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 foggy and 39 degrees in Townsend, Tennessee this morning.  We are expecting night temperatures to drop to freezing or below Wednesday through Friday.  It feels like Fall and looks like Fall.  Many trees in the valley are showing their Fall colors.  It is beautiful in the Smokies right now.  And, there are plenty of people here enjoying the views.

Little River is flowing at 79 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.52 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 77 cfs.  The water temperature at 7:55 am is 52.4 degrees.

Fly fishing for trout in the mountains has been very good.  Dry flies and nymphs are both working well for anglers.  Small streams seem to be fishing best from what I am hearing.  Brook trout fishing has been awesome in those smaller creeks.  The brown trout are out in the open but with this low water, which is normal this time of year, the fish are spooky.  Rainbows are active everywhere.

You will find water temperatures in the high elevations will be cold, especially later this week.  The water is going to be colder in the valleys too.  When this happens, most anglers switch to a different schedule.  Fishing can be best later in the day if the water is cold.  With predicted highs near 60 most days, the water will warm.  At night, the temperature will drop.

Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is lowering the reservoirs.  They do that every Fall.  For instance, Norris Lake’s water level is currently at 1,007 feet in elevation.  At the high point this Summer the level exceeded 1,020 feet above sea level.  TVA indicates on their website that they will be generating all day at Norris Dam.

TVA’s website also reports generation at Cherokee Dam until 1:00 pm today.  Then they will turn the generators off.  Right now, Cherokee Lake’s water level is at 1,056 feet above sea level.  That number averaged around 1,070 feet elevation most of the Summer.

Please check the TVA website before you go fishing.  What I’m seeing this morning may not be exactly what will happen.  Schedules change.  I make mistakes.

Thousands of fish have been found dead in Little River, downstream near the mouth at the Tennessee River.  The cause is unknown.  Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agenc is investigating the fish kill. Other agencies may get involved.  You can read the story on the website by CLICKING HERE.  Little River is around 50 miles long beginning at Elkmont.  This kill happened way downstream.  I am going to keep an eye on this story. 

According to Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s Twitter feed, there are many open campsites in the campgrounds.  Evidently, lots of people cancelled their camping trips or opted to camp somewhere else due to the uncertainty caused by the government shutdown.  What a shame.  This is one of the most beautiful times of the year to be camping in the Smokies.  Right now, the campgrounds are underutilized.

Our store remodel is going very well.  The guys have been removing walls upstairs to make room for the new fly tying department.  They are hoping to have everything finished by early November.  That is when our Saturday Free Seminars and Demonstrations begin.  Also, our fly tying classes crank up in November.  We plan to pack the house every weekend this Winter. 

If I can get off work tomorrow, Paula and I hope to go fishing somewhere.  It may be in the park or it may be on the Little Tennessee River. 

Yesterday, I did take off for about three hours to attend a party for a friend.  Paula was already there.  The party was held at River John’s on the Little River.  I did not count but it looked like there were about 200 people there.  I knew many of them and there were some folks I met for the first time.  There were kids fishing in the river.  Jack was cooking on the grills.  Paula and other ladies prepared dishes.  This was a party with purpose.  Our friend is sick.  It was a great party.

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

Byron Begley
October 21, 2013

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