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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is overcast and 71 degrees in Townsend this morning.  It is going to be cooler through the weekend.  This is going to be a beautiful weekend in the Great Smoky Mountains.

Little River is flowing at 797 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 3.21 feet on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 131 cfs.  The water temperature is 62.5 degrees.

We got some more rain yesterday afternoon, which is unfortunate.  The flow gauge was at 3.0 feet and falling.  We received .60 inches of rain at the shop.  The reading on the flow gauge increased to 3.5 feet by yesterday evening.  The level is falling again but there is a chance for rain today and tonight.  What we want to see is a gauge reading of 2.5 feet or less.  2.5 feet is high but fishing can be very good.  To some anglers, 2.5 feet on the Little River Gauge is perfect.  To others, 2.5 feet is high.  We may reach that level by Saturday morning if we don’t get more rain.  We’ll have to wait and see what Mother Nature brings us.

How soon we forget.  Remember what it was like last year in early July?  Temperatures were in the high 90’s, almost 100 degrees on some days.  The streams were low.  The water temperature in Little River was around 10 degrees warmer than it is today.  We were all miserable in early July last year.  I’ll take the high water over low water any day.  I’ll take the cool temperatures too.

I am looking at the fishing report for July 4, 2012.  That was the day I was home and two black bears tried to get into our house.  I’ll never forget that day.

Anglers are catching trout in the Smokies.  I would fish the smaller streams and use nymphs.  I know for sure I would add some split shot to a Green Weenie and use that fly, probably all day.  You will need to pick your spots and avoid wading as much as possible.  Be careful, there is a lot of current in these streams. 

All of the TVA dams in our area are planning to generate all day and they are spilling through the flood gates at Douglas Dam.  All of the lakes are high and Douglas is especially high but the lake level there is dropping.  Watts Bar Lake is very high, only about 3 feet from the top of the gates.  TVA is spilling water through the flood gates at Fort Loudoun, Watts Bar and Chickamauga dams. 

The good news is, after tonight the rain is gone.  It is going to be cool, dropping to 64 degrees Friday night.  High temperatures will be in the low to mid 80’s.  If we can find some lower water, what a great weekend this will be for fishing. 

TVA has announced “July 13, Norris will discharge minimum flow until 1:00 pm EDT for the Disabled Veterans Fishing Day”.  So, I would plan on fishing the Clinch River that morning.  TVA also plans to curtail generation on July 20th until noon for the Clinch River Cleanup.  Check this on the TVA Reservoir Information page for Norris Dam in case there is a change.  That’s what the page says right now.

Dang, I’m 62 years old today.  Since I started fly fishing on my birthday in 1962, I’ve reached another important milestone, 51 years of fly fishing.  I do a little hunting. I don’t play golf.  I don’t like gardening or mowing grass.  I’m not a fan of competitive sports.  I barely watch television.  My life revolves around only one sport activity, fly fishing.  I enjoy being narrowly focused.  And, I enjoy my work because I work in the fly fishing business. 

Working in the fly fishing business has very important benefits.  I have a common interest with all of my co-workers.  We all fly fish.  I have common interests with all of our customers, fly fishing.  The companies I do business with are fly fishing companies for the most part.  I buy and sell fly fishing tackle.  I write about fly fishing every day on this fishing report.  And I talk about fly fishing all day long.  At night when I’m relaxing, I tie flies to sell.  Early in the mornings, I look at stories on the web that you might be interested in.  I always tie a fly or two in the mornings before going to work in a fly shop. 

You can look at the interior of my truck and immediately know, “It’s a fishing truck”.  On my days off I almost always go fishing or tie flies.

My wife Paula fly fishes. She fly fished before we were married. I have some close friends who do not fly fish.  Most of my close friends fly fish.  If it were not for fly fishing, what would I do?  I don’t know the answer to that.  I never thought about it.

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

Byron Begley
July 11, 2013

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