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 Mountians.  Townsend feels like Fall this morning. This is wonderfully unseasonable weather. The lows for last night were 34F at Mt. Leconte, 43F at Newfound Gap, 49F at Cades Cove, and 50F at Sugarlands Visitor Center. 34 at Mt. Leconte I sure hope the backpackers brought along some long underwear.

It seems like the drastic drop in water temperature has messed the fishing up a little. Reports we heard yesterday were of some tough fishing. That should all improve today and over the next several days. Trout don't seem to be too high on change. Cool water is going to mean much better fishing over atleast the short term. Normally this time of year we would be looking at the prospects of very low, warm water in the streams.

Water temperatures have been dropping since Sunday. This morning the gauge was giving a reading right around 62F. This is in the low elevations at the Park boundary so water temperatures higher up will be even cooler. The weather forecast for the next week looks like continued cool weather with highs only in the low 80's. Rain chances start again on Friday and run through Monday. Some more water in the creeks will be perfect to help maintain the fishing as we go into August.

Water flows in the Little River watershed are perfect for fishing today. The gauge is giving a reading of 1.97 feet or 221 c.f.s. This is just a little above the daily normal of 129 c.f.s. Water conditions are clear in the Smokies.

If you head to the river early in the morning I would start by tying on a nymph. The cool water will likely have the fish down till things warm a little. Can you believe that we have to worry about the water warming up for better fishing at the end of July? As the day goes on I would switch to dry flies. During the day try some terrestrials like beetles and ants. If you go to some of the higher elevation and brook trout streams try fishing some attractor type flies. Thunderheads works well...also other Wulff patterns. Later in the day switch over to a Yellow Stimulator or something of that sort.

The big Fly Tackle Dealer show is over. We are starting to get a lot of phone calls from the sales reps. They will be coming by to show off the new 2015 products. There is some nice stuff coming for next year. It sounds like it could be the year of great tackle for the everyday fisher. Orvis is coming out with new low cost waders in the $160ish range, Chota has a new fantastic wader in the mid $200's. Orvis and Sage are going to have new mid-priced rods. Waterworks/Lamson has two new reels which will be closer to $100.

If you have any chance to slip away and fish this week I would take it. Have a great day and thank you for being here with us.

Daniel Drake
July 30, 2014

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