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

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Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is overcast and 42 degrees in Townsend, Tennessee on this final day of October 2012.  There are still plenty of leaves on the trees in the valley and up in the mid-elevation mountains.  I saw no snow on the mountain-tops this morning.  There is snow higher up.  Mount LeConte is reporting 34” on the ground right now and another 3” expected.  You can read Allyson Virden’s blog “High on LeConte by CLICKING HERE. She and her husband are up there taking care of the lodge facilities and welcoming hikers who have the guts to climb up there right now. 

The predicted wind did not occur over the last two days.  We have power here.  The sun will be shining tomorrow.  The “big brown trout” anglers and watchers had their time and they saw and caught plenty of big fish.  The lack of sun drove the brown trout crazy.  They were getting very active during the dark days of the weekend starting Friday and will still be fully active today.     

Little River looks great.  Flow is 122 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 82 cfs.  The temperature dropped to 45.3 degrees this morning.

Cool nights but warmer days are in our future this week.  We’ll experience highs in the 50’s to high 60’s.  Night-time lows will drop to the 30’s. The low temperature yesterday at Mt. LeConte was 16 degrees.  What a difference a few thousand feet in elevation make.

Fishing in the Smokies will be good for some and not so good for others today.  The water is chilly in the low elevations and down right cold up high.  I would fish low.  Nymphs will probably work best unless you see a blue wing olive hatch and trout rising to them.  If you are targeting brown trout, use a nymph.  Reasonable patterns would include Pheasant Tail, Prince, Tellico, Hare’s Ear or some rubber legged flies.

The new T-shirt shop in our store is nearing completion.  We have plenty of new designs.  More Brook Trout Restoration T’s will arrive this week I hope.  We have another 149 coming.  Our printer made a mistake on the last run and printed the wrong image on the back.  Yesterday we got some new coffee mugs with the Restoration art glazed on.  They look great.  We have some new long sleeve t-shirts coming from Patagonia.  I hope they arrive today.  This has been a fun project and the sales have been very good.

I have been studying lake maps in the evenings, specifically, lower Tellico Lake.  Paula and I are planning a fly fishing vacation there in the Spring.  Imagine this, loading up the Suburban, hooking up the boat and traveling to Vonore, Tennessee for a week.  The drive will take about 45 minutes to an hour.  The smallmouth bass fishing at that end of the lake should be excellent in May.  The bass should be taking top water foam flies and Wooly Buggers.  The planning has begun.  If I get a day off this week, I will visit the area and look at rental cabins and marinas.

When you live here, you don’t have to go far for a fly fishing vacation.  If you fly fish for trout, the options are overwhelming.  We have freestone streams, tailwaters and lakes with populations of several species of trout and some trophy fishing. We also have something very unusual and rare.  We have hundreds of miles of wild trout streams that have not been stocked in decades.    

If we are targeting smallmouth bass, we don’t have to drive far or drive at all. I could walk to the Little River and catch them.  We could drive 2 ½ hours and be where the world record was caught.  The lower tailwaters and many lowland rivers are loaded with them.  Lakes?  We have more lakes than I could mention right now without a list.  Tennessee has smallmouth bass fishing covered.

How about stripers?  They catch them up to 50 pounds on flies 40 minutes from our house.  We haven’t done that yet.  The rivers and lakes offer excellent fishing for stripers.  I have friends who target stripers almost exclusively with a fly rod. 

Musky?  We’ve got them too.  A friend of mine sent a picture of one he caught on a fly last week.  It was 44 inches long.  He was fishing about 1 hour and 10 minutes from here.

Largemouth bass, bluegill and shellcracker fly fishing is merely minutes away.

If you like to fly fish, this is the place to be.  The problem is, making up your mind where to go and what to fish for.

Here is some more news.  We’re getting a new National Forest and State Park nearby.  It is located 30 miles from Johnson City.  Yep, it has trout streams.  8,000 acres will be managed as a National Forest.  2,000 acres will be Tennessee’s 55th State Park.  The area is called Rocky Fork.  You can read about it on the KnoxNews website by CLICKING HERE.  Our Senator Lamar Alexander said, “If you like the Smokies, you’ll like Rocky Fork”.  Maybe Paula and I will go on vacation there someday.  It’s a long drive, maybe 2 hours.

If you wonder why I get here early and spend this time writing a fishing report, look at the readership number to the left.  790 people read this report yesterday.  And those were all on different computers. An ip address is not counted twice in 24 hours.  Two or three visits only count as one.  I do this because 400 to over 800 people read this report every day.  I really appreciate you being here and for you comments to me about this report.  That makes the time involved and getting up very early worth it to me.  Thank you very much.

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

Byron Begley
October 31, 2012


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