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. The thick gray clouds which hung over the mountains this morning are thinning but are still giving hope for some rain. Rob Fightmaster and Chuck Kline are here today doing a large private instruction class. I told Rob that it looks like a fishy day out there.

There was a little bit of rain in the gauge this morning. We received about 1/8" overnight. It is enough to get the grass and the roads wet but not enough to change the stream flow. Over the next several days the rain chance is lower and then more of a chance over the weekend. I wouldn't cancel a trip because of rain right now....a rain shower is likely too cool the air off and help to improve the fishing.

Water levels in the Little River watershed are low. This morning the streamflow gauge is giving a reading of 1.41 feet or 72 c.f.s. The daily normal for this date is 128 c.f.s. The river here in Townsend is a little muddy this morning. Up at the Park boundary it is clearer but still has some tint to it. The waters inside the Park will clear quickly. Low water levels mean you have to be stealthy while fishing. Concentrate on areas with moving current. There is more oxygen in these areas and it is there that you will find feeding trout.

Fishing will be best early in the day or later in the evening. Higher elevation streams will be more productive than the lower stretches of the river. Streams with more gradient like the West Prong of the Little Pigeon will be better oxygenated than flatter ones.

Getting to higher elevations generally means a hike. Anglers are always trying to find a footwear solution for backcountry fishing. I haven't found a good answer yet. If you are going more than a mile or so up the trail you are best off wearing real hiking boots or good trail shoes and packing your wading boots in. Especially this time of year waders are just extra weight so I would leave them at home and wet wade. Wading boots don't give a good enough fit to make a good hiking shoe. On the way back out they are wet and wet feet on the trail is a recipe for blisters. I say if you are going to go to Fish Camp Prong strap your wading boots to a backpack, lace up the hiking boots and go. Some nice padded socks and comfortable boots are going to be nice on the way back out.

Yellow dry fly patterns such as Yellow Stimulators, Neversink Caddis and misc other yellow sally patterns in sizes #16 are the best bet right now. Terrestrial patterns like beetles, ants and green weenies are working good too. A little nymph dropper can be effective, but in the low shallow water it might become an annoyance.

Late in the evening has been fishing good. This gives you time to get done with work....grab a snack and head to the mountains.

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

Daniel Drake
June 25, 2014

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