Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is a little cooler today and we got a brief shower last night.  There was not enough water in our gauge to get a reading.  We got a trace.  It is quiet in town.  I didn’t see hardly any cars or trucks on the streets this morning.  We had a lot of people here this weekend.  The town was packed.  But they are gone now, I think.

Little River is extremely low and warm.  The flow calculates to 54 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 137 cfs.  We have a 40% chance for rain this afternoon and tonight then a 60% chance tomorrow.  The forecast by different organizations and agencies continue that chance through the week.  It will be hot but not quite like it has been.  We have had 40 days in the 90’s this year.  We might get more of them this week.

Fishing is slow in the lower elevation streams in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  You might catch some trout very early in the morning around Elkmont or on the Middle and West Prongs of Little River.  You will do better in the high elevation streams.  The trout will be hiding in the riffles and pockets.  A dry fly will be easier to fish and the trout will hit them.  I’d fish a beetle or some yellow mayfly, caddis or stonefly imitation.

The low water and high temperatures have kept people at home and at work, inside. Fishing activity has been light.  Who wants to go fishing when the heat index is in the hundreds?  I do.

Paula and I are going to fish the lakes around here this week.  We’ll probably lauch the boat at daybreak and be back at the ramp early.  I have not been fishing in over a month and I’m ready!

Have you ever thought about catching a world record fish on a fly rod?  I guess we all have at one time or another.  Mary K, who works here part-time holds a women’s redfish world record.  I think it weighed about 30 pounds and I don’t remember what tippet class it is.  If you fly fish and want to catch a record, Tennessee is the place to do it.  Smallmouth bass would be the fish.

Herbert Ratner holds 4 smallmouth bass world records on a fly rod from several different states.  His 4 pound tippet record weighed 5 pounds 8 ounces.  His 6 pound record weighed 6 pounds.  Herbert’s 12 pound tippet record is 5 pounds 8 ounces.  A man named Daniel Marini holds the 8 pound tippet record for a smallmouth bass.  That fish weighed 5 pounds, 4 ounces.

Jack, Paula and I use 8 pound tippet when we fish for smallmouth bass around here.  That means any smallie we catch over 5 pounds, 4 ounces would be a new world record.  (I found this information on the internet, it could be wrong).  I caught a smallmouth that we weighed on a Boga Grip 2 years ago.  It weighed 5 pounds.  I don’t know how many ounces were on top of that or below that because a Boga Grip does not give that information.  Jack caught a smallmouth bass this Spring when we were fishing.  The Boga reported right at 5 pounds, maybe a little more.  Maybe Jack or I caught a world record, maybe not.  We’ve seen much bigger fish take a look at our flies but we’ve never landed one over five pounds or at least I have not. Maybe Jack has.

So, what if I did catch a 6 pound smallmouth bass on 8 pound tippet?  What would I do.  I know exactly what I would do.  I would get a picture and turn the bass loose.  I might share the picture with you and brag to my buddies but that’s as far as I would go.  I would not contact IGFA and apply for a record. 

For one reason, it would be a lot of trouble.  I don’t think you have to kill the fish.  Mary K didn’t.  You do need accurate scales and they and your leader have to be verified by IGFA.  The big problem I would have is divulging the lake where I caught the fish.  I would not do that.  Sure enough, the next time I went fishing there would be hoards of anglers there, wanting to catch their world record.  That would ruin it for me.  It’s not worth it.  So, getting in the record books won’t happen to me.

But, I bet some day I’ll catch a 6 pound smallmouth bass on a fly.  Most of the lakes around here have plenty of 6 pound smallmouth bass swimming around in them.  I see them fairly often.  Some rivers do too.  Dale Hollow holds the world record on all tackle.  I just googled world record smallmouth bass yesterday for the heck of it to find out what the records are.  Frankly I was surprised.

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

Byron Begley
July 26, 2010

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