Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is overcast right now in Townsned.  The Smoky Mountains are in clear view from here.  The air is clear and the view is spectacular.  It is cool this morning.  I stopped at the swinging bridge to take the water temperature.  It was 63 degrees.  Frank, my police buddy pulled in and we talked for a minute.  He is the best source of news in Townsend.  He catches me up every time I see him. 

I would like to be fishing right now.  The clouds are blocking the sun and the streams are low.  When the streams are low, you are better off when the clouds are blocking the sun.  They say it will be mostly sunny today.  It is early so maybe they are right.

The river is moving slowly through town.  The clear water is speckled with fallen leaves.  Right now the flow is 60 cubic feet per second.  Median flow for this date based on 46 years is 95 cfs.  Under these conditions, fishing in the mountains is tricky.  Good spots are spread out and the trout are packed in waiting for rain.  You will do best on shaded areas in riffles or choppy water.  I would use a dry fly, something like a small Stimulator or Elk Hair Caddis.  A Parachute Adams would be a good choice.  Beetles will be another good choice.  Drop a Bead Head Pheasant Tail off the dry.  Use light tippet, 6X or maybe 5X to get more strikes.  Stay hidden and keep your profile low.  Avoid casting shadows on the water you are fishing.  Don’t let your fly line fall on the likely spots.  These fish are spooky.

Downstream from these free flowing rivers you will find smallmouth bass.  The habitat is natural and perfect for these fish.  The water is fairly cool and the bass are active.  But, they are spooky too.  The smooth runs and riffles are skinny so the bass will not be in that shallow water during the day like they are when the water is higher.  Wading sends waves upstream or across, alerting the bass that something is odd.  You will do better in a canoe or fishing from the banks in deeper water.  Some of those pools are several feet deep.  Wading can be impossible.  You can catch the smallmouth with a fly rod even now but when we get more rain it’s going to be better.

A cold front is moving in.  The high today will remain in the 60’s. The high tomorrow is expected to be 61 degrees.  Then, tomorrow night it should drop into the 30’s.  This cold front is going to improve the fishing everywhere.  The lakes will cool down too.  We will finally experience cool Fall weather.  Brown trout will get active.  When it’s time to spawn they don’t care about the water level.  But they are still hard to catch.  What we need is more water combined with this cold weather and the fishing will be excellent, just about like Spring.

Wow, the new gear is coming in and I’m going to be busy all weekend getting it out.  Far Bank, the company that owns Sage, Rio and Redington are shipping their pre-season order to us.  I expect the new shipment of Sage “One” rods today or early next week.  Right now we only have a 5 weight.  Fishpond’s first shipment is here.  This is mostly new styles.  I have several un-opened boxes sitting here in my office.  I have a box full of fly boxes waiting to be received.  There is a bunch of Orvis stuff here to be entered into the computer.  I’ve been waiting for that first shipment of Tiemco hooks.  I hope it comes today.  There are some new less expensive hooks in that order.  They were offered last year but I didn’t bring them in.  They will be here for this year’s tying season. Temple Fork is expanding their BVK line of rods.  They have been a huge success.  I noticed a box of those rods arrived.

So, I better get to work.  It is opening time and customers are already here.

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

Byron Begley
September 30, 2011


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Our fly fishing classes will be offered from March to October 2011.   To sign up just call the shop at 877-448-3474.  You can read more on our website in the Schools Section.  The fly fishing class schedule follows:

Saturday September 24 – Beginner Day One
Sunday September 25 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday October 8 – Beginner Day One
Saturday October 22 – Beginner Day One
Sunday October 23 – Beginner Onstream Day Two

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