Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  I left home at 7:35 am and it was 42 degrees.  It is supposed to be colder tonight, 37 degrees.  It feels like Fall for sure.  I’m at the office now and the sun is barely visible over the Great Smoky Mountains.  A bright long slender beam of light is outlining the mountain tops.  It is a beautiful sunrise.  I suppose I will be seeing the sunrise for a few months from my office. 

Little River looked good this morning though the water is low.  That heron was perched on a big rock near the swinging bridge.  He gave me that look again then flew off as I approached.  The water temperature was 60 degrees.  Count on that being cooler tomorrow morning.

Flow is 55 cubic feet per second compared to median flow of 79 cfs for this date.  There is no rain in the forecast for the next few days.  And, the sun is going to be shining often.  For that reason, I would fish early and late.  And that’s what I plan to do. 

Fishing is fairly good in the Park if you know how to approach these streams when the water is low.  You need to stay low and hidden from the trout.  The older I get, the harder that is to do.  In fact, I don’t do it anymore.  I try to stay back but I don’t get down on my knees to cast.  I’m certainly catching less trout but having just as much fun and relaxing all the same.

The trout are going to be hiding in the moving water, behind rocks or pockets as they are referred to by writers and us too since we read what they wrote.  There, the trout are hidden but the force of the water is broken so the trout’s energy is not used up trying to stay positioned to eat.  The trout will be hiding under rocks or in woody debris.

Jack and I were talking yesterday.  We talked about big brown trout which is often the topic of discussion when we are together.  They feed at night and hide under rocks during the day.  (I’m kind of writing a summary of what Jack’s thoughts are.)  So we don’t see them.  Then they start staging to spawn.  They are all over the place.  “Where did they come from?”  After they spawn they start hiding under the rocks after they have fed for a few weeks.  “Where did they go?”  I have a picture of a brown Jack caught at Elkmont.  It was 28” long.  Lynn hooked a 30” brown this Spring.  Professional guides saw it.  They all agree it was 30”.  Where are they when I’m looking into the streams?  They are hiding, except during the spawn.  But they are still there.

For your normal trout fishing today I would use a dry fly.  It would probably be a small Orange Stimulator or Orange Elk Hair Caddis.  For some reason orange works well around here during the Fall and it has nothing to do with Tennessee football.  After all, an October Caddis is orange isn’t it?  I would probably drop a Bead Head Pheasant Tail off the dry.  Stay out of the water as much as you can and try to get a good drift.  I would fish the Elkmont area of the East Prong and probably the stretch between Metcalf Bottoms up to the Elkmont turn and I would be there late today.

Big problem!  The National Weather Service took down the page that shows the rainfall numbers that I use on this report from the Knoxville Airport.  I’ve been looking and can’t find a replacement.  So, what you see is yesterday’s numbers.  I’ll keep looking and if I can’t get that data, I’ll have to take that information off this report.  Help me out!  What I need is precipitation year to date this year and average precipitation through the same date.

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

Byron Begley
October 1, 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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