Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report. It is cloudy and cool this morning in Townsend. There is a chance of showers today but not a very high percentage. High temperatures are only forecast to be in the high 50's in town so that means it will be cooler than that in the mountains. Time to dig out those fleece vests and jackets.

Water levels and water temps in the mountains are great. The streams are flowing clear. As cool as it has been overnight I would start with a nymph early on and then try some dry flies later in the day as things warm up. It is still early, but start keeping your eyes open for the larger browns. With shorter days and cooler weather they will start being more active.

Nymph patterns for the mountains: BH Prince Nymphs (#10-#16), BH Pheasant Tails (#12-#18), Copper Johns in Copper or Red (#14-#16), BH Tellico nymphs (#10-#16), Green Weenies and Barbie Bugs (#12). I usually fish bead head nymphs (BH) because they are heavier and will get the fly down faster with less split shot. The same flies without bead heads will work also if you prefer. Don't forget about the split shot. Weight is your friend when nymphing. Walter Babb told me once, that the fly needs to be within 6 inches of the top of the water or within 6 inches of the bottom of the stream.

Dry patterns for the mountains: Parachute Adams (#14-#18), Elk Hair Caddis in olive, brown, or peacock (#14-#18), Stimulators either orange or yellow (#14-#16). Wulff patterns such as the Royal Wulff, Thunderhead and Orange Wulff will also be good.

I spoke with Rhonda at Temple Fork last week and asked her about the availability date for the new TFO BVK rods. She said that they were expecting to have them around the middle of next week. If all goes well and the shipment arrives that means we should be receiving some rods near the beginning of the next week. I ordered 9' 5wt, 9' 6wt, and 9' 8wt. We haven't gotten to cast the rods yet but they are supposed to be great. When they arrive come by the shop and try one out.

It is that time of year again when the stockers rein and though they are foolish will live to bite another day. Delayed Harvest time is back. Both Tennessee and North Carolina have streams set aside as delayed harvest. Basically the state takes a stream and stocks a bunch of trout in them with regulations of single hook artificial and catch and release only. If you hit one of these streams on a good day the fishing can be ridiculous.
To me, catching a monster trout in this kind of fishery doesn't excite me as much as catching a 12 inch wild trout in a small stream. Now don't get me wrong. A good day on a delayed harvest river is still a load of fun. It is also a nice reminder that catching trout doesn't always have to be a difficult challenge.

Here are some links to some more information.

To fish these waters you will need the regular fishing license and a trout stamp for which ever state you are fishing in. None of these streams are in Great Smoky Mountains National Park so there is no recipricol agreements for licenses between the states. Especially this time of year with changes in stream designations pay close attention the fishing regulations. Game wardens don't believe that ignorance of regulations is a solid defense.

Thank you for reading the Fishing Report!

Daniel Drake
October 3, 2010

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