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 partly cloudy and 70 degrees in Townsend this morning.  A crowd of people and guides/instructors were in the parking lot when I pulled in this morning.  I was off yesterday and have no idea what they are all doing.  They were laughing and having a good time.  This may be some kind of special school.

Every day, we are enjoying at least some rain.  It’s not much but we’ll take it.  Right now, Little River is flowing at 1.51 feet or 91 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 121 cfs.  The water is currently rising.  We must have had some rain in the mountains last night or early this morning.  The water temperature at 7:55 am is 69.7 degrees.

We are all recommending you fish in the higher elevations.  I would hike above Elkmont Campground, higher on Thunderhead Prong or drive to the West Prong of the Little Pigeon River.  Higher up, you will find cool water.  Those beautiful small backcountry shaded streams are a great place to spend your day fly fishing.  You may encounter some stained water, maybe some high water.  Like I said, Little River is rising right now.

Dry flies with a dropper would be a good choice.  If the trout are not taking dry flies, they might take the nymphs.  Our favorite combination this time of year is a Yellow Stimulator or Yellow Neversink Caddis with a Green Weenie dropped off the dry fly.  The Pink Weenies are working well too, in some cases better than the green or chartreuse version.

Rain is back in the forecast tomorrow through Sunday.  We are all thankful for that.

The guides are very busy.  These guys work hard, going for days without a day off.  I’m happy for them.  I don’t know how they do it.  I have not heard any complaints at all from those guys.  You can see our Guide Page by CLICKING HERE

Our school instructors are busy too.  We are seeing a lot of new fly fishermen and they are coming here to learn.  I think there are openings in our July classes.  I believe “Aquatic Entomology for Anglers” with Dr. Brad Cook is full but you can always get on the waiting list for that class. 

Jack Gregory and his crew of four are busy remodeling our house.  I helped them yesterday on my day off.  They get there by 6:30 am and start working.  Jack and I spent the day in my workshop.  We have over 400 balusters to sand and chamfer.  I am doing the sanding on a big floor mounted belt sander.  He is chamfering using a router.  The balusters are kiln dried, pressure treated pine.  I think we got about 300 of them done yesterday.  I guess I’ll be sanding and chamfering at night this through the weekend.  The railings are going up Monday.

Jack is one of my best friends and he is a master craftsman.  He is also a master fly fisherman.  Mention fly fishermen around here, and Jack’s name always comes up.

We discussed the new boat house yesterday.  It will be located off our lower driveway.  The dimensions will be 24’ x 20’.  It will hold two boats.  There will be a small storage room where I can put fly rods that are rigged and ready to go.  Of course there will be water, electricity to charge the batteries, lighting, a beer refrigerator and a concrete floor that extends out into the drive.  The base will be completely flat so I can drag a boat out and hook it to my truck.

All the new decks and kitchen are going to be nice but this boat house is the most exciting addition for me.  As I age, boats will be more important to me.  Let’s face it, we all get old, hopefully.

We used to have steps going into our house.  Not anymore.  We will be able to walk straight into the house from our car and truck from the carport and a concrete drive.  It’s a straight shot, with absolutely no grade. A person could enter in a wheelchair if necessary. 

I’ll be able to drive my truck from the upper driveway to the lower driveway.  I can unplug the battery chargers, hook up a boat and go fishing.  That’s it.  No hassle.  The basis for the design is for an aging fisherman.

Bill Bolinger just told me they did some brook trout population sampling on Lynn Camp Prong Tuesday.  He could not go yesterday.  They are finding lots of young brook trout.  The spawn this winter was a success.  Bill said they found some “really nice” adult brookies. 

This news points to a possibility of opening the stream soon, maybe next year.  I don’t know for sure what Matt, our Park Biologist will do.  That is his call.  I know he will give it a lot of thought before making his decision.  I know for sure, he has already given in a lot of thought.  Lynn Camp Prong will provide anglers with at least 9 miles of easy access, wild brook trout water to fish at a mid-elevation.  Lynn Camp Prong is currently closed to fishing.

On opening day, you will need to bring your own rock.

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

Byron Begley
June 26, 2014

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