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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is cloudy and 70 degrees in Townsend this morning.  I love my morning commute.  I see maybe 10 to 30 vehicles when I drive to work and that’s about it.  I do see people walking, jogging, riding bicycles and fishing. Today was no exception.  This morning I drove by the swinging bridge to look at the river.  I had to drive slow.  A large flock of Canada geese were crossing the road in front of me.  They were doing what I call waddling.  I finally stopped.  They kept looking back to see what I was going to do but they were not in a hurry to get out of the way.  I wasn’t in a hurry either.

Little River looks good.  There is plenty of flow today but the water level has dropped substantially.  Flow is currently 490 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.68 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 131 cfs.  The water temperature is 61.5 degrees at 7:45 am.

Fishing is much better now that the water has receded.  The guides and anglers are telling me they are fishing the smaller streams.  Rob Fightmaster took his clients to the West Prong of Little River yesterday.  He said the trout were active.  Some folks are fishing the Middle Prong of Little River.  Others are going to Anthony Creek in Cades Cove.  I bet Forge Creek is fishing well.  The East Prong of Little River is still pretty high.  Be careful wading.  Stay near the bank and do some high sticking.  I would choose a smaller stream.  Try hiking above Elkmont or fishing the tributaries to the upper East Prong.  If I were going today, I would hike to Fish Camp Prong.

Dry flies are working fine.  A Yellow Stimulator, Yellow Neversink Caddis, Parachute Adams or a foam beetle would be my choice for a dry fly.  A Bead Head Pheasant Tail or Green Weenie would be my nymph choice.  Both would work well as a dropper.

We have a chance for rain every day through Monday.  The chance is not great.  Tomorrow looks excellent with sun and a high of 87 degrees.  There is a slight chance for thunderstorms tomorrow night but not during the day.

The lowland rivers are flowing strong as you would expect.  Some of them are still stained from the rain we got last week.  Rufus launched his boat in Nine Mile Creek and he told me it was still muddy.  That creek is a tributary to the Little Tennessee River on Tellico Lake.  Frank and I found the fishing for smallmouth bass in the Little Tennessee to be slow on Wednesday though last week the fishing was excellent.  The water temperature had dropped 5 degrees and we are blaming that on our slow fishing day.  Hey, you’ve got to blame something!

I just looked at the TVA website.  I did not see any fishing opportunities for wading below Norris, Cherokee or Douglas Dams today.  There is going to be a lot of generating going on.  I hope that will be curtailed for the weekend. 

I was about to go home last night when a fellow with a young family pulled in the parking lot.  I was already in my truck with the engine running.  He was looking for a bait shop.  He wanted to take his kids fishing on Little River this week.  I told him where to fish and directed him to the Parkway Grocery.  I think they sell night crawlers and red worms there.  We don’t have a bait shop in Townsend though my Father, when he was alive, referred to this store as a bait shop.  I followed the family to the Parkway Phillips 66 and stopped to make sure they had worms.  They did. 

Ronnie, our Police Chief was filling up with gas.  He and I talked about fishing for a few minutes.  He also told me about Frank’s new police car.  I actually saw it yesterday, parked in Ronnie’s yard.  It was still there this morning.  I thought it looked like a potential police vehicle when I first saw it.  The graphics are not applied.  The lights are not mounted on top.  Other police gear is not installed.  But his is going to be one “bad looking” “speeder catching” assault vehicle.  It is a Chevrolet Tahoe.

Frank is going to be looking sharp!  He always does anyway.  Ford quit making the Crown Victoria, the police vehicle of choice for decades.  We’ve been talking about what the City should buy Frank or at least a year.  His Crown Vic is worn out. The police department settled on the Tahoe.  Ronnie said one was tested on a racetrack and they could not turn it over.  Ronnie’s police car is a ford pickup.  Tony and Mike still have Crown Vics. 

One of my good friends was fishing with a small popper and hooked a mallard duck yesterday.  He called to tell me about it.  Somehow, he kept his rod low to keep the bird from flying and got it in his boat quickly.  He removed the popper from the duck’s mouth and released it back into the wild. 

Another friend of mine was fly fishing for carp on the Tennessee River right in front of Calhoun’s Restaurant a few years ago.  Customers at the restaurant have a habit of throwing bread to the ducks from the deck.  That draws in the carp.  Of course, my un-named friend had a large audience while he was fishing.  He did the same thing.  He hooked a duck.  That bird took off and my friend had to land it from the air.  Those who were eating in the restaurant got a very shocking and memorable experience much to the embarrassment of my buddy.

I hooked a water skier when I was a kid.  The guy deserved it.  He was trying to ski as close to our family boat as he could to spray us.  He ran his ski under my line.  I was minding my own business watching my bobber intently when this showoff decided to make life difficult for me.  As it turned out, he probably paid the higher price.  At the time, I had never experienced a better fight on a rod and reel. He did break me off.  He did not come back to apologize. 

It looks like we may have some good fishing over the next few days and I’m looking forward to next weeks adventure.  Paula and I plan to fish around Nine Mile Creek.

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

Byron Begley
June 21, 2013

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