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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is cloudy and 69 degrees in Townsend this morning.  Traffic was very light on my morning commute.  This is the week after a holiday.  This week is always quiet around town.  There is plenty of human activity on Little River.  The tubing business is red hot right now.  The tube rental companies finally got some decent tubing weather.

Little River looks great.  Flow is 411 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.52 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 137 cfs.  The water temperature at 7:35 am is 63 degrees and the water is clear.

Fishing conditions are much better.  Guides are reporting good fishing.  Josh told me last night fishing was very good yesterday.  He said the trout were taking larger dry flies.  He had his clients using Parachute Adams dry flies with a dropper. He thinks larger, bushier flies are working best because the water is high. 

For the first time in a while, the fishing gauge is pointing at good.  Fishing in the Smoky Mountains is good.  However, the water is still high, especially for July.  On the other hand, the water is cool.  So, the trout are active.  I would rather have higher, cooler water than lower and warmer water.  If we don’t get more rain, fishing may be excellent soon.  We can attribute that to plenty of water in the streams. 

Normally, in July, fly fishermen get on the streams early or fish late.  That is not the case this year.  You should do fine all day.  At times the trout will be taking dry flies and at times they will be taking nymphs.  Be ready to switch or use both at the same time.

Fishing today should be better because of the cloud cover.  There will be some sun today. The Weather Service is saying “Partly Sunny”.  There is also a 30% chance for thunderstorms today, Wednesday and Thursday.  Keep an eye on the water levels.  An isolated thunderstorm could drop a lot of rain in the drainage you are fishing and you wouldn’t even know it.  That happened last week.

TVA is generating at all of the dams in our area today.  They are also spilling through the flood gates at some dams.  Hopefully that won’t last much longer.  The lake levels are dropping in most cases.  Once the lakes get back to normal levels, TVA should be generating less and fishing opportunities will occur more often.

You might have clear water in the lowland rivers.  Little River is clear downstream at least to Perry’s Mill.  I don’t know about the conditions on the Little Pigeon.  I’m pretty sure Abrams Creek will be clear.  Fly fishing for smallmouth bass might be good today in those rivers and others.  The water is certainly going to be deep.

I have high hopes for the lakes after today.  Paula and I are planning to fish one or two of them this week.  I’ve got a feeling the smallmouth bass will not be in shallow water.  The largemouth bass and bluegill should be. 

Camping is popular right now.  I’m seeing a lot of RV’s going through town.  Townsend is so underdeveloped, camping on Little River right in town is almost like being in the backcountry.  One difference is, campers have all the conveniences at one of our developed campgrounds in town.  There are several and they are all located on Little River.  Our developed campgrounds make our town a camping destination.  I don’t know of a better camping town than ours. 

Townsend is also a great place to ride bicycles.  Camping and bicycles belong together.  Most of our campgrounds have swimming pools in case you don’t want to swim in the river or go tubing.  Personally, I would rather swim in the river.

As anglers we don’t think about horse stables much.  We think about fishing.  Townsend has two great horse stables where you can ride trails for a nominal fee.  Tuckaleechee Caverns is a great place to visit while you are here. It’s going to be cool in there.   

There will be a lot of people swimming and tubing in Great Smoky Mountains National Park today.  Fishermen should consider enjoying more remote streams, not those located on major roads. Try the Middle Prong or upper East Prong of Little River.  If you want to fish the larger rivers along the major roads, go early or late.

This is a great time to be in Townsend.  This is like no other July I can remember.  This is the best July I can remember.  We’ve all been complaining about the rain but I think it will be a blessing for the balance of the year.  Think back to last year.  It was hot and the water was low early in July.  I remember well, complaining about that.

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

Byron Begley
July 14, 2013

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