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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is sunny and 64 degrees in Townsend this morning.  It feels good out there. 

“Make hay while the sun shines”.  Farmers are taking advantage of this long awaited dry spell.  I saw hay bales everywhere I looked on my way to work.  Round bales were in the freshly cut fields along Old Cades Cove Road and Old Tuckaleechee Road, my route to Townsend.  When I got to town, I saw three trucks loaded with square bales.  More round bales are scattered around town.  If you can find an acre of undeveloped land in Townsend, somebody is going to cut the hay, even if they only get one bale. 

Little River looks beautiful this morning.  The water level is dropping very slowly.  Right now, the flow is 515 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.73 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 146 cfs.  The water temperature is 62.3 degrees and the water is clear.

I would call fishing “fair”.  Some anglers don’t like the water at this level.  Some love it at this level.  It doesn’t really matter to me as long as I’m fishing.  Today, I would definitely find a small stream, a mile or so from the road and spend the day enjoying some solitude at the most beautiful place on earth. 

Swimmers, water sitters and tubers are going to be out in a spectacular show of force on the main rivers along the roads.  That will not be a place to enjoy fly fishing.  Go into the backcountry! 

The guides reported decent fishing in the Smokies yesterday.  A dry fly and dropper seems to be working best.  I would start with a #14 Yellow Stimulator and drop a Green Weenie off the dry fly.  If the trout don’t hit that I would be surprised.  Try a small Bead Head Pheasant Tail as a dropper if the Green Weenie isn’t working.  A #14 or #16 yellow Neversink Caddis will produce some action.  If the dry and dropper don’t work, do some good old fashioned high sticking with a weighted nymph.  Get it down deep.

Don’t expect low water.  We don’t have much if any of that.

Generation at Norris Dam is off right now.  They plan to crank it up at 1:00 pm today.  TVA is generating power, full bore at Cherokee Dam all day. The same thing is happening at Douglas Dam.  TVA is trying to lower the lakes, sort of making hay when the sun shines, if you know what I mean.  They are preparing for the next big rain event.

The dams on the Little Tennessee River are churning too.  Water is gushing toward the Tennessee River from Fontana Lake.  Fontana Lake’s water level got pretty high this week.  It’s coming back down now.

Fort Loudon Dam is generating and spilling with an estimated flow of 50,240 cubic feet per second.  Watts Bar Lake, below that dam is still high and at that dam the discharge is estimated at 73,637 cfs.  They are spilling at Watts Bar dam through the flood gates. 

Before you go fishing below one of these dams, check the generation schedules and other pertinent information at the TVA website.  Don’t take my word for it. 

Little River took the life of a young man yesterday.  I probably know him but the name does not ring a bell.  He lived in Townsend.  This 25 year old was swimming at Perry’s Mill, below the dam and was held under by the current.  That is so sad.

Another person who was tubing in Townsend yesterday got their foot or leg hung under the water on something.  Details are sketchy right now.  I saw and heard the rescue folks fly by the store yesterday.  Apparently the person was rescued and is alive. 

Hey folks, we’ve got plenty of water.  Be careful.

Our main computer server was down for two days, Thursday and yesterday.  That has never happened before.  It has gone down but not for that long.  Our great staff performed well during the crisis. All transactions were handled by hand with a pen and a piece of paper.  They had to manually check the prices of items being sold by walking around the store and looking at the pegs on the walls.  We couldn’t read bar codes.

I personally didn’t handle the crises very well.  I did a lot of pacing.  Everything seems to be working now.  I turned on the server this morning and held my breath.  We do have double backups of our data. 

I think your best bet for fly fishing today will be the Smoky Mountains or on our area lakes of which there are many.  Those of you who are fishing on the Clinch River should be enjoying yourself until noon.

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

Byron Begley
July 13, 2013

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