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 sunny and 73 degrees this morning.  Wow, Summer is here.  Expect highs in the low 90’s for a few days.  There is also a chance for thunderstorms every day though the odds are low right now.

Little River is flowing low at 75 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.43 feet on the flow gauge.  I believe this is the lowest the water has been so far this year.  Median flow for this date is 150 cfs.  The water temperature at 8:15 am is 69.8 degrees.

If you go fishing today, pick a higher elevation and shaded stream.  Dry flies will work fine.  I would use a Neversink Caddes or #16 Yellow Stimulator.  The trout are going to be spooky.  You will need to stay low and hidden.  Use light tippets.  The smaller streams in the backcountry are where I would go.  My favorite is Fish Camp Prong, a 4 mile hike up the East Prong from the Elkmont area. 

The water is warm in the lower elevations.  Higher up, it will be cooler.  Fishing will be better.

The tailwaters might be an excellent option.  TVA’s website indicates they will be generating at Norris Dam with one generator this afternoon.  If you can work with that, I believe I would go to the Clinch.  The water is cold there.  Check the TVA website for generation schedules before you go. 

The lower Holston River is fishing extremely well for smallmouth bass.  I know, because last Tuesday I floated with Josh Pfeiffer and Rufus.  We caught the heck out of them. The largest bass was 20 inches long.

Yesterday, I floated with Frank Brown and Josh.  Frank and I have been friends for 56 years.  He drove down from Kentucky and spent the night at our house Monday and last night.  We met Josh at 7:30 yesterday morning.  We fished the Holston with Josh all day.  Fishing was incredible.  Again, the largest bass measured 20”.  Frank caught that one late in the day.

The smallies were mostly taking top water flies.  We used poppers, Stealth Bombers and Knuckleheads.  We were sight fishing.  Most of the bass we caught, we saw first.  Man, that makes for some fun!  We caught a lot of smaller fish early, then later in the day, the larger fish appeared.

We would spot the bass, drop a popper upstream slightly, and let it drift right in front of the bass.  Most of the time, the fish took the fly.  We broke a few off and lost many. 

Frank and I were talking this morning.  We think we boated about 100 smallmouth bass yesterday.  The picture below is Frank holding a nice bass with Josh standing beside him.

Frank Brown and guide Josh Pfeiffer with a large smallmouth bass Frank caught.

We got home at about 8 pm last night and we are both exhausted.  Jack and Ron were there and Paula prepared an excellent meal for all of us.

The big problem was the heat.  It was awful yesterday.  After lunch we stepped into the river to cool off.  Later in the day, we pulled up to a shaded gravel bed and layed down in the river.  That helped a lot.

Josh is a super guide.  He’s been a customer here since he was a kid.  When Josh decided to start guiding, I advised him to make smallmouth bass a specialty.  We have such a great smallie fishery, and we don’t have guides to send anglers to, who are looking for that kind of experience. 

Visit his website HERE and look at his fishing reports.  It is full of photos of customers holding big smallies and trout.  He guides in the Smokies, Clinch River, Holston River and French Broad River.  He also does raft fishing trips down the lower Little River when we have enough flow.  Right now, we don’t have enough flow and the water is warm downstream.

I hope you all have a great day and thank you for being here with us.

Byron Begley
June 18, 2014

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