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 69 degrees in Townsend this morning.  As you would expect on a weekday in August, traffic is very light.  After tomorrow, the chance for rain will diminish.  We are in for a dry spell with plenty of sunshine.  That has not been the case lately.

Little River is in excellent condition, especially when compared to a normal August day.  Flow is currently 179 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.91 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 114 cfs.  The water temperature at 7:50 am is 65.5 degrees.

Fishing has been and continues to be very good in the Smoky Mountains.  The reason for this is simple, the conditions are much better than you would normally see during the Summer.  It’s been this way for two months.  We have plenty of flow in the streams and the water is cooler than normal.

Trout are taking dry flies of course.  These flows are great for those who fish with dry flies.  We are recommending Parachute Adams, Yellow Neversink Caddis, foam beetles and Yellow Stimulators as dry flies.  We still believe you will do best with a Green Weenie as a nymph or dropper.  Other patterns may work as well.  A Bead Head Pheasant Tail or Tellico Nymph is always a good choice.

We are going to have warmer days and cooler nights over the next several days beginning this weekend.  We should expect water flows and temperatures to be closer to normal than what we’ve seen this year. 

I’m checking the TVA website right now.  It appears they will be generating at Norris dam with one generator most of the day.  TVA will be generating at Cherokee Dam starting at 10:00 am, starting with one generator for two hours.  Check with the TVA website yourself and plan accordingly.  You might be able to squeeze in some fishing today depending on where you are and if you are wading or boating.

Paula and I fished on the Little Tennessee River yesterday.  It was a perfect day.  The wind was light, the temperatures were comfortable, it was cloudy and the fishing was slow.  I know why the fishing was slow.  The fish were not biting.

It has been hard to find smallmouth bass lately on the lakes we fish.  I caught one yesterday on a weighted crayfish pattern.  I also caught some bluegill. 

On cloudy days, baitfish are often on the surface.  Bass and trout are feeding on the threadfin shad.  That was not the case yesterday.  They were not biting.

Genetics and DNA testing has been important to fisheries biology for a few years.  That is how scientists determined we have our own strain of brook trout in the Southern Appalachians.  I did not know the technology has come to what they are doing in Texas until I read an article this morning.

There is a fisheries management program called the Toyota ShareLunker.  If an angler catches a really large bass, he or she can donate the live bass to ShareLunker.  To be eligible for the program, the bass must weigh at least 13 pounds.  These huge bass are used to breed bass to stock lakes in Texas.  Each bass that is donated has a number like, ShareLunker #274 for instance. 

Now, here is where it really gets interesting.  When a new monster bass is caught, they can trace the DNA back to the mother and father.  Scientists and fishery managers are using genealogy with DNA sampling to create a strain of huge bass.  You can CLICK HERE and read all about this program.  You can also read more about one of these trophies on the Dallas News website by CLICKING HERE.

I don’t think Tennessee has taken their lunker bass program to that level, but I’ve heard TWRA has stocked Florida strain bass in lakes on the Tennessee River. 

Many of our customers fly fish for largemouth bass.  I thought you might be interested in this.

Fall is not far off.  Fall fly fishing in the Smokies is just around the corner.  Temperatures will drop next month.  More people will be visiting the Smoky Mountains.  I know people in the tourism business will be happy about that.

I hope you have a great day and thank you for being here with us.

Byron Begley
August 22, 2013

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