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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  If you are a wild turkey watcher, today is your day.  I haven’t seen as many turkeys as I saw this morning in a long time.  It is raining, or it was.  A tiny cell is hovering above Townsend.  It is falling apart so the rain is about over.  We didn’t get much more than a sprinkle.

Little River looks like it does on a beautiful day in May.  It’s July!  A small storm dropped rain in the watershed last night probably in the Park.  The water level rose then fell back to about where it started yesterday morning.  That is probably going to happen every day for a while. 

Little River is flowing at 307 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.28 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 123 cfs.  The water temperature at 8:05 am is 66 degrees and the water is clear.

Fishing is awesome in the Smokies!  Anglers are having a great time in the Smokies and other freestone streams in the Southern Appalachians.  This is the best July I can remember.  I saw plenty of pictures of recent catches.  Most people are using dry flies or a dry with a dropper.  Of course the Neversink Caddis is paying dividends.  A Parachute Adams is a good choice.  A Yellow Stimulator is an excellent fly to fish with right now.  Terrestrials, like foam beetles are perfect.  Use the ones you can see.  They usually have a piece of yellow foam tied on top because black flies disappear in the water.  Nymphs and Green Weenies are working too. 

The Clinch River is supposed to be turned off this morning until noon.  There is a river cleanup going on right now.  TVA expects to turn the generators back on this afternoon.  I bet a lot of anglers are on the Clinch right now.  Other area tailwaters are generating all day.  According to TVA, Cherokee Dam is not generating right now.  The schedule indicates they will turn the turbines on at 11:00 am.  Check before you go.

Fly fishing for smallmouth bass in lowland rivers is good.  Water levels are good.  The water temperature is great.  At times you might encounter muddy water due to the scattered afternoon and evening thunderstorms.  That could be disappointing.

I’m hoping Tellico Lake will be fishing good next week.  We plan to fly fish there for bass and bluegill.  We will be fishing in unfamiliar waters.  I like learning new areas.  It kind of adds more anticipation to fly fishing when you have not fished there before.  Of course, I always expect to have fish jumping into the boat.  I guess that could happen.  Asian carp have moved into Tellico Lake from what I’ve heard.

I was about to pull the trigger and order some crayfish traps.  My new fun project is hopefully going to be trapping and eating crawfish.  Now that will bring back childhood memories.  I checked the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency website to make sure I would not be breaking any laws.  It turns out, Tennessee has 9 species of crawfish that are listed as endangered.  One of them is federally listed.  That means you can’t harvest those particular species.  One of them is the Nashville Crayfish. 

The website recommends contacting our Regional TWRA office to find out what to do or not to do.  I’ll e-mail Bart Carter.  He is our Regional Chief of Fisheries.  He has a renowned crayfish expert on staff, Carl Williams.  If any of those crayfish are in Little River, I will probably find something else to do.  Trying to pick 9 species out of some 70+ species that live in Tennessee would make this little hobby too complicated.  I just want to trap and eat.  We’ll see what Bart has to say.

If you have a boat, and you are looking to spend some money on it, you are just like everyone else who owns a boat.  There is always something to buy.  Paula and I have sort of a plain Jane deep V with a 20 hp 4 stroke Mercury on it.  This is the perfect boat for what we do.  What we don’t have are pedestal seats for comfort.  We’ve been using a cushion and a couple of those backpacking seats to provide a back rest.  That works fine.  I had picked out some real boat seats that I may at some point. They are the Cabelas Elite boat seats.  They sell for $80 each plus you have to buy the hardware and swivels.

These seats went on sale this Spring.  The price was dropped to $60 each.  I was at home one night and noticed the deal on their website. I planned to order them the next morning.  When I got to work and pulled up the Cabelas website, they were not on sale.  They were at the old price. 

I knew they would be on sale again so I checked the website every day so far this Summer.  Well, last night was my night.  The seats were on sale again.  I called Cabelas immediately and ordered two plus all the stuff I would need to mount them.  To add excitement to the purchase, I bought the seats with points we earned on our Cabelas credit card.  We put everything on that card, pay it off every month and build points for purchases.  So, our free seats are on the way.

I looked at the website again this morning and found lots of boating accessories on sale.  We have a Cabelas boat cover we bought three years ago on sale for $60. It has been a great boat cover.  

So, if you have a boat and need something for it, as I know you do, check the Cabelas website right now. 

We have a full beginner fly fishing class today and tomorrow and students will be arriving soon.  I better go.

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

Byron Begley
July 20, 2013

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