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

Welcome to the Fishing Report. It was raining pretty good this morning in Maryville as I drove to work but as soon as I got through the gap in the mountains it stopped. We still haven't gotten any rain here at the Shop. If we do get the rain the forecasts are calling for, coupled with cooler temperatures this week, fishing could really turn on.

Everything has seemed to be several weeks ahead of schedule this year. The Quill Gordons began hatching in early February and that trend has continued through the Summer. I am hoping that means we will be entering into the cooler times of Fall early. Cool, clear, Fall weather is great. If it was possible though I would prefer if the long days of Summer, staying light till after 9, could continue (mixed with the cool weather). I guess there has to be trade offs.

What to say about fishing in the Smokies... Water levels are still as low as they have been. This morning the streamflow gauge read 1.20 feet or 33 c.f.s. We still aren't down to the record low for this date. That is 23 c.f.s. back in 1998. If this rain actually comes it will get better. I keep checking out the window. The parking lot is still dry.

Waiting for it to rain makes me think about farmers. Real farmers, not hobby farmers like me who can buy hay and just turn on the spigot to get more water. Guys who look out over hundreds or thousands of acres of browning fields containing not only their yearly lively-hood but food for the rest of us. People like to call fisherman optimists. Farmers are the truly eternal optimists.

Back on track. If you head out to fish today. Definitely take your rain jacket. I would have a box full of nymphs, such as BH Pheasant Tails, Tellico Nymphs, Prince nymphs and Copper Johns. Terrestrial patterns like ants and beetles can be good as bugs are knocked out of the trees by rain. Keep an eye on water clarity and levels. If you see a clear stream start to get colored up that is a really good indicator that lots of water is headed your way. Rising water can stir things up and make for some incredible fishing, just be cautious and be on the road or trail side of the creek. You don't want to be stuck on the wrong side of the river in a flash flood.

Still no rain yet as I wrap this up. Have a great day and thank you for being here with us.

Daniel Drake
September 17, 2012 


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