Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is overcast and right now it is not raining in Townsend.  The streets are quiet.  But, there are visitors here.  It is going to be much cooler and people like being here when that happens. 

Wow, did we get some rain.  In the past 24 hours our gauge held 5 ½ inches of water.  The Knoxville Airport got almost exactly the same amount.  The rainfall recorded yesterday there was a record.  The most rain on September 5th prior to yesterday was 2.09 inches in 1933.  We have had a total of 6 ½ inches of rain at the shop in two days.

Little River is rolling and muddy.  Flow right now is 1,290 cubic feet per second.  Median flow for this date is 95 cfs.  The highest flow recorded in 46 years for this date was 365 cfs in 1988.

We did not get a flood.  To put this into perspective, the water has been higher this year.  The two big rocks under the swinging bridge were sticking out of the water by about a foot.  I remember one day this year when they were covered. 

The river peaked at about midnight at 2,000 cfs.  On the gauge that is about 4.7 feet approximately.  Before this storm, the gauge reading ranged a little over 1 foot.  So the river did rise about 3 feet, not enough to be considered a flood.  There is a good chance for more rain today and maybe tonight.  Then that chance drops to 20% for a few days.

The water temperature this morning is 64 degrees, much cooler than it has been in months.

A lot of anglers I know were out yesterday trying to entice some trout and take advantage of the higher, stained water.  I don’t know how they did, I just know who they were.

I think fishing is going to be excellent this weekend.  The high water will recede some and the water will be cool.  Unless we get a lot more rain, I would plan a fishing trip to the Smokies this coming weekend.  The trout will be active.  Lows at night will be in the 50’s down here and cooler in the mountains.  Highs are predicted to be in the 70’s and maybe low 80’s on Saturday and Sunday if nothing changes.

The dams will probably be generating heavily for a few days trying to shed some water and make use of the abundance to make cheap electricity.  So, I don’t know what the trout fishing will be like below the reservoirs over the next few days. 

I am thinking the smallmouth bass fishing will be very good in a few days in our free flowing rivers.  I’ve been waiting for this for a while.  Also, the lakes will be cooler.  I’m planning to fish one of them tomorrow. 

Josh and I have been talking about trying some muskie fishing but neither of us have tied any musky flies.  I bought all the stuff and found some examples online but so far, no finished product. 

Also, everyone including TWRA recommends you have a Big Kahuna net.  Go ahead and Google it.  Frabill makes them and they cost $170. This net is important to the safe release of these huge fish.  I guess you could land one by wearing it down but that could prove fatal to the fish and I don’t want to have anything to do with that.  I have read that fly fishermen should use 60 pound leaders on a 10 weight rod so you can land the fish quickly to keep mortality to a minimum.  The Big Kahuna looks like a good striper net too.   I can’t wait to see one of those in the boat.  I’m sure on some lakes that would be a head turner.  On others it would be common.

Since we are not prepared for musky, we’ll probably fish for smallmouth bass. 

Get ready for some good fishing.  We got our break, finally.

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

Byron Begley
September 6, 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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