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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  Happy Sunday morning to all of you from Townsend, Tennessee.  It feels good outside, foggy and 63 degrees.  You know what?  It is beginning to look a little like Fall.  The first sign I noticed are the spiders building webs in the forest.  The morning dew clings to the webs.  To me, that is the first sign of Fall.  Some trees are shedding leaves.  That usually happens in September.  This year is different, weather-wise.  It is happening now.

Little River is flowing higher and faster than normal as it has all year.  Flow right now is 128 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.73 feet on the gauge. Median flow for this date is 105 cfs.  The water temperature at 7:40 am is 66.5 degrees.

Fishing is good.  You do need to consider the fact that though the water levels are higher than normal for August, the water is still on the low side.  Care should be taken to stay hidden from the trout.  Wear clothing that blends in with the forest.  You should use light tippet, maybe down to 6X.  Stay low.

Dry flies and nymphs are working.  I talked to one angler yesterday who said he caught several larger than normal rainbows.  The day before that, he caught only small trout.

And, listen to this.  Joel, one of our most regular customers and a buddy of ours came in yesterday.  He had been fishing with a friend on Little River in the Elkmont area.  His friend hooked a large brown trout on a nymph using 6X tippet.  Joel netted the brown and they measured the fish.  It was 23 ½” long.  They shot some pictures and I saw them.  The brown was in a pool in 6’ of water lying on the bottom.  It took one fly then spit it out.  On another cast the fish ate again and the fight was on.  Catching a brown trout that large happens during the Fall before and after the brown trout spawn.

Fishermen are doing well on the Clinch River.  You need to catch the right generation schedule but when you do, you might be pleasantly surprised.  The Clinch is producing some big trout.  One customer told me about a 16” brook trout he caught recently.  Good sized browns and rainbows are also being caught.  Most of the anglers I’ve talked to go fishing on the Clinch very early.  Check the generation schedule on the TVA website before you go.

Smallmouth bass fishing in the tailwaters has been excellent according to Josh Pfeiffer at Frontier Anglers.  His clients have been catching some good fish.

So, fishing remains good in our area.  I can’t remember an August like this one.  We do need some rain to sustain the water levels in the Smokies.  That may happen later this week.

Since I am married to a chef, I can always count on great food.  What I want is some deep fried Asian Carp.  I have been reading about how great these fish taste.  Where do you buy Asian Carp?  I’m not particular.  I’ll take the silver or bighead variety.  I can’t find a place to buy these fish and they are plentiful, overly plentiful.

Chefs, especially in the South are trying to develop recipes for this delicacy.  One new fish processing plant has been built to flash freeze these fish for shipment to China.  The Chinese love them and ours taste better than their farm raised fish.

Asian Carp were stocked in ponds on fish farms in Arkansas to control algae.  Just a few years ago, flooding caused these fish to enter our southern rivers.  They are taking over.  They are devouring plankton.  These fish are starving our forage fish and young game fish by cleaning the plankton from our waters.  Asian Carp are expanding their range into Tennessee and also threatening the Great Lakes.

The Silver Carp jump out of the water when they are startled.  They have jumped into boats and injured people.  Some people may have drowned due to these fish. Imagine getting smacked by a 50 pound Asian Carp while driving your bass boat doing 50 miles per hour.

State Fishery agencies and U.S. Fish and Wildlife are trying to figure out what to do.

Kentucky Fish and Wildlife and other agencies held a commercial fishing tournament in March. Professional commercial fishermen captured as many of these fish as they could from Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley using nets. The 2 day tournament “weigh in” totaled 83,000 pounds of Asian Carp.  The winning team’s prize was $10,000.  CLICK HERE TO READ THE STORY.

What we need to do is change the name of the fish to something that sounds good to eat.  Processing plants need to be built.  We know from experience that over-fishing for money and food will deplete a species to near extinction.  People are working on this as we speak.  You can read all about it on the internet.  If we don’t do something, we’re going to have some big problems in our lakes and rivers around here very soon.

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

Byron Begley
August 25, 2013

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