Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It was 40 degrees at 7:30 am when I drove to work.  It does feel like Fall this morning.  Looks like it too.  The air is clear and the view of the Smokies is spectacular.  A low fog hovered over the surface of Little River.  The fog seemed to be moving with the water though I doubt if that was really happening.  The water is clear and not many leaves are floating in the stream.  The water temperature was 54 degrees.  That is 3 degrees less than yesterday morning.

There is not much going on in town this early on a Sunday morning.  That will be different later.  Tourists and locals are visiting the mountains.  This is peak season in the Smokies.  Everyone is busy including us. 

Fishing is pretty good.  The water flow is 91 cubic feet per second right now.  Median flow for this date is 80 cfs.  It is going to be warm today and tomorrow.  Then a cold front will move in Tuesday and bring thunderstorms with it.  More water in the rivers wouldn’t hurt at all.  Though the river here is above normal, that is still fairly low.  The water is usually low in the Fall.

I talked to some anglers who were having trouble catching trout yesterday.  I think most of them were new at fishing this area.  I know a couple of them were.  This bright sun isn’t helping.  Shady areas will be best.  I would fish nymphs in the morning until the water warms some.  Then I would switch to dry flies, something I can see like a Stimulator or Elk Hair Caddis.  We should see some Blue Wing Olive hatches this week when the skies turn dark.  Clouds, rain and fog seem encourages these bugs to hatch.  You might do OK using terrestrial patterns.

Brown trout are staging to spawn.  Brook trout are doing the same thing.  Those beautiful fish match the Fall tree colors right now.  We will have cloudy conditions for several consecutive days and the water temperature will be cool later this week.  That should bring on the spawn for sure.  It’s hard to believe how close we are to November.  That can be a great month to catch browns and see some really big ones.

Brook trout are also spawning in the recently refurbished Southern Appalachian Brook Trout Hatchery on the Tellico River.  Wild adult Southern Strain brookies were captured and moved to the hatchery.  On October 3rd the first female was stripped of her eggs.  They were fertilized and will be incubated.  Here they will get a better hatch rate and more trout will reach the fingerling stage than they would in the wild.  This is an interesting story.  YOU CAN READ IT BY CLICKING HERE.

This new concept in the Appalachians does not require total removal of all the rainbows.  Bows were removed from a stream using electroshocking but some of the rainbow trout will remain.  The idea is to thin out the rainbows and stock more brook trout.  This may work.  Time will tell.  I hope it does.  A lot of good partners are working on this. 

Meanwhile the brook trout fishery in the Smokies is doing well.  All but two streams are open to fishing currently.  If you want to catch Southern Appalachian Brook Trout, you can do it here.  And anglers are specifically targeting brookies in those beautiful streams.  It is like going back in time, hundreds of years.

A fellow asked me yesterday if we sold wicker creels.  He was preparing to fish a brook trout stream.  We don’t sell creels or stringers.  I told him to just use a zip lock bag if he wanted to keep a trout or two.  But he wanted the creel on his side for the sake of tradition. He happened to be British so he comes from a culture that enjoys tradition.  I wish we had one to sell him.  I don’t even know where to buy them.  I have several hanging on the wall in the fishing room at home.  I never thought about strapping one on to go fishing but, I don’t keep trout, I turn them loose.  So, we missed an opportunity to make an angler happier. 

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

Byron Begley
October 16, 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 22 – Beginner Day One
Sunday October 23 – Beginner Onstream Day Two

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