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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is sunny and 69 degrees in Townsend this morning.  Traffic was light on my way here.  The motel parking lots are full of vehicles.  Tourist season is here for sure.  It feels and looks like Summer too.  We are going to have high temperatures in the low 90’s all week.  Low temperatures will be in the 60’s.  There is a slight chance for rain every day.  We are all hoping for that.

Little River is very low.  Flow right now is 81 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 141 cfs.  The water temperature was 67.5 degrees at 7:50 am. 

This low water is not helping the fishing at all. The trout are spooky and doing their best to hide from you and other predators.  Your best opportunity is to go fishing very early in the morning or in the evenings.  Or hike into the backcountry to some of the smaller streams that are shaded.  Dry flies or nymphs will work.  As we all know, the Green Weenie is an excellent fly for fishing under these conditions.  Actually, it is a great fly in higher water too, during the Summer.  Use smaller dry flies and light tippet.  Don’t cast a shadow on the water.  Stay hidden and keep low.  Get a good drift.  Do all of that and you will catch some trout in the Smoky Mountains.  But, don’t expect the fishing to be like it has for the past few months. 

Smallmouth bass fishing in the lakes with a fly rod is tough right now too.  Those fish are seeking deeper water, especially during the day when the temperatures heat up.  Again, go early and late. 

Smallmouth bass fishing in the lowland rivers will require different techniques.  The bass will avoid shallow water.  My best advice is to go early and late.  You might do well with a streamer during the day.  Those fish can only go so deep in a natural flowing river.  There are not any 25’ deep holes in these streams that I know of.  And, they have to eat.  They will be doing most of that at night.

Smallmouth bass in the tailwaters is a different story.  The water is cooler depending on where you are.  These guys will hit poppers in August. 

Trout fishing on the cooler tailwaters is a good bet right now.  Though your favorite river may not be flowing at the perfect rate for you, there are windows of opportunity available to you. Just click on the tailwater links to the left, go to the TVA website and find a tailwater that has a suitable release schedule.  Then go!

Paula and I are going to fish for a few days next week.  We will be seeking largemouth bass and bluegill on the lakes.  I’m sure we will do well.  We’ll use poppers, dragons, Knuckleheads and Stealth Bombers.  We will be on the lake early and late. 

There is always some fly fishing to be done in East Tennessee, 12 months out of the year.  That is why I like living here so much.

Hopefully tonight I’ll finish those 40 some odd poppers.  I started tying in tails last night.  I even tied in a couple this morning at 6:00 am.  These are all in #6 and #8 sizes.  I will probably have enough to last a couple of years.  They are made using foam cylinders and they are extremely durable.  Next, I’m going to do the same thing with larger cylinders to target bass.  They will be made in sizes #2 and #4.  Colors will be white, black and chartreuse.  I doubt if I will make 40 or them though.  That has been a memorable project. 

I got into this bass fishing due to vertigo.  It hit me about 4 yearso ago and my first encounter was severe.  I have found myself not trusting my footing in trout streams. If I fall and break an arm, I can’t work.  My work requires operating a keyboard and a mouse. My hobby requires both arms and hands.

Also, I want to expand my fly fishing knowledge and experiences.  We went through the saltwater phase and enjoyed that very much.  Since I like boats, fishing for smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, stripers, bluegill and anything else that bites satisfies my fly fishing search for more.  We have several lakes in this area and we have yet to fish them all.

I also like making and tying flies for warmwater species.  They are bigger!  Since I tie flies every day, I’m finding new projects for my hobby. Fishing for warmwater species is just perfect for me at this point in my life and I’m enjoying every minute.  You have probably noticed more warmwater flies and related terminal tackle in the shop now.  There is a reason for that.

So, when fishing gets slow for trout, fish for bass, carp, stripers and bluegill.  That is a whole lot of fun. 

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

Byron Begley
June 19, 2012

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