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 and 73 degrees in Townsend this morning.  The high temperature today won’t be much higher than that.  Our town is very quiet.  To put that into perspective, I saw 10 vehicles and 2 bicycles on my way to work.  That was it.  I did come in early though.

Little River is flowing very low, 40 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 85 cfs.  The water temperature was 72 degrees at 7:15 am.  All other streams in the region are running below normal except for the Davidson River.

The weather forecast calls for an 80% chance for rain today.  I’ve looked at the radar and I don’t think we’ll get much rain unless the storms strengthen later.  Temperatures will be around 80 degrees during the day for the next few.  Lows will be in the 50’s.  It is going to feel like Fall.

If you do go fishing in the Smokies you will encounter low water now, maybe higher water later today.  When the water is this low, trout hide in riffles and deep runs.  They may be in the pools but under cover.  It will be cloudy all day.  That will be an advantage for the angler.  Fish dry flies or nymphs in the riffle and runs.  If that doesn’t work try a nymphs fished deep.  Right now the fishing conditions are not great.  You may catch some trout but more water would make it easier for you.

We will see the rivers and lakes cool down.  Fishing in the lower elevations will improve especially if we get some rain. 

Fishing for trout in the tailwaters is a good option now.  Try the Clinch River or South Holston if you can get a decent generation schedule.

I think lake fishing with a fly will be slow.  Late next week Paula and I plan to fish 6 days straight.  Unless this water cools down substantially, I suspect we’ll be using sinking lines and streamers for smallmouth bass. 

Smallmouth bass river fishing will improve with higher and cooler water. 

Fishing reports are much easier to write when fishing is spectacular.  Lets look at the bright side.  It is going to be cooler.  That’s good.  Fall is coming.  When that happens, brown trout spawn in the mountain streams, lake tributaries and tailwaters.  OK, that’s better.  In the lakes, smallmouth bass will move into shallower water.  Fly fishermen like shallow water fishing.  That’s good.  The leaves will start turning soon.  That is a beautiful time to be fishing.  I like that.

Speaking of other good news, the Down Jones Industrial Average closed at 13306 yesterday the highest finish since 2007. That is making us all feel good.  Maybe I’ll buy a new truck.  Maybe I won’t.  I know I won’t.  Mine works just fine even though it is 11 years old with 132,000 miles on it.

Tourists will return to the Smokies soon.  Business owners who cater to tourists will enjoy that again.  This has been a tough year for tourism here mainly due to the weather.  It was so hot in July people stayed home.  Our Park entrance was closed for about a week following a deadly storm.  Business in July was awful.

But, it bounced back in August.  August was cooler or actually near normal.  September is starting out with weather that is near normal too.  It appears that trend will continue. That’s good news.

Camping seems to be more popular than ever.  Soon, the big motor homes will arrive.  The older folks with expensive camping equipment will be visiting when the temperatures cool.  That is also good news for our economy here. This is a very popular camping area.  Being a undeveloped area next to a National Park is a great place to camp.  We have everything here you need and not much of what you don’t need.

People who work here are wandering in.  I guess it’s time to go to work.

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

Byron Begley
September 8, 2012 

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