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

Welcome to the Fishing Report from the Great Smoky Mountains. It is overcast and 64 degrees in Townsend this morning.  The sun will shine most of the day and the temperature will reach the high 80’s.

We got a little more rain, .25 inches at the shop.  Little River ticked up last night as a result but it has dropped back to normal.  Flow is currently 136 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.69 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 138 cfs.  The water temperature at 8:05 am is 68 degrees.  Yesterday the water temperature peaked at 72 degrees just below the Townsend “Y”.

Fishing is pretty good.  It is going to be hot this weekend.  I would fish in the mid to high elevations because of that.  Flows are normal but they will be dropping some as we continue through the weekend.  Rain is expected again Sunday night and Monday.

I would hike above Elkmont to fish.  The water will be cool there.  You may drive up Newfound Gap Road and fish those streams.  There are several.  The water will be much cooler there too. 

Dry flies are working well in the Smokies.  I would use a Yellow Sally Stonefly imitation or a Black Beetle.  For a sub surface fly, try a green or pink Weenie.  You might also drop a nymph off your dry fly.

I am hearing from a lot of anglers who are using terrestrials.  There are plenty of those flying and crawling around this year.  I’ve noticed a lot of annual cicadas making that noise and I don’t fully understand how they do it.  Those big bugs will be hitting the waters soon.  You may find them on the tailwaters at times.  They will fall into the lakes and lowland rivers.  Trout and smallmouth bass will gobble them up. 

I was fishing with Josh and Frank on the Holston two weeks ago.  We didn’t see any cicadas.  I caught several smallmouth bass on yellow Knuckleheads.  I don’t know what those fish thought they were.  They liked them.

We don’t sell Knuckleheads this year because I tied them last year and can’t get it done this year.  We plan to have a fly company tie them to sell next season.

They are easy to tie.  Just CLICK HERE to see the tutorial.  Joseph was in here yesterday buying the stuff to make some.  He said our buddy Tom is doing well with them for smallies.  Joseph was going to tie some Chartreuse and White flies. 

I never understood why colors like white, chartreuse and yellow work better than black at times.  Then, other times, black works best.  I use black more than any other color for many flies. Maybe that color works best where we fish in the lakes.  Knuckleheads look like big beetles to me.  Most beetles are black.

Maybe I’m color blind.  I don’t know, maybe fish are too.  I think they are. 

We had new gutters installed on the house yesterday.  They were supposed to match the fascia trim which is kind of a dark gray or bronze.  To me the gutters looked black.  Paula thought they looked black.  I called the roofer this morning and told him the gutters were black.  He called the gutter guy and he said they were bronze.

So, maybe we are like fish.  Color is in the eye of the beholder.  I feel somewhat better knowing the gutters are bronze, not black.  They still look black to me.  Our roofing guy is going to go by the house and look at the gutters this morning and call me back with his opinion.

We sure are enjoying the higher flows in the Smokies.  I got an e-mail from Kevin Howell of Davidson River Outfitters yesterday.  He said his business is good.  Roger Lowe told me the same thing yesterday.  Good water levels help the fly shop and guiding businesses. 

Some customers from Florida were here yesterday.  They thought the streams looked high. They probably saw a stream that was flowing high.  I told them Little River is flowing at almost exactly normal.  That can change in an instant.

You may find streams in the Smokies flowing higher than normal at times due to the scattered storms we are getting lately.  Evidently, one very strong storm damaged some homes in Maryville yesterday.  All we got was a light rain.

We’ll be here all weekend as usual.  I hope you can get out and fish.

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

Byron Begley
July 25, 2014 

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