anything that looks like food.

The lowland rivers are flowing strong.  You need to pick your spots for wading and don’t take any chances.  When the water is this high, you can approach fish very close.  They don’t see or hear you as well when the water is like it is now.  Feeding lies are everywhere.  The water temperature is perfect for smallmouth bass. 

Some lowland rivers may still be turbid further downstream. 

The lakes are fishing extremely well.  We caught lots of nice smallmouth bass on foam topwater flies Tuesday and Wednesday.  We didn’t catch anything huge but we did have a few 3 pounders in the mix.

It is tourist season in the Smokies.  It is also tubing season.  Unfortunately, tubing some rivers that are this high, are not for your “once a year donut boat captains”.  Accidents are happening.  Rescues are going to be frequent.  There were two yesterday.  I hope these folks are OK. We see a lot of people tubing in high water and not wearing a life jacket. Most of the people I see who are kayaking in the Smokies wear life jackets. They know how dangerous these rivers can be. You can read about the tubing rescues yesterday on the Daily Times website by CLICKING HERE. 

Paula and I live exactly 2.1 miles from the store and closer than that as the crow flies.  Where we live, is not densely inhabited by people.  Those who own large tracts of land don’t care to sell it.  We can’t see our neighbor’s houses.  All we see are trees and animals.  On the rare occasions when we see people, they are usually lost tourists, someone looking for a coon hound or maybe a hunter.  Everyone has guns where we live and we hear shooting often.  Shooting a gun is normal where we live.  Nobody thinks anything about it.  

If by chance a stranger appears, you pick up a gun, go out and find out why they are there.  If they need help, you help them.  If they are lost, you tell them how to get home.  If they are possibly up to no good, you run them off.  I’ve done that before.

The same is true of animals.  If you see a black bear, it is hardly worth mentioning unless the critter is aggressive.  Then you warn your neighbors, after running the bear off.  If you can’t run the bear off, you get a gun and fire it in the air.  That will send them packing.

We don’t call 911 when we see a bear.  I was home when two bears tried to get into our house last year.  I didn’t call 911.  I took care of the problem myself.  To quote Phil Robertson, “Where I live, I am 911”.

It is different in the cities.  In the cities you have lots of kids playing outside.  You don’t want bears roaming around densely populated neighborhoods.  If you live in a city, you can’t just grab a shotgun and start shooting in the air. I don’t know for sure but you might get into trouble for doing that.

There are a couple of bears roaming around in Knoxville.  That is not a good thing.  Calls are pouring in to the 911 dispatch center.  The police borrowed a tranquilizer gun from the zoo hoping to capture the bears. TWRA is now involved.  A bear roaming around where we live is no big deal.  We expect it.  A bear roaming around a populated area in Knoxville is suspicious.  It might even be dangerous. 

We’ll see how this plays out.  If you live in the area, keep your young kids indoors or within sight.  Do like we do and keep your garbage indoors.  Empty your bird feeders.  Bring in the dog food.  With all of those people watching and reporting, the authorities will get these bears or they will decide to leave.  You can read the story in on the KnoxNews website by CLICKING HERE.

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

Byron Begley
June 15, 2013
 

Respond to: byron@littleriveroutfitters.com


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