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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is sunny and 71 degrees in Townsend this morning.  Traffic was fairly heavy at 7:30 am, more cars than I’m used to seeing that early on a Sunday.  But, there were not many people in the restaurants.  Maybe it’s an anomaly, lots of people who are not hungry.

Little River is low right now.  Flow is 58 cubic feet per second.  Median flow is 115 cfs.  The water temperature is 72.2 degrees right now. 

Fishing isn’t bad in the Smoky Mountains. In fact, it’s fairly good.  I would fish higher up in the mountains where the water is cooler.  And I would find shady streams in the backcountry.  Like every day lately, the sun will give way to clouds in the afternoons.  You will probably do best later today.

We may have some thunderstorms this afternoon.  The National Weather Service says they are likely.  They are likely tomorrow too.  Some could be severe with “torrential rainfall”. I could use some torrential rainfall right now.  The NWS also states that a cold front is moving into our area.  By cold front, they mean the lows at night will be in the high 60’s. 

Trout are going to be hiding in the faster water.  Dry flies and nymphs should work.  I would choose Yellow Sally imitations or beetles for the dry.  Fish an ant.  Try a Green Weenie.

An angler told me this week he has a hard time seeing ant patterns on the surface.  We all do.  I guess that’s why I never fished with an ant.  One trick used here is to use the ant as a dropper behind a bushy dry fly.  The dry acts as a strike indicator.  A small Yellow Stimulator would be the perfect indicator.  When it jumps back or goes under a trout probably took your ant.  Or, maybe it took the stimulator. 

I’ve never had much luck fishing for smallmouth bass in Little River when the water is this low.  I’m sure the experts around here know how.  My guess would be to use a streamer or nymph.  I would rather use a Stealth Bomber or Knucklehead.  A #8 chartreuse popper made using a foam cylinder works well when the water is low.  It seems to work best for rock bass though.  I never target rock bass.  I just catch them by accident.  Little River is full of rock bass.

I am so looking forward to early Fall.  I love those crisp mornings when spiders have worked all night building a web in the woods.  It would be nice to slip on a fleece vest before walking out the door.  Those days will be here before we know it. 

Paula and I are trying to work in a short vacation at our favorite resort on Dale Hollow Lake.  It is nice having the boat in a covered slip with charged batteries ready to go early in the morning.  All we do is step in, untie and drive off.  The way the weather has been, it may be December before we get some cool weather and go to our favorite lake.

According to the Christian Science Monitor (a website I have never visited until now), this is the hottest year on record in the US. USA Today is saying the same thing.  They have an illustration on their site the indicates Tennessee is one of the States with a “record warmest”.  The Huffington Post has an article stating the past 12 months are the warmest on record.  There is not doubt in my mind, I have never seen warmer temperatures than we have had this year. Looking at it from an angler’s perspective, the evidence is perfectly clear.  The aquatic insects proved that out by emerging and mating earlier than I can remember since I moved to the Smoky Mountains 20 years ago.

Our electric bill at the shop was over $900 in July, the highest by far since we moved into this building 8 years ago.  I think we had one over $800 once.

Soon, this hot year will only be a memory.  I can tell you one other human trait that has affected our store this year.  It has been too hot for a lot of people to go fishing lately and I’m one of them. 

Last night I was loading lumber and tools into my truck.  We are going to re-model a portion of the shop this week.  About an hour before dark it was 80 degrees and the humidity was near100%.  I was soaked when that job was finished.

There is good news.  The weather is expected to cool off here during the next 10 days.  I can see some lows in the mid 60’s in the long-term forecast.  Now that will feel like Fall though the lows should be lower than that if you look at averages over a long period of time.

Over the next 10 days, more anglers will be on the rivers, lakes and small streams.  We need to prepare for that.  September is always a good fishing month unless the water is extremely low.  October is even better.  November is better than October.  Good fishing conditions are coming soon. I am happy about that.

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

Byron Begley
August 5, 2012 

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