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

Welcome to the Fishing Report from the Great Smoky Mountains.  It is dark, breezy and raining in Townsend this morning.  The rain is light so far.  I checked weather stations all across Tennessee early this morning.  In most of the locations to our west, the rainfall amounts were between .30 to 1.1 inches.  This front is coming toward us from the West.  It appears the rain will last all day and our rainfall amounts should be similar to what I saw earlier.  That is certainly subject to change.

Little River is flowing near normal, which is unusual this year.  The water levels have usually been much higher than normal. Right now the river is flowing at 87 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.56 feet on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 75 cfs.  The water temperature at 8:00 am is 65.7 degrees.

We will see the water levels rise today.  I could be fast or it could be a slow rise.  A slow rise would be great for fly fishing in the Smokies.  A little color in the water will be favorable.  The cloud cover is definitely favorable to anglers.  Baring any storms or high water, this should be a good day to be fishing in the Smoky Mountains.

Trout have been taking dry flies well.  Most anglers are having success with Neversinks and Stimulators though many other patterns are working.  You should consider a foam beetle pattern with an ant as a dropper.  That is a deadly combination in the Smokies right now.  Green Weenies are working very well too.

If the water rises and becomes stained, switch to a nymph.  You might even try something like a black Girdle Bug.  The brown trout are active during the day right now.  Brown trout love big nymphs, including Girdle Bugs and of course, Yuk Bugs.  Yuk Bugs are great flies for many species including brown trout, smallmouth bass and salmon.  I’ve caught a lot of king salmon on Yuk Bugs.

I’ve heard good reports and bad reports about trout fishing in the tailwaters this week.  I guess it depends on who you talk to.  Maybe they were at the wrong place at the wrong time or just the opposite. 

Reports on smallmouth bass fishing on the tailwaters are great.  CLICK HERE to read a piece written by Mike Bone on his website.  It is dated September 11.  Mike is a great guide and specializes in tailwater fly fishing.  Most of his clients target trout.  I’ve known Mike for 20 years.  He is a good guy to spend the day with and he knows these tailwaters like the back of his hand. 

Rob Fightmaster was in our parking lot this morning when I got here.  He is guiding a couple from New York.  They are fishing in the Smokies.  They should have a great day despite the rain.

Josh Pfeiffer has been doing a lot of guiding on the tailwaters for smallmouth bass lately.  Look at yesterday’s fishing report.  There is a photo of one of his clients holding a big pig smallie.  I know that fish put up a fight.  Josh is catching them on poppers and crawfish patterns.  I don’t know where Josh is guiding today.

The guides are busy.  Fishing has been very good and people found out. We are busy too.  September has been very good and up from last year like most of the months we’ve had lately.  Business started slow in the Spring due to high water and frequent rain in the Southeast and north of here.  After the weather and water settled down, people got back to going fishing.  When that happens, our business is good.

We have a beginner fly fishing class today and tomorrow.  They will be taught by Walter Babb, Josh Pfeiffer and Rob Fightmaster.  Tomorrow is going to be beautiful.

We are expecting high temperatures in the 70’ and lows in the 50’s over the next few days.  After tonight, the rain will hold off until at least Tuesday and maybe longer.

I am ordering more materials today to tie the new Game Changer fly.  I thought we had plenty.  This fly is catching on.  We’ve got some material and spines left but they won’t last long.  We’ll have more hopefully by the end of next week.

We’ll be open in 15 minutes so I better get going.

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

Byron Begley
September 21, 2013

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