Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is warm and very humid this morning.  Rain over the past two days has soaked the ground and vegetation.  Now the heat is going to crank up and the air will be damp.  We’ll see temperatures in the low 90’s for three days then it will cool off and hopefully more rain will fall.

The airport got .63 inches of rain yesterday.  We got a little over an inch at the shop.  Little River looks good.  Flow is currently at 142 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 136 cfs.  We’re right about normal. 

Fishing is better due to higher flows all over the park.  But, the water is still warm as it should be this time of year.  Fishing will be better early and late.  The higher elevation streams will be best because the water is cooler.  Trout can be found in the riffles or near rougher water where oxygen is abundant and the fish are able to hide from predators.  Fish the shady areas of the streams.  The trout will feel more comfortable there.

I would drive way up highway 441 toward the Chimneys or the Alum Cave trail.  Road Prong would be a good choice for brookies if you don’t mind the rough terrain.  Many of the streams on the higher mountains will have cool water temperatures and active trout.  You can hike into the backcountry and find small streams covered with canopy.  Fish Camp Prong above Elkmont should be fishing well. 

Dry flies such as a Parachute Adams, Yellow Sally, terrestrials and Yellow Elk Hair Caddis should be all you need.  I would also have some Green Weenies in the box in case you feel a subsurface fly is needed.

The trout are hungry and more important than the pattern you use is stealth and presentation.  Stay hidden and get a good drift.  Don’t let your line fall on the water you intend to fish.  Let your leader do that.  Or if you can, keep your leader off the water as much as possible.  Make sure your fly is moving at the same rate of speed as the current. 

It’s bluegill time in the lakes.  They are active early and late.  Poppers are the choice for the fly fisherman.  Who wouldn’t love popper fishing for bluegills?  I can’t imagine.  I’m still on fishing medical leave.  Dang it, I would be on the lakes in the evenings if I could.  I’ll just have to settle for tying flies right now.  That’s what I’m doing. 

I bet, you could catch some smallmouth bass early and late in the jumps, chasing big schools of threadfin shad. I know you can.  The shad are small and tender, a perfect meal for a smallie. 

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

Byron Begley
July 14, 2010


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