Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is cloudy in Townsend this morning.  The air is clear and the view of the mountains is spectacular.  Looming ahead is moisture in the air and hopefully some significant rainfall.  It is quiet in town.  It’s mainly just us locals.  For the next couple of weeks our tourist traffic will occur mostly on weekends.  Then when Fall kicks off, we’ll see visitors all week long. 

Little River has receded some since we had our last rainfall Wednesday.  Today the flow is 44 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 80 cfs.  The water temperature in town is 67 degrees. 

Fishing has improved in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Cooler water temperature is the reason.  There are not many aquatic insects hatching but land loving insects (terrestrials) are a primary food source for trout right now.  Ants and beetles are plentiful.  Many end up falling in the water.  Green Weenies are working well too.  It is going to be cloudy until Sunday.  That is certainly and advantage for you.  Just about every angler I’m talking to in the shop is catching trout in the Smokies streams.  Some nice browns have been landed or lost too.

Bill and Sheila are back from Montana.  They had some good fishing days and some that were not so good.  Weather was a factor.  They saw snow, sleet, rain, highs in the 40’s, lows in the 20’s and a grizzly bear not far away. They had a great time.  It’s good to have them back.

I’m reading about fishing deep for smallmouth bass.  I think that’s what will be required when Paula and I go fishing at Dale Hollow for several days.  As part of my tackle preparation, I bought two Type 6 full sinking, density compensated fly lines, one 7 weight and one 8 weight.  This will be all new for us.  I am having a hard time imagining casting into 20 feet of water, letting the fly sink to the bottom, then bouncing it along without getting hung up all the time.  But, what a thrill it will be if it works.  Essential to this type of fishing in my mind is using streamers tied on a jig hook.  That’s what these hooks are made to do.  I’ve found lots of patterns online that I plan to tie over the next few days.  Most are tied using bunny strips.  Luckily we have a huge selection of those at the shop.  I ordered jig hooks from Gamakatsu Monday.  They should be here today. 

Fly fishing is a never ending journey of acquiring knowledge.  Since I developed a mild case of vertigo, (once not so mild) wading is difficult for me.  Riding a bicycle is a little scarry too.  So, I bought a boat and started learning about smallmouth bass fishing a year ago.  This change has opened up a totally new fly fishing mindset.  I like tying the flies and I like using them.  I like fishing for a while then sitting down.  You can do that all you want in a boat.  It’s nice having a cooler within an arms reach all day.  I like boats, I always have.  I’m comfortable driving, towing and handling a boat.  I feel safe and secure.  I’ve been doing it most of my life.  It has been an interesting change. 

We have a few customers who I consider expert smallmouth fly fishing anglers.  Jack Gregory, Gary Troutman and Lynn Hayes come to mind.  They all love it and when they talk I’m listening and learning. 

Who knows, maybe in two years it will be stripers.  I’ll always love saltwater fly fishing.  Everything I have bought for our boat is saltwater safe.  I’ll still go trout fishing.  I’m not giving that up completely but right now I’m in a smallmouth bass phase and enjoying it all.

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

Byron Begley
September 10, 2010

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