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, humid and 70 degrees in Townsend this morning.  The sun is just beginning to peer over the mountains to the East.  Traffic was very light on the morning commute.  It was early.  This is also the week after a holiday.  It is usually quiet around here before and after a holiday. 

We may get some more rain but that is most likely to happen this weekend.  It is going to be cool then too.  The low Sunday and Monday night is predicted to be 52 degrees.  The average monthly high temperature in September is 80 degrees.  The average monthly low is 55 degrees.  We are going to see temperatures below average early next week for a change.

Little River is flowing at 53 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 99 cfs.  The water temperature was 72.1 degrees at 7:25 am.  The river is running clear.

Fishing should be fair in the Smoky Mountains.  Some streams may be relatively higher than others.  You should expect the water to be clear unless we do get more rain today.  There is a 30% chance.

You will find trout in the faster water, in riffles and in deep runs.  They should be willing to eat.  I would use dry flies in the riffles and nymphs in the deep runs.  Good dry fly choices could be yellow stonefly patterns, beetles, Elk Hair Caddis in yellow or olive or a Parachute Adams might work. Presentation and drift are more important that patterns right now.  What you present needs to be a reasonable imitation of food, but if it looks buggy they should take your offering.  Nymphs should be fished deep in the runs.  Make short casts into the faster water and keep a tight line so you can feel the tug immediately.

It won’t be long before the brown trout start staging to spawn.  That will happen in October. At that time of year, you will see large browns out in the open.  It is amazing how, all of a sudden they appear.  Brown trout grow to be about 30” in Little River as far upstream as the Elkmont Campground.  I know that because one of my best friends caught one that size this Winter.  His Park record before that was 28”.  Trout that size are rare.  But, there are plenty of them in the 20” to 24” range.  Get out there, you will see them.

Catching those big fish is another story.  You need to spend a lot of time on the water and have the necessary skills.  Stealth and patience are essential.  Some anglers spend an hour getting into position to make that one cast.  Maybe you can make several casts.  Or, maybe the fish will take off when you make the first one.  It’s a fun time of year to fish.  Most local anglers leave the females alone until after the spawn.  And of course, those breeding trout should be carefully released.

Lake fishing with a fly rod has been slow this year.  Or, people are doing well and keeping it quiet.  I target smallmouth bass.  They are deep right now during the day.  Fishing for smallies in the lakes was decent this Spring.  My buddy Frank did catch one that weighed 4 1/4 pounds. That was the largest one we landed in our boat all year so far.  Paula and I are going to fish for a week in the lakes starting in 10 days.  I’m hoping for cool weather and rain before then.  

I talked to a friend of mine who is an expert at fishing for trout in the lakes with a fly.  He said this has been the worst year for him in a long time.  The weather has been strange this year.  That does affect the fishing. 

I’ll be glad to get my other iMac back today.  It had some software problems this weekend so it’s in the shop.  I’m lugging this one to and from work in the meantime.  This is an older iMac with a 24” monitor.  I even have a case for it.  I think it weighs 35 pounds.  It is slower that the newer computer, which has a 27” monitor.  I hope to get it back today.

What I miss more than anything is my address book file.  The address book on the larger and faster computer has all my contacts.  I use that feature every day sending e-mails and looking up phone numbers.

We have become dependent on computers if you have not noticed.  I met two people this weekend who don’t use them.  We were in meetings and I asked for their e-mail addresses.  They don’t use e-mail.  Good for them.  I wish I could say that.  Life must be simpler if you don’t need a computer.

One thing I don’t have and don’t want is a smart phone.  I have a cell phone in my truck.  It has a few thousand pre-paid minutes.  I may use 10 minutes a year.  When I renew every year I get more.  They keep piling up. 

I don’t know my cell phone number.  I barely know how to use the phone.  I don’t want to know how to use it.  Paula called me on the cell phone a few weeks ago while I was driving to Maryville. I could not answer the phone and drive at the same time.  I pulled over and called her back.  I also barely heard the ring though the phone was in my shirt pocket.  I had Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Live cranked up on the truck’s sound system. My truck has 9 speakers including the subwoofer and a powerful amp.  I would rather listen to rock and roll than keep the truck quiet in case my cell phone rings.  That makes life simpler and more enjoyable. It won’t ring unless Paula calls me.  She is the only person who has my phone number.

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

Byron Begley
September 5, 2012


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