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.  The sky is blue, the sun is coming up from behind the mountains and it is 40 degrees in Townsend, Tennessee this morning.  What a beautiful day it is.  I did not see any frost this morning, something that was predicted.  We will certainly see frost later this week.  Right now the weather forecast is predicting a low of 29 degrees Wednesday night.

Townsend is busy.  We are very busy too.  They say you don’t know how much you love something until you lose it.  We lost Great Smoky Mountains National Park for 16 days this month.  We all missed it.  We’re glad to have her back. 

Little River is flowing low at 81 cubic feet per second (cfs).  However, median flow for this date is actually lower than that at 77 cfs.  The flow gauge is reading 1.53 feet.  The water temperature is 55.8 degrees at 7:55 am.  The water levels are usually low in October, lower than what we see now.

Fishing is good.  This bright sun we will have today won’t help the fishing.  I would try to find good spots on the rivers where there is shade.  Low water and bright sun equals spooky trout.  Even you leader casts a shadow under these conditions. 

So, you will need to keep that in mind when you present your fly.  Blend in with the forest.  Wear muted colors.  I would try nymphs.  Get down to where the trout are hiding.  They will be seeking broken water like riffles and pockets behind rocks.  They will be deep if they can find the right place to do that.  And, be mindful that the brown trout are in spawning mode so they will be out in places you would never see them otherwise.  The brook trout are all colored up for the spawn too.  The mountains are colorful and so are the trout.  What a great time to be fly fishing in the Smokies.

I’m thinking about big browns and “Game Changers”.  The Game Changer is a new method of tying realistic baitfish flies.  I have tied more than a dozen.  Some look like shad and others closely resemble juvenile rainbow trout.  Some are tied with two #1 hooks and others are tied with one.  The bodies are articulated for unbelievable action.

Guess which one I tied for the browns?  Yep, the rainbow trout with the single hook.  Two hooks are not legal in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Browns love rainbows.

Fly fishing for trout has been very good this year on the tailwaters in our area, specifically the Holston below Cherokee Dam and the Clinch River below Norris Dam.  I’ve talked to Mike Bone a lot lately.  He has been guiding on the Clinch and Holston longer than anyone I know.  The extremely high flows this Spring kept he and his clients off the rivers often.  This Summer was great when the water was off or with only light flows.  He says the Holston has been awesome for tailwater trout fishing all Summer.  The Clinch has been great too when he could get a good generation schedule.  You can read his reports by CLICKING HERE.

I’ve known Mike for over 20 years.  We met before I got into this business 19 years ago.  I see more of him now that his daughter Alex works here part time while attending Maryville College. 

We are planning our Fall/Winter Free Saturday Events schedule.  We will have fly tyers, guides, special interest people and writers here for your enjoyment.  Though we are a “Trout Shop”, we will also mix in some people who specialize in other species like smallmouth bass.  But most of our tyers will be trout tyers, some with 40 to 60 years experience.  I’m looking forward to you watching these pros.  These Saturday events will begin in November and continue through February.  All you have to do is show up. You will find all the information here on this page.

It is Sunday, my bookkeeping day.  The sales tax return is due today.  I filed it yesterday.  But I still have to do payroll and pay bills.  I plan to slip away for a while to attend a party for a dear friend on the banks of Little River.  What a beautiful day for a party for a friend.  Thank you God for this beautiful day and for friends.

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

Byron Begley
October 20, 2013

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