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

NOTE:  Great Smoky Mountains National Park is reporting that Little River Road between Elkmont and the “Y”, Laurel Creek Road from the “Y” to Cades Cove, the Cades Cove Loop Road and Foothills Parkway West are still closed due to downed trees as 7:50 am today.  To check road closings throughout the day call 865-436-1200.  Push the #2 button on your phone twice to hear the road conditions report. 

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  As you read above the entrance to the Park is still closed at Townsend.  Judging from the traffic and parking lots I saw this morning, our town is full of visitors.  We are telling them to enter the Park through Gatlinburg.  I would imagine the traffic is heavy there since one of the three main entrances is closed during the peak tourist season.  One couple I talked to yesterday planned on entering at Metcalf Bottoms via Lions Spring Road.  I don’t know how that turned out.

The storm that blew in here night before last was powerful and deadly.  Two people died after being hit by fallen trees.  Several others were injured.  Power was out in parts of Townsend most of the day yesterday.  I don’t know if it has been restored.  Trillium Cove next to our store was without power.  Their power comes from lines on Old Highway 73.  Ours is an underground connection to the larger lines on Highway 321. The water company was without power too.  

I’m sure we have a lot of disappointed visitors.  Imagine coming to a resort town at a National Park gateway, on your vacation, and not being able to go into the Park without driving a long distance.   This is especially troublesome for many of those people who are here to visit Cades Cove.  This is a sad time indeed for many reasons. 

959 unique computers opened this page yesterday.  I think that was a record.  That number is usually between 400 and 800.  Additionally, several hundred more people read the archived fishing reports each day.  I guess the storm prompted more people to search for information. 

Our pages are indexed by the search engines within hours.  Yesterday’s fishing report was indexed this morning when I checked.  A couple of weeks ago I added our Brook Trout Restoration T-shirt to the online store.  That page was indexed the next day.  They both could have been indexed the same day.  I did not check to see.

It is 75 degrees right now and the sun is shining.  It’s going to be hot today, 98 degrees according to the National Weather Service.  Rain should move into the area tomorrow night.  Little River is flowing at 65 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 125 cfs. The water temperature was 72.3 degrees this morning at 7:50 am.

Fishing in the Smokies is good but not accessible near here.  Fishing will be best early and late.  The higher elevation streams will be cooler.  Streams in the backcountry will be less populated with non-fishing visitors.  There you can find solitude, hopefully.

I think you can drive through Gatlinburg, turn right at the Sugarlands Visitors Center and go to the Elkmont Campground.  That’s what I would do.  Hike upstream a few miles.  Elkmont Campground was not mentioned as a closed area in the report I heard today from the Park.  You could also fish the West Prong of the Little Pigeon and any of the tributaries along Highway 441 up to and beyond Newfound Gap.  Expect heavy traffic.

Daniel talked to a Ranger this morning at the “Y”.  He said the Ranger hoped the roads would be open this afternoon but there are no guarantees.  That is the best information he had.  He did tell Daniel that you could enter Elkmont from the Gatlinburg end of Little River Road.

Use dry flies or nymphs, stay low, use light tippet and fish the faster water.  I would use a Neversink Caddis (yellow), Yellow Stimulator, Parachute Adams, Yellow Elk Hair Caddis, Black Beetle or a Green Weenie.  The Green Weenie make a great dropper during the Summer.

Fishing for smallmouth bass on the tailwaters has really picked up.  I talked to a customer yesterday who was guided by Josh.  It was his first float trip on a river.  He caught at least 20 smallmouth bass and he said they measured a couple of them at 20”.  He said it was a good day.  I emphatically told him he had a great day!!!  Josh told me lately that the smallie fishing had picked up in the tailwaters.

Another customer was talking about smallmouth bass fishing on the upper Clinch River near Tazwell.  I want to try that.

For you anglers who tie bass flies, we now have the “Blockhead Bodies” in stock.  We are offering them in three sizes.  We are stocking 4 colors of each size, white, black, chartreuse and yellow.  We also stock the finished flies in black and white.  There is something about these poppers.  They make a lot of noise and leave a bubble trail. 

And, for all you Frog Fanny fans, the product is back on the market in limited amounts.  We got one order of 96 bottles and we have another 96 on the way.  They are going fast.  This happens a couple of times each year.  We decided to stock 200 bottles plus what we think we’ll sell in two weeks.  Then we will replenish every two weeks.  If there is another interruption, we think 200 bottles will get us through. 

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

Byron Begley
July 7, 2012 

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