Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  There was a lot of traffic on the streets at 7:35.  It’s like a holiday weekend.  It is a holiday weekend.  At the swinging bridge there were three young guys who got there via bicycle from the KOA campground.  They were fishing.  Then there was an older man from Ohio sitting on a rock fishing with worms.  None of them had caught anything, not one trout.  The older guy had been there for a while.  They young guys just moved into his area and started casting.  One of them was standing five feet from the older person.  Somebody needs to teach those kids some stream etiquette. I didn’t have time. And, they were nice too.  Maybe the older gentleman invited them to fish there. 

The water is getting low again. Flow right now is 81 cubic feet per second.  Median flow for this date is 128 cfs.  We should get some rain over the next few days in the form of scattered afternoon thunderstorms.  That kind of activity keeps the creeks at a reasonable level during the summer.  The water temperature was 69 degrees.

Fishing in the Park should be fine.  I would go late in the day and fish until dark.  Fishing all day on a Saturday on a holiday weekend seems to be a planning problem for me.  I couldn’t make myself do it.  But, finding a pristine backcountry trout stream and fishing the evenings can be good anytime, even right through the Elkmont Campground.  Wait until everyone pulls out then you can take over.  You will be rewarded for that.

The trout are hiding in the broken water.  So you will need to fish in the riffles and where riffles enter pools.  Use yellow flies, patterns that resemble a Yellow Sally Stonefly.  You can see them well and they are what the trout see too this time of year.  I would use dry flies like a Stimulator, Neversink Caddis or other Yellow Sally Stone.

I sent Tennessee Valley Authority an e-mail this morning.  I can’t understand how the lake surface elevation above a dam could be 125 feet higher than the tailwater at the upper end of the lake.  I’m not talking about depth.  I am referring to lake pool elevation.  Elevation is calculated at feet above sea level.  Maybe there is an explanation.  I’m sure they will get back to me and I will feel stupid.  But, when I drive my boat from the lower end of the lake at the dam, to the upper end of the lake at the tailwater, I don’t appear to be going down hill, especially 125 feet in 12 miles.     

After the holiday the lakes will be free of people again on weekdays.  After work I’m planning to do some bass, bluegill and striper fishing.  Last night I tied a 6” Publisi Shad pattern.  I saved the 2” sections of material that I cut off for a smaller fly.  I’m going through EP fibers like crazy.  I’m on my third package in three weeks.  But you know what, shad patterns tied in many different sizes will catch about anything better than anything else.  Fish love to eat shad.  I tie some on #4 egg hooks.  The one I tied last night was on a Gamakatsu 2/0 stinger hook.  I tie all of them using white fibers then add color with markers.  I also glue on some hologram dome eyes using 5 minute epoxy. 

One problem is, you can’t buy them, not in the shape of a shad.  Maybe you can now but the last time I looked, you could not.  Some of my early ties didn’t look real when they were wet and stripped through the water.  Now they have broad shoulders and fat bellies.  From behind where fish often see them they are three 3-D, they are broader in the belly and head and thinner near the tail. And they hold their shape just right when they are wet.  Believe me, they are worth the trouble.  On these flies, in different sizes I have caught brown trout, rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, big bluegill, shellcrackers, crappie, catfish, carp, redfish, speckled trout, tarpon, ladyfish, and plenty of other saltwater fish.

They can take an hour to tie and it is a heartbreaker when you lose one.   

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

Byron Begley
July 2, 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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