Townsend, Tennessee
July 23, 2009

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is a very warm 70 degrees.  That may not seem warm to you but compared to what we have been feeling in the mornings recently, that is hot.  I didn’t have my thermometer this morning when I stopped to take the water temperature so that data is not available today.  Townsend is very quiet.  Tourism in our State is down and it seems to be that way here.  We are very slow at the shop.  Some schools are starting back the first week of August this year.  Summer came and went.  I’m hoping Fall will be better. 

The rain didn’t happen yesterday.  Little River is low, lower than normal.  Currently the flow is 87 cubic feet per second just below the “Y”.  Normal is 129 cfs.  The lowest recorded flow was 39 cfson this date in 2007.  The chance for rain improves greatly starting Sunday.

Fishing has slowed down for most anglers in the Smokies.  If you know how to fish low water you will do fairly well and you may do very well.  Low water requires stealth, light tippets, smaller flies and perfect presentation.  You should also find spots that have not been visited by other people.  That won’t be hard to do right now.  Not many people are fishing during the week.  There might be a crowd this weekend or maybe not.  After school starts back you will see less tubers and swimmers.  August and September are slow months in the Smokies as far as visitors are concerned. 

I would still use terrestrials during the day and Yellow Sally stones in the evening.  Beetles, ants and Green Weenies or a combination of two would be my pick.  Fish early and late.  Dress in dark clothing, stay low, make short casts in the faster water and get a good drift.

Daniel fished Tuesday evening on the West Prong of the Little River.  He caught 6 trout in a short period of time.  He was using a rubber legged Yellow Stimulator.  I just talked to Steve Moore who runs the Fisheries Department at the Park.  He and his doctor went fishing the other day and had some outstanding fishing.  Steve said the trout wouldn’t touch some flies but they gobbled down Flashback Hare’s Ears. 

I’m working on the August issue of the Little River Journal.  I wrote two articles yesterday.  Today I’m going to try to photograph and explain how to make poppers.  This will not be as easy as tying a fly.  The steps will require cutting foam, adding rubber legs and eyes and cupping the face so the steps will include hand holding the materials and tools.  Daniel will do some of the photography.  It is going to be a complicated process.

Much of my early fly fishing in the 1960’s was done in warm water for bass and bluegill.  I loved poppers.  I didn’t make them but they were readily available at stores in Kentucky.  I get a kick out of watching a big bluegill rise up and look at my offering.  When it looks like they are losing interest I give the bug a very light twitch.  The bluegill gets interested again.  Let it sit motionless.  They can’t stand it.  They move to the surface and suck the popper in.  The fight is on.

Bass are different.  They get turned on by motion and noise.  They will attack before you know they are near your popper.  It is always a surprise.

I like to use a #8 or larger popper.  Bluegill take a #10 made with a ¼” foam cylinder very deep.  Even the little guys do it.  The end result is, you harm the fish and tear up your popper trying to disgorge the hook.  I do bend down the barb but these small poppers still cause problems.  I fished recently with a #6 and caught large bluegill only plus the bass liked them too.  I’ll still keep some #10 poppers in my box but I’ll pull them out when that is the only size that works.

Fishing with poppers for bluegill and bass make me feel like a kid again.  I like that feeling.

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

Byron Begley
July 23, 2009 


Respond To:

Home - Contact Us - About Us - Fishing Report - Online Catalog - Message Board - Sitemap