Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report. It is cloudy and rainy this morning in Townsend. There was 0.54" in the rain gauge since yesterday. That isn't a whole lot but at this point every drop counts. Some decent rain fell on the mountains in the last 24 hours. Newfound Gap reported 1.66", Mt LeConte reported 1.24", Oconoluftee Visitor Center reported 0.80" and Cades Cove reported 0.46". The streams of the Little Pigeon system should be flowing at a nice level this week. More rains looks to be headed our way today and tomorrow. The mountains are needing some rain so this is a good thing.
The rain falling this morning is light. Sometimes that can really help the fishing. Take a rain jacket along. The air temps are cool. It isn't good to get soaked and chilled.

We were surprisingly busy yesterday. It wasn't as busy as a normal Saturday but I was ready for it to be extra quiet. Normally an early football game and a town full of festivals makes for a slow weekend.

Ethan ran up to the Middle Prong (Tremont) last night after work. He fished for a few hours along the gravel road. He said he did well fishing smaller (#16) Stimulator dry flies.

Rob Fightmaster had a couple of clients out yesterday. He said they had a good day. Missed a good number of fish and caught some nice ones too. They were using both dries and nymphs with the larger trout coming on the nymphs.

This rain that is falling is going to help water levels for the next several days. Water levels are rising fast this morning but we still have a long way to go before we even get to a "normal" level. Low water isn't the end of the world. It just means that you have to be extra careful and stealthy. It may require you to lengthen your leader and go with a lighter tippet. It can just mean concentrating on the pocket water. If you are high sticking, even with a dry fly it won't matter as much what size leader and tippet you are using. Using a shorter, 7 1/2 foot or even a 6 foot leader can help because when you are fishing close in you might not even be casting 10 feet. Keeping the rod high you won't have more than a few inches of tippet material on the water anyway so as long as you aren't using mono the size of an extension cord there isn't going to be much leader for the trout to see.

Don't let the rain keep you from going fishing. Some of the best fish are caught when conditions aren't ideal for the fisherman. If you do go fishing in the mountains during a rain storm, and this is anytime of the year, you should always be watchful of the water levels. Anglers keep close eye on tailwater water levels because you never know when TVA will open up the floodgates but many of us don't keep that same vigilance while fishing freestone streams. It doesn't take much of a rainfall to potentially send a wall of water flowing down the mountain.

In the rain you will find a nymph easier to fish with. Bead Head Pheasant Tails, BH Prince, Copper Johns and Green Weenies have all been good producers.

This report is already late enough so I better wrap it up and post it. I had a fun time writing the report this week. Hopefully most of you enjoyed it also. Byron will be back at the keyboard in the morning.

Have a great day.  Thanks for reading the Fishing report!

Daniel Drake
September 26, 2010

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