Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It was a cool 62 degrees when I drove to work.  Traffic is light this time of morning but I saw plenty of people walking and riding bikes.  I stopped at the swinging bridge as I do every morning.  There were two guys standing on the big rocks casting bait into the River.  One of them said he had caught a trout. 

The river is getting lower again.  I was off yesterday and did not see the stream and we did not get any rain.  Flow this morning is 89 cubic feet per second.  Median flow is 118 cfs.  For days the flow has been higher than normal.  Rain will bring it back up but that probably won’t happen until tomorrow, Sunday or Monday.  It is going to be dry today.  The water temperature was 68 degrees at 7:45 am.

I assume fishing was good yesterday in the Park, especially in the evening or early in the morning.  When the water is this low the trout are mostly found in the riffles.  There, they can hide from predators and enjoy the oxygen rich water.  You will need to use light tippet, probably 6x.  It is hard to get a good drift in riffles so you will need to make short casts and do some high sticking.  Wear clothing that helps you blend in and stay low.  Hit the pockets behind rocks and try to keep the fly in there as long as you can.  Once the current grabs your leader and pulls the fly out of the pocket you will need to mend your line and try to get a drift in the current. 

We are still recommending Yellow Sally Stonefly patterns.  They work well, especially in the evenings.  Ants, beetles and inchworms like a Green Weenie will work too.  It is going to be hot for the next few days so finding higher elevations streams will provide better fishing for you. The water is cooler up there. 

Lake fishing was slow yesterday. Rufus and I fished in Tellico lake.  We were equipped for stripers with 7, 8 and 9 weight rods.  We fished mostly with sink tip lines.  I hung something big in a water cover forest.  I felt a few jerks and a run then the fish must have come off. I was hung in a tree and lost my Pulgisi shad fly.  Treetops were all over the place below us and a few were sticking out of the water.  At one point we got the boat stuck on a tree.  I don’t think there is any way we could land a striper in that mass of underwater trees.  We finally gave up and moved up river.  Rufus caught a nice largemouth bass casting along the bank.  We drove the boat up the Little Tennessee River where the dam was in sight.  They were generating full boar, wide open.  The current pushed us down the river and the wind blew us back upstream.  The wind was not expected.  Navigation and fishing was tough.  We met at the ramp at 7:00 am and fished or motored until 2:00.  It was hot and we decided to go home.  We had a great time.  We always do.

This weekend is a holiday and I bet there will be a lot of visitors in town.  I hope so.  I think our tourism business has been a little slow, especially in June.  Since I don’t fish on weekends and haven’t done so in at last 17 years I don’t know what it’s like to find crowds on the streams or lakes.  So, I don’t know what it will be like in the Smokies this weekend.  Usually, the weekend before and after a holiday are slow and peaceful.  Holidays are usually busy around here.  We’ll see.

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

Byron Begley
July 1, 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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