Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  The sun is blocked by fog this morning in Townsend.  Traffic was light early.  I did see some people walking and riding bicycles.  The sun will burn off the fog soon and it is going to be hot.  After today, we’ll see a cooling off period with rain.  High temperatures will be in the mid-80’s for a few days. 

Little River looks good.  I was taking the water temperature at the swinging bridge and listened to the songbirds.  There seem to be more of them near the river or maybe I just hear their songs due to the acoustical affects of flat water and lack of distracting noise.  Flow is right at normal for this date.  The flow is currently 133 cubic feet per second.  Median flow for this date is 130 cfs.  The water temperature at the bridge was 68 degrees.

Fishing is good or that’s what some customers are saying.  I have not been in almost two weeks.  Fishing will only get better.  The rain and cooler temperatures will really help.  I would suggest you use yellow dry flies.  Trout love yellow here.  My choice is a Yellow Neversink Caddis or #16 Yellow Stimulator.  They will work well, especially in the evenings.  Inch worm and beetle patterns are a good choice now too.

The lakes are fishing well.  Smallmouth are taking surface flies.  I’m sure the river smallies are active too.  Go early or late.  When the sun gets on the water the bass will move to deeper water.  At that point you can switch to heavy flies and sinking lines.

I’m hearing the bluegill and shellcrackers are biting well in the lakes.  Catching them on a light fly rod is a heck of a lot of fun.  I keep an old Scott fiberglass 4 Wt. rod in the boat to catch those critters.  And sometimes I’ll hook a smallmouth bass on that rod.  It will bend double and the fish hardly ever break off.  We have a couple of the new Diamondback glass rods in the shop right now.  I like the way they feel but the last thing I need is another fly rod.

I don’t know much about the stripers.  My gut tells me they will be active in the tailwaters at least where I go on Tellico Lake.

I’m hearing the tailwaters are super crowded.  Anglers are finally getting a break from intense generation schedules and they are getting out.  Someone told me you have to take your own rock to the Caney Fork.  But, they also said it is fishing well.  That is good to hear.

I was fishing with Frank on Friday before last.  We were catching trout on the Little Tennessee River on Tellico Lake.  I was using a small Puglisi Shad.  I noticed a small fish following my fly.  It looked strange to me.  So I kept stripping until the fish got closer to the boat.  It was a yellow perch.  The shape was thin and the fish was probably 6” long.  I keep forgetting these fish have showed up here. 

Last night I was tying some very long, weighted Puglisi shad patterns.  I plan to use them for large smallmouth bass and stripers.  I occurred to me to tie some yellow perch patterns.  That small one I saw on Tellico Lake looked like a meal for a bass.  So, I searched the web and found some interesting information and good photos to use as a model for the flies.  I bet these perch flies would be awesome.  The problem is, we don’t stock the color of EP fibers.  I’ll get them.

Evidently, yellow perch have migrated here down the rivers from the North.  They must have moved up over the dams through the locks.  There is some speculation that people moving here from the north stocked them. 

In an article I found in the Commercial Appeal (CLICK HERE), Bobby Wilson who is chief of fisheries at TWRA stated:

“But as the years wore on, perch became more common in TWRA studies -- and now they've finally established a population great enough for casual anglers to notice them. "I believe they just slowly migrated in from the Ohio River," Wilson said.

"There are plenty of them up there, and they've just slowly made their way down here.” "A lot of people from the Midwest are retiring down this way now," Wilson said. "Yellow perch are one of their favorite fish, and we think a lot of those folks might be bringing perch with them and turning them loose."

I know these fish are good to eat.  But I’m looking at them as forage fish with a box full of perch imitations in the boat for smallmouth bass and stripers.  The area we fish on Tellico Lake is full of Walleye too.  Maybe this is the way to catch them on a fly rod.

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

Byron Begley
June 21, 2011

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Our fly fishing classes will be offered from March to October 2011.   To sign up just call the shop at 877-448-3474.  You can read more on our website in the Schools Section.  The fly fishing class schedule follows:

Saturday May 21 – Beginner Day One
Sunday May 22 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday June 11 – Beginner Day One
Saturday June 25 – Beginner Day One
Sunday June 26 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday July 9 – Beginner Day One
Saturday July 23 – Beginner Day One
Sunday July 24 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday September 10 – Beginner Day One
Saturday September 24 – Beginner Day One
Sunday September 25 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday October 8 – Beginner Day One
Saturday October 22 – Beginner Day One
Sunday October 23 – Beginner Onstream Day Two

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