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 66 degrees in Townsend this morning.  It will be mostly sunny today.  The chance for rain is slight for the weekend.  Finally, we are getting a break from the rain.

Little River is flowing at 645 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.96 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 121 cfs.  The water temperature is a cool 62 degrees. 

Little River is falling gradually.  Other streams in the Smokies are doing the same thing.  I looked at flow gauges at Cataloochee, Oconaluftee and Tellico River this morning.  Flow at those locations is dropping too.

If you are planning a trip to the Smokies this weekend you will find the water to be higher than normal but possibly good fishing conditions in some streams and areas.  By good fishing conditions, what I really mean is, the water will be high but fishable. 

I would like to see the flow gauge on Little River drop to 2.5 feet by tomorrow.  It may or it may not.  To me, 2.5 feet is on the high side of good.  Small streams will be much easier to fish and wade.  I would find a stream a mile or so in the backcountry and enjoy myself there this weekend.  Be careful wading.  The currents are strong.  There will be swimmers and tubers in the larger rivers this weekend.  You can avoid them by fishing early and late or walking a distance away from the roads.

I would rather have what we have now than what we had last year in July.  Early in the month last year, water levels were very low and water temperatures were fairly high.  It was hot too, really hot.  This weekend is going to be nice and cool compared to last year.

Dry flies should work, especially on the streams with lower flows.  I know a nymph will produce.  Pattern choices for me would be Parachute Adams, Yellow Stimulator, Yellow Neversink Caddis, some sort of foam beetle pattern, Bead Head Pheasant Tail, Prince Nymph or Green Weenie.

I checked TVA’s website and I didn’t see any wade fishing opportunities at our area tailwaters for today.  I did read that there will be minimum flow on July 13th at Norris Dam to accommodate Disabled Veterans Fishing Day.  You might consider fishing the Clinch River tomorrow morning.  Check the TVA website before you go.

TVA is generating and spilling at most of the dams to bring down the water levels in the impoundments.  The lakes are high.  The Tennessee River and the impoundments there have high water and constant discharge in the form of generation and spilling.

I’m tying Byron’s Knucklehead Bass Flies in new colors.  CLICK HERE to check them out.  I added white and yellow.  I have two new firetiger colors coming out soon.  One is Chartreuse and the other is Orange.  These Firetiger colors have not been tested.  I hope to do that next week.  They may work well for large bluegill and largemouth bass.  I really enjoy tying these flies to sell.  I’m tying about 3 per day on average to keep up with demand.  They sell well.  Since that is all I use for warmwater fishing on the surface I can say for sure they work when the fish are biting on top.

Fly fishing for bluegill is excellent right now.  Stan said he and Dan caught at least 100 the other day.  Sometimes, fly fishing for bluegill offers some of the best action available.  This may be one of those times.  I love fly fishing for these scrappy fighters.  I heard of a 12 incher caught a couple of weeks ago.  That is huge.  I have never landed one that big though I hooked one once.  I fought this thing and it ran close to the boat several times.  Paula, Frank and I saw it.  When it decided to run for a downed tree, I put too much pressure on and broke it off.  The State Record in Tennessee is 14 inches.     

Our server was down all day yesterday.  We had our IT guy here all day.  I’m hoping we will have it up and running this morning.  We are processing transactions manually.  When the computers are back up, we’ll enter in those transactions to keep our database accurate.  What a hassle this has been. 

I hope you can get out this weekend and go fishing.  Fishing has been off lately but we should see a significant improvement this weekend.  We do know anglers are catching trout in the Smokies. 

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

Byron Begley
July 12, 2013

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