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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is overcast and 71 degrees in Townsend this morning.  Traffic is very light.  This is transition time for the tourism business in our town.  Soon, the weather will change to cool and the Fall tourists will arrive.  That may come sooner than we think.

We got .60” of rain yesterday and last night.  Little River’s water level spiked up but fell back down quickly.  Right now, the river is flowing at 165 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.86 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 114 cfs.  The water temperature at 7:50 am is 67.7 degrees.  I drove by Little River this morning.  The water is clear.  She looks great!

We have a chance for rain every day for the next ten.  That should come in the form of scattered thunderstorms and showers.  I expect we will see some ebbs and flows in the water levels around here.  The long term forecast, (which is subject to change) calls for cooler temperatures starting next week.  We may see highs in the 70’s and lows around 60 for several days late next week.  It’s going to be nice this weekend too if you don’t mind some rain which we may or may not get.

Fly fishing in the Smokies is very good.  Dry flies are working very well.  Yellow Sally patterns or any yellow dry fly would be my choice.  A Parachute Adams or black foam beetle would be a good choice too.  For subsurface I would use a Green Weenie or Barbie Bug which is a pink Green Weenie.

I don’t see too many wade fishing opportunities today below Norris or Cherokee dams.  Check out the TVA website.  They are reporting only one generator in operation on the Clinch until 3:00 pm.  Maybe you can work with that.  You can certainly work with that in a boat.  Please check the site yourself before you go.

The lowland rivers are fishing well, especially for panfish.  Gary showed me pictures of some beautiful redbreasts he has been catching.  Depending on where the scattered showers were located yesterday, you may find some stained water in the lowland rivers.  It looks like the Little Pigeon spiked to 3 feet on the gauge last night.  I don’t know if the water is stained.  It’s hard to say what Little River looks like downstream.  Some of those tributaries can dump a lot of silt into the river around Walland.

Scott McCarter e-mailed me about the newly refurbished $10 million lake in downtown Maryville.  The Maryville city government did a wonderful job on that lake.  It is beautiful.  Daniel fishes there some and he noticed that there were not many fish in the there. Scott had the same opinion and wondered why it had not been re-stocked.

I contacted TWRA and the City of Maryville.  The City is waiting for all the Corps of Engineers paperwork and grant finalization to be completed, then they will stock the lake.

I’ll tell you what, that lake is going to be a great place to get kids who live in Maryville and Alcoa into the sport of fishing.  That lake is a showplace.  It is awesome.  It is a treasure.

I think it should be stocked with bass and bluegill of course.  But, an opportunity exists for a “put and take” trout fishery.  TWRA does that in public waters that would only support trout during the cool to cold months.  I don’t know what the name of the program is but I do know the Agency is very supportive of this.  The trout are stocked to be caught and kept.  I think the catch rate vs mortality due to warming water is about 80%.  That is high. The return on investment is good.

I practice catch and release on all trout waters.  I’ve done that for decades.  This would be different.  This might get kids into fishing and our country needs more of that.  Hunting and fishing has not been as popular with kids today, like it was when I was one.  When I was a kid, just about everybody I knew hunted and fished.  Well, now that I think about it there were some who didn’t.

I know for sure, the Maryville City leadership will be favorable to this.  I personally know most of the City Council and the City Manager.  They are forward thinkers.  Many of them like to fish.  This little lake is going to become a treasure in our County.  I’m sure of that.

I just checked my e-mail and TWRA is talking to Maryville City Government.  I can’t say enough good things about Bart Carter.  I worked with Bart 20 years ago when he was a fisheries biologist at Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  I was his volunteer so we spent a lot of time together.  Now, Bart is the TWRA Chief of Fisheries in our region.  He offered to help Maryville in the e-mail I just read.  The wheels are turning.

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

Byron Begley
August 9, 2013 

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