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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is foggy and 60 degrees in Townsend this morning.  We are all enjoying this cooler weather.  A local lady told me yesterday, that this seems to be odd, having cool weather in August.  We expect August to be hot.  I reminded her that actually, what we are experiencing now is normal or maybe a little warmer than normal during the day.  I told her, “This seems cool because July was so hot”.  July was the hottest month in the United States since records have been kept.

I’ll take this cooler weather.  We are all seeing more traffic and visitors in Townsend on the weekends.  People are getting out again.  People are fishing again. 

Fishing is fine in the Smokies.  The water is getting low but our rainfall this year is above normal so when we see lower water, that is just part of the cycle.  More rain is expected this week though the chances are lower than last week.  We are not experiencing the drought here like much of the Country. 

Low water means the trout will seek out faster water.  They will be hiding in the pockets during the day.  Fishing will be better early and late.  I like fishing dry flies in the pockets.  You’ve got to get one in there and get a good drift as long as you can.  That’s not easy.  It is a challenge.  You can also fish the areas where a riffle enters a pool.  The water is choppy there and deep. 

I would use a beetle, Elk Hair Caddis, small Yellow Stimulator or a Parachute Adams for a dry fly.  Use a Green Weenie, Bead Head Pheasant Tail, Tellico or Hare’s Ear for a nymph fished deep.  Drop a Green Weenie off the dry and you will be surprised at how well you do at catching trout and tangling your rig.  Those tangles that occur with a dropper rig can be avoided to a certain extent by casting a wider loop.  But, it’s still going to happen. 

It is going to be sunny today until late afternoon.  For that reason, I would fish in the smaller shaded streams.  Shade provides cover for the trout. 

Lower Little River was muddy yesterday below Walland.  One creek was still pouring in turbid water.  From there upstream, the smallmouth bass fishing is excellent.  During the higher water we had last week, warmwater fly fishing was pretty good in Townsend and below Townsend after the water cleared.

I was running late for work today because I got on the web and looked up some fly fishing related information.  I read opinions about fishing conditions and what conditions are best for fishing.  There are a lot of opinions out there.

We know that water temperature effects trout behavior in the Smokies and everywhere else.  Water flow and turbidity can provide you with a great day of fishing or a slow day.  We know the sun plays an important role in fishing success.  During the warm months, fishing is usually better early and late.  During the cold months, fishing can be best during the middle of the day when the water is warmest. 

Wind seems to matter.  When the wind is blowing out of the East, you might as well go home according to some of my friends who have more experience on the water than most. 

What about the barometer?  Barometric pressure is always brought up when anglers discuss good or bad fishing.  Exactly what makes up the best barometric scenario is always up for debate.  Even considering all the decades of experienced mariners watching the pressure and noting their catches in a log, not everyone agrees. I don’t know how the barometric pressure affects fishing. I don’t keep a log.  I found a fishing barometer online.  You can look at a photo and description by CLICKING HERE.  I might buy one of these. 

And then there is the moon.  I’m convinced that a full moon on a clear night means fishing will be slow the next day.  I think more fish feed at night when the moon is bright.

I would like to have a weather station here and feeding live information to you.  They are expensive and I don’t have the time to do that right now.  Maybe that will be a future project.  I do give you lot of information on this page each day.  Everything is updated early in the morning.  But, live would be better. 

I’m going to stop by the Great Smoky Mountains Institute and see the Executive Director, Ken Voorhis.  They had a weather station hooked up and running at one time.  They were feeding information live to their website.  For some reason, they dropped it.  He can tell me why.  They also set up a flow gauge at the Institute.  Something happened with that too.  Maybe the whole thing was too expensive or time consuming.  I enjoyed getting that information while I could.  Visit their website by CLICKING HERE.  They do an excellent job at anything they try.

Maybe someday you can visit this page and get better information.  You have got to agree, we know more about our fishing conditions than we used to.  It was hard to find reliable information before the internet was so accessible and before small businesses like ours obtained the hardware, software and skills to get that information out to you every day.

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

Byron Begley
August 13, 2012

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