Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  I came to work at 7:30.  The streets and highway 321 were busy compared to a normal morning in September.  People must be getting out of town.  I saw a lot of travel trailers and motor homes heading toward Maryville.

Weather websites all agree that we are going to get plenty of rain.  We are under a flood watch.  Estimates of rain caused by Tropical Storm Lee and the fact that the storm is colliding with another front moving from the northwest vary from 5” to over 10”.  Even on the low end of the estimates, we are going to have some very high water in the rivers and wading could be very dangerous for a few days.  Right now, the river level is fine even though we have had almost an inch of rain so far at the shop since last night.

It appears from the weather satellite images, the heavier rain has been to our west.  But, there is more to come.  We’ll get plenty.

Instead of taking the water temperature this morning I drove to the campgrounds in town to see what was happening there.  People are packing up to leave.  But, there is no evacuation planned due to the threat from flooding.  I talked to Mark, manager of the KOA campground.  He said they have had 12 arrivals already this morning.  I was there about 7:45 am. 

So, most people don’t seem to be too worried.  That could change but we’ll hopefully know things are getting bad before they happen.

Right now, Little River is flowing at a rate of 74 cubic feet per second.  Median flow for this date is 95 cfs.  So for now, no big deal.

Fishing this morning might be excellent in the Smokies.  I know some of my friends are up there right now.  Any upward swing in the water levels brings them out.  When the water rises and becomes a little off color, the big brown trout bite is on, usually.  That is when anglers switch to larger flies like streamers, large nymphs and other attractor patterns.  Food is being washed into the streams by the rain.  The off color water offers the trout lower visibility but also keeps them hidden from predators.  Rain events mean good fishing in the Smokies, to a point.  Of course, flooded rivers are dangerous and hard to fish with a fly rod.  Being there at the right time can pay off.  That right time may be right now.

As conditions change I will update this report.

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

Byron Begley
September 5, 2011

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Our fly fishing classes will be offered from March to October 2011.   To sign up just call the shop at 877-448-3474.  You can read more on our website in the Schools Section.  The fly fishing class schedule follows:

Saturday September 10 – Beginner Day One
Saturday September 24 – Beginner Day One
Sunday September 25 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday October 8 – Beginner Day One
Saturday October 22 – Beginner Day One
Sunday October 23 – Beginner Onstream Day Two

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