Townsend, Tennessee - Fly Fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is overcast and cool this morning.  Traffic is very light but it is still early.  I don’t know what to expect today.  The Fall colors have faded but there are still some trees showing brilliant colors in the valley.  Others are totally bare.  Leaf-Looking Season is pretty much over.

It rained all day and all night.  The rain was never heavy though.  We had 1.3” of rain in our gauge.  I expected more.  I checked out the radar several times and it seems the heaviest rain was just west of the mountain Tennessee/North Carolina line.  Therefore, though Little River is up substantially since yesterday morning, it’s not blown out or too high to fish.  It was dark when I took the water temperature this morning.  My flashlight could use some new batteries.  But, the water appeared to be clear, at least a few feet from where I was standing.  I am assuming the river is clear.

Flow is 295 cubic feet per second.  Median flow for this date is 81 cfs.  The gauge reading is 2.25 feet.  At 2.4 feet we do not take beginning fly fishing students to the river.  So wading should be fine but you should be careful.

This is actually perfect flow.  You could not ask for better conditions unless you are used to fishing low water.  In that case Little River might seem high to you.  The water temperature at the swinging bridge was 50 degrees.  The weather forecast today calls for a high of 53 degrees and sunny.  This will be a good fishing day in the Park.  It is going to get cold tonight, probably below freezing in the valley.

Fishing is excellent.  A lot of anglers are on the river too.  Eddie and Eric are in town.  They are very good fishermen.  They told me yesterday that on Thursday there were a lot of fishermen on the East Prong of Little River.  They would catch several trout in certain runs and pools, as many as 5 from one spot.  Eddie said it would be hard not to catch a trout.  But in other areas they caught nothing.  We all agreed that where they did not do well, someone was there a few minutes earlier.  They moved to a smaller stream where the angler traffic was light and they caught trout “hand over fist”. 

So, if you want to catch a lot of trout today, I would choose a smaller stream.  The local anglers will be cruising the roads today.  

I would use nymphs to start.  Pick from an assortment of Prince, Tellico, Rubber Legged Copper John, Pheasant Tail or Hare’s ear nymphs.  Rubber legs will be good today.  Maybe there is some color in the water and that would be perfect. Like I said, it was hard for me to tell this morning what the turbidity actually was. 

If you prefer dry flies it seems Blue Wing Olive patterns and midges are producing best.  Other patterns such as a Elk Hair Caddis or Parachute Adams will work if the trout are looking up.  I know I would be using a large rubber leg contraption or a Puglisi pattern that resembles a baitfish or sculpin.  I would be using a 6 weight rod and 8 pound tippet.  Most people won’t do that.  A 9’ 4X leader will sell well today and lighter tippets will be used for those small dry flies.  I guess you need to be prepared for both circumstances.

It will be interesting to see what the water temperature will be tomorrow morning.  I bet it will be in the mid 40’s. 

Our fly tying classes are about to begin.  Here are the dates:

Beginner Fly Tying – Saturday November 12, 2011 – Saturday January 7, 2012 and February 4, 2012.

Intermediate Fly Tying – Saturday December 3, 2011 – Saturday January 21, 2012 and Saturday February 18, 2012.

Advanced Fly Tying – Saturday January 28, 2012 and Saturday February 25, 2012.

You can view the details and the schedule by CLICKING HERE.  This page references our beginner class.  You can go to the “Schools” menu to find information about the other classes.

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

Byron Begley
October 29, 2011

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