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 68 degrees in Townsend this morning.  The time is 6:15 am.  It is black as pitch outside.  It is going to be hot today, around 90 degrees.  A cold front will move in and we are going to have Fall-like conditions for the next few days with high temperatures in the mid-70s to 80 and lows in the low to mid-50s.  The chance for rain tomorrow is 80%.  After that, it is going to be dry and cool.

Little River is flowing at 43 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 98 cfs.  The water temperature at 6:15 was 72 degrees.

Other streams in the Park are flowing relatively higher than Little River or closer to normal.  All of this flow data should change tomorrow.

Trout are hiding in the riffles, deep runs and under cover.  They do that when the water is low.  Dry flies placed in pockets behind rocks and allowed to drift naturally will get you plenty of strikes.  That is not easy to do.  Getting the fly into a pocket is one thing, but keeping it there without the current dragging your leader or fly line is another.  The deeper runs are easier to fish.  You will find the trout to be concentrated in the best water and willing to eat.  They are hungry and competing for food.

Fishing will be best early and late.  We should have plenty of cloud cover tomorrow.  Saturday fishing may be excellent.  Since the forecast tomorrow indicates a 80% chance for thunderstorms, you should be watching for rising water. 

Cooler temperatures and hopefully higher water after tomorrow will cause the fishing to get better in the Park and the lowland rivers exiting the Park.  Smallmouth bass fishing in the river may improve depending on the rain within a particular watershed. 

We should see the lake surface temperatures fall somewhat over the next few days.  That could allow the warmwater species to move into shallower water.  It depends on how cool the water becomes and that will vary from lake to lake. 

Tailwater fishing for trout remains good if generation schedules match your method of fishing either as a wader or a boat angler.

The lake levels stalled yesterday for the most part.  I have not seen the levels yet this morning.  The lakes have been dropping slightly for weeks as water demand for navigation in the Tennessee River and Mississippi River was high.  Most of the lakes on the Tennessee River are a few inches below full pool.  The secondary reservoirs have been drawn down more to feed the primary navigation rivers.

Townsend is quiet this week so far.  The aftermath of a holiday causes that every time.  When cooler weather arrives, and that seems to happening now, tourism will be active again. 

I like to be on the lakes after Labor Day.  Most of the pleasure boaters are gone on weekdays.  There are not many anglers.  And, you hardly ever see anyone like us out there with fly rods.  I believe smallmouth bass fishing with a fly is getting more popular.  I know it is around here.  I’m not as comfortable as I used to be in my 40’s and 50’s jumping rocks in small streams.  Fishing from a boat is more comfortable for me.  And that is why I fish on the lakes out of a boat.  I’m still fly fishing, just doing so more comfortably for me.

I enjoy tying bass flies too.  They are larger.  New flies, tied by innovative bass fishermen are finding their way onto the internet, in fly shops and passed along from friend to friend.  I’m also finding more bass flies that are being used for trout fishing.  These offerings also catch larger trout, trophy trout.

It might be a good idea for you to pull out a big foam fly and give it a try in your favorite tailwater.  Everyone else may be using tiny midges.  You might score the “Big One” by casting a much larger fly.  Give it a try.  You might be surprised.

I am really looking forward to the next few days.  We are going to enjoy some great fishing weather and hopefully excellent fishing.

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

Byron Begley
September 7, 2012  


Respond to:

Home - Contact Us - About Us - Fishing Report - Online Catalog - Message Board - Sitemap