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 64 degrees in Townsend this morning.  I drove to work at 7:55 am.  That is late for me.  I could not believe how much traffic was on the roads.  There were cars, trucks and even two dump trucks on the main highway through town.  Maybe it’s always this way, that late.

When I got to work our server was down.  Oh crap!  Nothing works around here including us when the server is down.  I hit the reset button and everything took off.  Our boxes and wires are humming again.  I am trying to live in a digital world. Sometimes it is not easy.

Little River is flowing about as low as it has been all year.  Flow is barely above normal for this date at 110 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.66 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 104 cfs.  The water temperature at 8:00 am is 65.5 degrees.

The lowest Little River has been on this date during the past 49 years was 26 cfs in 1987.  What we are seeing now is normal.

What I don’t see in the future is a big rain event headed our way.  We have a slight chance for thunderstorms every day over the next few starting tomorrow.

We are in the midst of a heat wave.  High temperatures over the next few days will be in the high 80’s.  Lows will be in the high 60’s.  We are not used to that.  This has been a cool and wet Summer. 

Fly fishing in the Smokies is pretty good.  It was a lot better this weekend.  I know a lot of anglers are using nymphs dropped off a dry fly.  The dry fly could be about anything that looks like food.  I would use a Yellow Stimulator, Yellow Neversink Caddis, Parachute Adams or a foam beetle.  For a dropper I would use a Green Weenie or a Barbie Bug.

Normal flows like we are experiencing now require you to be stealthy.  You should try your best to blend in.  Choppy water, shaded water, really deep runs and structure in the streams should be your target area. 

During the Summer when the water is lower, trout are spooky and they try to hide from predators.  The trout will be hungry.  The water is warm enough to kick the fish’s metabolism into high gear.  They require more food when the water is warm.  The water is not exactly warm but it is going to get warmer for a few days.  Warmer water also reduces the amount of dissolved oxygen (DO).  “Low DO” is not usually a problem in the Smokies according to the biologists. 

I asked Matt, who is a fisheries biologist in the Smokies, why trout die when the water is low and warm.  We were talking about all the rainbows that died a few years ago during the drought.  He said they starve to death.  They need a lot of food and it’s not there.  I always thought it was due to low DO.

You can find plenty of cool water in the Smokies right now.  It’s not that warm.  The higher you go, the cooler the water.  I don’t think you will have any warm water problems right now except maybe in the low elevations.  It was hot yesterday and the sun was shining.  The high temperature at the “Y” which is the confluence of the three prongs of Little River peaked at 69 degrees.  That is a lot cooler than I would have thought.  That is not bad at all.  I would still go higher, maybe around Elkmont or higher than that.  The water temperature will be fine.

We are doing a major re-do of the store.  Walls are even coming out.  Fly tying materials are going upstairs.

I did a digital computer drawing of the interior of this building in 2003.  Unfortunately, that drawing resides on some hard drive somewhere in my digital world.  So, yesterday I started over.  Right now I’ve got a scaled drawing of the downstairs floor plan in this computer.  I can move fixtures around with the click of a mouse.  Today I’ll do the upstairs.  Then we will re-measure everything and the plan will come together.

This is going to be a big job that will take at least 2 months.  It is going to look a lot different in here.  This is going to be a lot of fun.

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

Byron Begley
August 27, 2013

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