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 61 degrees in Townsend.  This is another one of those, fog following the river mornings.  We are enjoying cool temperatures.  We sure could use some rain.  Paula and some friends kayaked down the Hiwassee River yesterday.  She said it poured down there.  The rain missed us.

Little River is flowing at 68 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 109 cfs.  The water temperature was 67.5 degrees at 8:05 am. 

Little River seems to be the only watershed that is flowing low in the Smokies.  I don’t know about Abrams Creek.  I suspect the water is low there.  The other rivers I can check online are running about normal.  So, fishing is good in the Smoky Mountains as a whole.  Fishing is a little tougher in our river due to the lower than normal water. 

You can catch trout if you are stealthy.  Little River is not extremely low by any stretch but you will find the trout hiding in the riffles and moving water.  There are plenty of deep runs that are holding fish.  You will need to get your fly down in those spots.  Put on some weight and dredge.  A Prince Nymph, Tellico, Green Weenie or Bead Head Pheasant Tail will work for that.

Yellow dry flies that imitate small stoneflies will work.  That could be a Stimulator or Neversink Caddis.  A yellow Elk Hair Caddis is another good choice.  Try a black foam beetle. 

I’ve had several anglers tell me they are catching lots of small rainbows.  They sound like young of the year trout to me.  If you are not happy with the size of the trout you are catching, change your tactics.  Do something different.  Go to a nymph.

I am hoping the lakes cool down soon.  After Labor Day, the boat traffic will decrease significantly on the lakes.  Paula and I are planning a week-long fly fishing trip to Dale Hollow next month.  I called yesterday and rented our cabin and boat slip.  If the water is cool we should be able to catch smallmouth bass in shallow water on fly rods.  If the water is warm, we’ll use long leaders and fish deep.  We will have sinking fly lines to use if we absolutely have to.  I hope we don’t have to.

John Thurman and Dick Gieger are meeting with the people at the Great Smoky Mountains Institute this morning.  Those guys are part of the strong leadership of the Clinch River Chapter of Trout Unlimited.  They are working on next year’s kids trout camp.  I just found out the actual name of the camp is Great Smoky Mountains Aquatic Biology and Trout Fishing Adventure. This week-long camp is limited to twelve boys and girls 12 to 15 years old.  Next year will be the third camp.

John and Dick are concerned that they won’t get enough kids.  So I agreed to start promoting the camp on this website.  They will be here after lunch with digital images and content so I can put a story together with a link from this page.

This year they had attendees from other States.  The camp is held at the Institute and during the course of the week the campers do leave to fish in some warm-water fisheries to get the total experience.  A trip to the fly shop is always on their agenda. TU volunteers are the instructors. 

The Clinch River Chapter is all about kids and education.  Just visit their website by CLICKING HERE and see for yourself.  Those TU folks do a great job.

Raz Reid our Sage rep will show us the new trout rod on Wednesday.  I don’t know much about it but I’ll find out soon.  Raz is also our rep for Fishpond, Umpqua, Tibor and Rio.

On Wednesday Mark Brown, Sales Manager at Chota will be here.  He and I will be editing a video highlighting their QuickLace system.  We shot the footage a few weeks ago.  I made title slides to be incorporated into the final cut.  All we have to do is edit out the bad and leave the good.  I can export this to a high definition file and they can load it up on YouTube and show it in their booth at shows.

The Little River Chapter of Trout Unlimited is meeting Thursday night.  The board meeting starts at 6:00 pm.  I’ll be there for that.  One of the topics will be “The
Future of Troutfest”.

So, there is a lot going on in the East Tennessee fly fishing world this week.  There is plenty of important work being done.

I read an interesting article on The Daily Times website.  A Maryville man and some friends paddled canoes from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico on the Mississippi River.  This was a 2,000 mile journey that lasted 2 months.  You can read the story by CLICKING HERE.  One thing I found interesting is, the river was very low and the channel was narrow.  Look at the Drought Monitor online and you will see why.  What an adventure that must have been! 

That is something I wish I had done when I was younger.   The longest river trip I ever took was 220 miles on the Kentucky River.  I was a teenager and one of my buddies went with me.  Come to think of it, I made that trip more than once.  But, we were in my boat that was powered by an 80 hp outboard.  There was no paddling involved. 

I went on another trip up the Cumberland River from Nashville to Kentucky Lake.  We were in sailboats and made the voyage under auxiliary power. That trip took two days. I have always loved cruising rivers. If I didn’t have to work, I would drive from here to the Gulf in a heartbeat.  We would need to buy a bigger boat with more amenities.  I’m not sure Paula would go for that.  I would.  Maybe we’ll do that some day.      

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

Byron Begley
August 20, 2012

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