Townsend, Tennessee - Fly Fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, East Tennessee and Western North Carolina

Welcome to the Fishing Report from the Great Smoky Mountains.  It is overcast and 62 degrees in Townsend, Tennessee this Thursday morning.  It has begun raining, lightly.

Little River looks fine right now.  Flow is currently 89 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.57 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 77 cfs.  The water temperature at 8:10 am is 62 degrees.

The landscape here looks beautiful.  The leaves are changing to the brilliant fall hues we love this time of year.  It is going to be cooler for a few days with highs in the 60’s and lows in the mid 40’s.  This is camping weather.  This is fishing weather.

Fishing conditions are perfect.  A little more water in the streams would be nice but they are still running higher than normal.  The water temperature is right in the zone for good trout fishing.  To make it even better, the skies are cloudy.  This is an awesome day to go fly fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains.

Trout are taking dry flies well.  Pattern is not as important as presentation at this point.  The fish are hungry.  We have not had a freeze so terrestrial dry flies are a good choice.  Anything yellow will work.  We still recommend Neversink Caddis, Yellow Stimulator or Yellow Palmer.  Orange is a good color too in the Fall.  A Orange Stimulator or Orange Palmer would be good.  The old standby Parachute Adams is producing.

Nymphs are working well too.  If you are fishing for larger trout, go to nymphs.  We don’t see many 20” brown trout caught on dry flies during the Fall.  We do see them caught on nymphs.  Try some big buggy nymphs with rubber legs for the browns.

Now that the Park is open, you have total unencumbered access to most brook trout streams.  Those fish are colored up for the spawn.  There is nothing prettier than a Southern Appalachian brook trout in the fall.  Green Weenies and Barbie Bugs work well for them.  They will take dry flies too.  The brookies are anxious and willing.

Great Smoky Mountians National Park opened yesterday to a large number of visitors.  The Park Service was reporting bear jams and traffic backups on the first day.  Everybody was trying to get to Cades Cove.  I would imagine today will be more normal.  Traffic in town seems normal right now. 

We have scheduled our Fall and Winter fly tying classes.  CLICK HERE TO READ MORE.  They will be taught on Saturdays as usual.  We have three, beginner, intermediate and advanced.  They will be taught by Walter Babb and Brian Courtney.  We run the class schedule from November through February.  They last all day.  The costs range from $75 to $85 per day.  We supply everything, including lunch.  Just call the shop at 865-448-9459 to reserve your spot.

Our last Beginner Fly Fishing Class for the year will be held this weekend and we do have some openings.  Just give us a call and set it up.

My day off was yesterday.  I take a weekday because I’m always here on weekends.  I was so tired of the Park being closed and Congress not getting along that I stayed home and rested.  I did tie some Knuckleheads for you and I took a 3 hour nap.  I feel better today.

Daniel opened the gates and our new Fall merchandise is on the way.  We put a hold on all shipments until we knew when the Park was going to re-open.  Closing the Park killed our business. 

It’s not too late to book accommodations here for a Fall fishing trip.  A lot of people cancelled their reservations due to the government shutdown.  Normally it is very hard to find a cabin or motel room this month on short notice.  This is prime time for fly fishing in the Smokies.  If you want to be here, you can.

November will be here soon.  That is when everything changes here.  The leaves are typically on the ground.  We may have had a frost or snowfall.  The fishing, especially for browns is excellent.  If it is warm, all the trout will be active.  If it is cold, the browns will be the target, they are hungry and active. 

The crowds are gone.  You’ve got it to yourself until the Holiday season begins.  November is a nice time to visit the Smokies whether you are a fly fisherman, hiker, backpacker, nature watcher or photographer.  When the leaves are off the trees, you can see things you never saw before.

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

Byron Begley
October 17, 2013

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