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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is cloudy and 66 degrees in Townsend this morning.  We are in for some very cool temperatures over the next 10 days.  Lows at night wil range from the mid 60’s to the high 50’s.  High temperatures will be in the 70’s and 80’s.  We have a chance for scattered showers and thunderstorms almost every day which is usual this time of year. 

We got one of those scattered thunderstorms late yesterday.  I found ½ inch of rain in our gauge this morning.  Little River rose a little.  The water is dropping again.  Flow right now is 411 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.52 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 123 cfs.  The water temperature at 8:00 am is 64 degrees and the water is clear in town.

It will be cloudy today.  That is a positive condition for fishing in the Smokies.  You may find some streams higher than you like.  Some may be lower than preferred.  The water temperature is great.  All indications are, fishing will be good today in the mountains.  We are enjoying higher than normal flows this Summer.  Fishing is much better than last year.  And, it is comfortable outside.

Glenn just came in and said fishing in the Park was insane yesterday.  He was using nymphs and catching the heck out of trout.  He said the water levels were perfect for him.  I’m serious, I’ve never in my life seen sustained fishing conditions this good in July.  From all indications, early August is going to be the same.  We took a beating by heavy rain early this Spring, especially on weekends.  Our misery is paying off now with good flows in the Park streams.

Lowland rivers should be in good shape unless they were hit by a storm last night.  There were a few around but nothing was serious from what I can tell.

There are some opportunities for tailwater wading and boating this morning.  Check the TVA website.  You might find that your favorite tailwater river is fishable at times this weekend.  Early seems to be the best bet.  Check with TVA and be prepared for a change.

The Park Service fisheries department along with plenty of volunteers will try to sample the brook trout population on Lynn Camp Prong in early August.  They have three work days scheduled.  Efforts so far have been futile due to rain and high water.  We are all looking forward to seeing the numbers.  We all want to know when the stream will be opened to fishing.

Lynn Camp Prong once supported over 2,000 rainbow trout per mile in good years.  The rainbows were removed and replaced with brook trout.  The Park fisheries managers are waiting until the brook trout population is at a good level before they open it to fishing. 

Of major importance is the latest spawn.  We have had high water and that could affect the young of the year fish in a negative way.  Additionally, a large percentage of trout in a population die every year for various reasons.  So, if you lose an age class of fish due to a flood or drought, the overall population could drop below the prior year.  We are hoping that has not happened in Lynn Camp Prong.  We will know soon.

Evidently, the little storm last night cause a home to be struck by lightning and it burned to the ground.  It was a mountain top residence on a road I have never heard of.  The Daily Times called it a “Townsend home”.  You can read the story by CLICKING HERE.  I feel bad for the people who lost their home.  So sad.

There seem to be less visitors in town.  It is about time for kids to go back to school.  When that happens, the Summer crowd is gone on weekdays.  We do have a good amount of visitors on the weekends in August and September.  Then, in October, here come the crowds.  Everybody loves Fall in the Smoky Mountains.  If this rain continues, we are going to have great fishing this Fall. 

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

Byron Begley
July 27, 2013

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