Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is warm this morning.  When I stepped out of the house, all I could hear were birds singing.  Then one of the air conditioner compressors kicked on.  That ended the songs or at least I couldn’t hear them anymore.  Traffic is very light.  Believe it or not, some of the schools start here next week.  This has been a slow Summer for tourism.  Camping in the Park is down significantly.  It’s been too darned hot!

Little River was surprisingly turbid this morning.  When I got to work I found out why.  We had a couple of small thunderstorms that dropped rain in the Park yesterday afternoon and last night.  Flow is currently 217 cubic feet per second.  Median flow for this date is 115 cfs.  So we have plenty of water.  The flow is not high, it is just high for this time of year.  The water temperature was 70 degrees at the swinging bridge at 7:30 am. 

Fishing in the Park continues to be good thanks to the above average water flow. Most anglers are using ants, beetles and Green Weenies.  It is terrestrial time in the Smokies.  Yellow Sally stonefly imitations are also working well.  Your best fishing is up high or in the mid-elevation streams.  I would spend my day above the Elkmont Campground.

I’m about to give up on lake fishing until it cools off.  The water is warm unless there is some generation below the dams feeding the lake you are fishing, and lately they have not been doing much of that on the Little Tennessee River.  Also, when the temperature reaches 90 degrees which it has been doing early in the day, standing in our aluminum boat is like fishing from an oven.  On Wednesday the lake water temperature was 80+ degrees most of the day except near the dam and that generation period was brief. 

Of course you can wade out into your favorite tailwater and find relief from the heat.  The trout fishing has been good in all the tailwaters lately.  They must have stocked a bunch of brook trout in the Clinch.  Bill said he got into them this week and the small stockers were hitting on almost every cast.

Here is a story that will make you think twice about sticking your head in a jar, especially in the backcountry.  That happened to a bear.  And it took officials three weeks to finally capture the bear to remove the jar.  Sounds kind of like Winnie the Poo but this was a real life situation.  This wasn’t a honey jar.  I’m not sure what it was, you decide.  You can read the article by CLICKING HERE.

Shelly Hammonds, a Tennessee Wildlife Officer finally shot the bear with a tranquilizer gun and removed the plastic jar.  The bear could not eat during that three-week period and it was hot. 

I don’t know Shelly well but I do know her husband John very well.  He worked for the Park fisheries department while he was in college and graduate school.  Now, he is in charge of the impoundment fisheries in our region for TWRA.  They are both nice people.  Now, she is my hero.

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

Byron Begley
July 22, 2011 

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Our fly fishing classes will be offered from March to October 2011.   To sign up just call the shop at 877-448-3474.  You can read more on our website in the Schools Section.  The fly fishing class schedule follows:

Saturday July 23 – Beginner Day One
Sunday July 24 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday September 10 – Beginner Day One
Saturday September 24 – Beginner Day One
Sunday September 25 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday October 8 – Beginner Day One
Saturday October 22 – Beginner Day One
Sunday October 23 – Beginner Onstream Day Two

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