Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  I left the house at 7:45 am and it was 37 degrees and foggy.  I drove to the river and the water temperature is 54 degrees.  Wow!  Things are changing.  I sat down to write this report and I heard Brian knocking on the door.  He is here to tie Green Weenies.  Then I heard another knock on the door.  Josh had a client who had boot foot waders without felt.  So, I loaned him a pair of school waders and got him going.  This has been a busy morning. 

The water level in Little River has pretty much leveled off.  It has hardly dropped further in days.  It is low though.  Flow is 51 cubic feet per second right now.  Median flow for this date is 74 cfs. 

Fly fishing in the Park is fairly good depending on where you are.  I would be fishing the larger rivers right now.  The best fishing is very early or very late.  The sun shining on low water is not good.  If you do go fishing during the day hit the shady spots.  The trout are going to be active due to the favorable water temperature.  The cold front will end tomorrow and lows in the evenings will be in the mid to high 40’s so the water temperature at most elevations will be fine.  With conditions like this you need to fish moving, choppy water where the trout are hiding.  And you need to stay hidden.  We are recommending dry flies such as small Stimulators and Elk Hair Caddis.  These flies float well in the riffles.  A dropper would be a good idea.  Try a Bead Head Pheasant Tail, Tellico or maybe a Green Weenie.

I’ve heard reports of brown trout pairing up and acting like a spawner, sort of.  Some of that activity has been reported on the Clinch as well as in the Park.  It won’t be long before the browns will be seen more often during the day.

I’ve talked to a couple of friends who plan to fish the lakes this week for smallmouth bass.  We are hoping those fish are back near the surface.  I don’t know if they are or not but I’m hoping to get away Wednesday to find out.  I’m very busy at work and may not be able to go. 

I know the smallmouth bass in the rivers exiting the Park are active.  Finding good areas to wade and the water is deep enough will be key to your success.  Or, even better, float down the rivers in a canoe, kayak or raft.  Take extra clothes in a dry bag if you float.  That water is cold and spending the day wet would be problematic or even dangerous.

I’m sitting in a room full of Fishpond’s new collection.  Five big boxes arrived and we’re going to re-arrange part of the store to set up a new department.  The wading department is gradually moving too. 

We got in some new cool fly tying gadgets.  These new Fish Skull Sculpin Helmets are awesome.  They are hard to describe but they are a weighted sculpin head in two sizes and two colors.  The flies I’ve seen tied look like a real sculpin and they should just sit on the bottom of the stream like the live version.  Trout and smallmouth bass love sculpins.  My spell checker hates the word.  We got a couple of the Gary Krebs Popper Jig Sets in.  These make cutting popper bodies from foam cylinders easy and quick. 

We now have some Fish Skull Articulated Shanks.  These allow you to tie long streamers with an additional hook way back from the primary hook.  You end up with excellent hooking ability with great action in the fly.  I have a double hook streamer that David Knapp tied and gave me on my desk right now.  I can’t wait to try it.  This fly is a work of art.  I don’t think it is Park legal though.  Those hooks are too close together to qualify as a dropper.   

Finally, the National Weather Service got the data back online that I use to report year to date precipitation.  CLICK HERE to see it.  When the window opens click on Knoxville Airport and hit GO.  This summary is something I’ve used for years, every day.  Charles from Nashville sent a link to me where that same information could be found.  It would require a little math every morning though.  What you see on this page is quick and easy to interpret.

It sounds like the shop just opened.  I better get to work.

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

Byron Begley
October 3, 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 October 8 – Beginner Day One
Saturday October 22 – Beginner Day One
Sunday October 23 – Beginner Onstream Day Two

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