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 skies are cloudy and the temperature is 54 degrees in Townsend, Tennessee.  I am off for two days so this report will be written from home.  Our boat is hooked up to the truck and parked in front of our house.  This afternoon, we are going fishing on the Little Tennessee River.

Little River is flowing at 77 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.51 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 75 cfs.  The water temperature at 7:50 am is 54.4 degrees.

Today will be our last warm day for a while.  The high is supposed to be 67 degrees.  Tomorrow will be cooler then the nights will get cold, down to freezing.  We will probably see temperatures in the 20’s Friday night.

Today will be a perfect day to fish.  It is going to be cloudy with a chance for rain.  Being a fisherman, I love cloudy days. 

Fishing in the Smoky Mountains has been pretty good for some anglers and not so good for others.  The water is low in the streams.  That is typical this time of year. I talked to Mark Brown yesterday.  He is the Sales Manager at Chota.  He had a good day Sunday on the Middle Prong of Little River.  Mark knows how to hide from trout when the water is low.  That makes all the difference in the world. I don’t know for sure, but Mark might have been wearing Chota’s new camo waders or Hippies.  I bet he was. He said he caught a couple of good fish but most were small. 

Trout will be found in deep runs, riffles behind boulders and anywhere there is sufficient cover to keep them hidden from predators.  A predator could be a fisherman, otter, bird or a larger fish. 

You may see mature brown trout in abnormal places in the rivers.  It is spawning time.  Little River is the home of wild brown trout, big ones, up to 30” long.  These big fish normally hide during the day throughout most of t he year.  They feed on smaller fish and insects at night.  I don’t fish during the spawn but lots of my friends do.  They don’t cast to a spawning female.  They leave her alone.  They do however target the males.  After the spawn is over, the adult fish are hungry and they can be caught on a fly.  Don’t think it is easy, it’s not.  It takes patience, skill and luck.

Biologists are still puzzled by the large fish kill in the lower Little River miles downstream from here near the Tennessee River.  The investigation continues by Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.  Thousands of fish died.  Water temperature and low dissolved oxygen were ruled out.  Officials are looking for point source spill of some sort.  You can read a recent update by CLICKING HERE.

The article was written by Morgan Simmons, a very talented and well known outdoor writer in our area.  I talked to Morgan about a month ago at his home.  We were there shooting photography for Chota Outdoor Gear.  While we were chatting after the work was done, one of Morgan’s Jack Russell Terriers found a huge yellow jacket next.  That poor dog was actually turning flips in the air trying to get away from those bees.  The dog ran to us and I could see at least 10 yellow jackets stinging him at once.  Morgan swatted the yellow jackets away from his dog.  We looked over at the site of the nest and saw hundreds of them buzzing around.  We stayed away from that area.

Paula and I will be testing our new “Game Changer” flies today.  I don’t know if we can find any gamefish near the surface but I want to see what these flies look like in clear water.  My expectations for catching smallies, trout or stripers are not high today.  From what I’ve heard, fishing on the Little T has been slow.  I don’t care if it is slow or good.  I’m just looking forward to getting out there.

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

Byron Begley
October 22, 2013

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