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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is sunny and a cool 44 degrees in Townsend this morning.  Traffic was fairly heavy on the roads when I drove to work.  This is leaf season and the mountains are beautiful.  The valley is beautiful too.

Little River is flowing at 83 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 73 cfs.  The water temperature at 8:20 am was 55 degrees.

Mike and I got skunked yesterday.  We were fishing for smallmouth bass in Little River.  What started out as a very windy day with cloud cover, soon became sunny and the wind died.  It was not what we expected.  We were wading and fishing mostly shallow water.  We didn’t even catch a redeye bass.  I don’t think I’ve ever been skunked on the river.  You can always catch something. 

The water was very clear.  We probably needed to be fishing from a canoe in the deeper pools.  We started at Coulters Bridge, several miles below Townsend and worked our way back to town.  We stood on several bridges and looked down.  We saw some suckers and what might have been a trout.  We could not see any bass.  It was weird.

I don’t know what the fishing was like in the Park yesterday. It has been good.  Trout are taking dry flies.  Beetles, Neversink Caddis, Elk Hair Caddis and small Stimulators are working.  Nymphs are producing too.  Try a Green Weenie.

As Mike and I found out yesterday, you will catch plenty of leaves.  The wind, early yesterday morning blew tons of them into the river.  It is supposed to be windy today with gusts as high as 30 miles per hour.

It is going to be nice this weekend.  Highs will be in the 60’s in the valley.  Lows will be in the 40’s.  I must say that even though the fishing was slow yesterday for both Mike and I, the river, the trees, the sky, heck everything we looked at was nice to watch.

At one point I just sat down on the bank and watched the river flow by.  I call it “stream watching”.  What a great thing to do.  Watching a stream flow by puts me into a comfortable and relaxing trance.

Just being on or near water makes me calm.  Jack says we feel that way because we are breathing more hydrogen than normal.  He’s probably right.  He usually is.  He may be kidding too. 

You can’t deny that one realizes a calming effect by being on, in or near water. I can sit for hours and watch the ocean.  I am mesmerized by aquariums that have live fish swimming around in it.  People are not all alike so some people may not agree.

This wind kept plenty of people off the lakes yesterday and it will today.  I’m hoping for calm days next week so I can work in one day in the boat.  We should see plenty of anglers this weekend in town.  This is a great time to be here and relax on the water.

I just finished updating the lake level data in the box to the left and below.  There were quite a few changes today.  Tennessee Valley Authority is lowering the lakes for the Winter.  Lower lakes provide storage capacity for rain runoff.  The agency starts the process of lowering the reservoirs after Labor Day.  Boat recreation slows after that holiday and preparation for flood control and water storage capacity begins.

You can look at the TVA Reservoir Information pages and see a link to the Operating Guides for each lake.  These guides show the expected lake level operating zone over a 12 month period.  I’m looking at Watts Bar right now.  The lake is at it’s lowest level during the months of November through March.  Most lakes are similar. 

Expect to see these levels drop and be aware that operating a motorized boat should be done carefully during periods of low water in the reservoirs.  You might hit something during November that you would drive right over in July.

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

Byron Begley
October 19, 2012

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