Townsend, Tennessee - Fly Fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, East Tennessee and Western North Carolina

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is partly cloudy and 66 degrees in Townsend this morning.  The sunrise view from my office window is spectacular.  The air is clear and the mountain details are vivid. 

We need rain. We have a chance for rain on Friday and a slight chance before that. Little River is flowing at 37 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 82 cfs.  The water temperature was 65.7 degrees early this morning.  All the Park streams that have gauges with data that is accessible online are flowing below median flow.

Fishing in the Smokies will be best in the small shaded streams or in the larger rivers early and late.  You will find the trout in riffles or deep runs.  They will be hiding under cover. A dry fly with a nymph dropper will work for you.  A foam beetle would be an excellent choice for a dry fly but other reasonable patterns will produce as well.  A Green Weenie, Bead Head Pheasant Tail or Tellico Nymph would make a good dropper. 

You need to stay hidden and pull out your low water tricks.  I would fish in the riffles or where a riffle enters a pool.  I think you will do best in shaded areas.

The tailwater trout fisheries are fishing fine.  I talked to one of my friends who fishes on the Clinch River often.  He said he is doing well there.  I’m hearing good reports from anglers who fish other tailwaters.  Good fishing on these rivers is dependent upon discharge from dams and flow.  So, you may have good days and not so good days, which is usual. 

This week, starting Saturday, Paula and I will be fly fishing for smallmouth bass in the lakes.  We plan to fish 6 days straight.  I’m really looking forward to this.  I’m not expecting the fishing to be great but with the cooler temperatures I’m hoping for the best.  This is the only week we could both get away from work during the past couple of months. 

I’ve got a feeling we’ll find the bass deep in most cases.  We’ll need to fish early and late.  The water temperatures will be dropping and that will help.  The lake levels are also dropping. 

I am planning to buy some more sinking fly lines for our lighter weight rods.  I’ve never been a big fan of fishing sinking lines but maybe it is time for a change in my attitude.  Maybe next week will be a good learning experience.

I called a Laurel Lake Concept Plan Committee meeting for tomorrow.  We are meeting at Ed Mitchell’s office.  Ed is our County Mayor and he is very interested in what we are trying to do.  Laurel Lake, a 50 acre impoundment, was drained 20 years ago.  The lake was built in 1935.  All attempts to re-build the lake have failed.  We are trying again.  The old lake bed and surrounding land is owned by the County.

I have new information that may change our plan.  The deed restrictions are more complicated and restrictive than we thought.  I never actually read the deeds until now.  This is going to be an interesting meeting.

Also at issue is the land leased by the Appalachian Bear Rescue (ABR).  ABR leased 10 acres from the County and they operate a re-habilitation facility which takes in orphaned or injured bears then eventually releases them into the wild.  At one point last year they had over 20 black bears in the facility.  These bears are kept away from people for the most part.  Tiny cubs are bottle fed if needed.  But most of the bears are housed in a huge pen.  They don’t see humans often. 

I met with one of the ABR leaders last week and found out they leased more property near the lake.  Now they have 25 acres.  Our committee didn’t know that.  So, our plan needs to be changed for that reason and because of the deed restrictions.

I also asked Joe Huff to attend the meeting.  He is the director of Parks and Rec.  They manage most of the parks in our County including those in the cities of Maryville and Alcoa.  Michael Talley, Townsend’s new Mayor will be there too.  He is riding with me.  Mike is interested in Parks.  And, he has served on the Concept Plan Committee before becoming our Mayor.

We have some beautiful weather in store for us over the next few days.  It is going to be cool.  More people will be getting out in the woods and rivers.  I’m glad I’ll be one of them.

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

Byron Begley
September 12, 2012

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