Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report. I woke up just before 6 this morning to the sound of howling wind and thunder. Atleast back in Maryville and Knoxville the storm was fairly stout. 3,000 or so houses were out of power again. Skies are still cloudy and the forecast is calling for more rain and hot, muggy conditions. It isn't looking like it will let up for the rest of the week either.

When I stopped and got the water temperature at the Swinging Bridge it was 72F. The river was very off color but not too bad muddy. The stream flow gauge isn't reflecting the rain which fell in the Smokies yet. A customer stopped in first thing this morning and said that the Middle Prong of Little River at Tremont was flowing quite high. The flow as of 9ish this morning on the Little River Gauge was 1.82' or 153 cfs.

If you are prepared for it, fishing high muddy water can be a fun time. Don't go expecting to cast small dry flies. If that water is up you are going to need some weight to get the fly to where the trout are. Streamer patterns such as Clouser Minnows, Slump Buster, Wooly Bugger, etc can be good to throw. Large, heavy nymphs can be effective also. Ethan took advantage of a surge in water levels the other day and landed a monster 23" brown on the Little River.

Fishing when water levels are rising can be excellent. It can also be extremely dangerous. The anglers who consistantly fish high water in the mountain streams will often times not even wear their waders. This helps remove the temptation to wade in the water. Water levels in mountain streams can rise rapidly. When that surge of high muddy water starts down the mountain it is carry with it sticks and other debris. This extra junk in the water makes wading that much more difficult.

In between the rain showers, the increased water flows will help fishing. We were hearing several positive comments yesterday about ant and other terrestrial patterns. Yellow dries continue to work well too. There was a small sulphur mayfly on the window this morning. It is neat to see them on the window because it gives you a fisheye view of the bugs.

Byron and Paula have the boat out today. Hopefully they weren't sitting at the ramp as that big thunderstorm rolled through. Of course being at the ramp would be better than being out in the middle of the lake in a lightning storm.

If you go fishing this week be mindful of the weather. Have a great day and thank you for being here with us.

Daniel Drake
July 12, 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 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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