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 cloudy and 62 degrees in Townsend, Tennessee this morning.  Boy did the wind blow last night.  I didn’t sleep much.  Acorns kept peppering the roof of our house, then rolling down to the gutters.  It was dark when I drove to work but there was some light over the Great Smokies.  I could see some dark clouds hovering over the mountains.

I think Little River is clear but it was hard to tell.  We got a little rain this morning.  It was not measurable in our rain gauge.  Little River is flowing at 75 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.50 feet on the gauge.  That is up some from yesterday morning.  The water temperature at 7:45 am is 59.7 degrees.

Strong wind and downed trees have put the maintenance people in high gear at Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Cades Cove loop Road is closed temporarily until a plow shows up to scrape away debris.

Newfound Gap Road and Little River Road are closed as crews clean the roads and remove downed trees.  The Park Service is saying Newfound Gap Road will open by 9:00 am.

Fly fishing in the Smokies has been very good and excellent for some anglers.  One of my best friends caught a 23” to 24” brown trout.  He doesn’t measure trout that small.  That is not small to me.  It is a “nice fish” to him. 

All species of trout are active and taking flies.  You will probably catch more browns than usual.  They are either spawning or beginning to spawn.  I thought I remembered seeing brown trout spawn here in early October 25 or more years ago.  Jack corrected me yesterday.  He said it has always been late October.  I forget things like that.  I know lately, the browns are spawning later.

Small nymphs and light tippets are working best for your normal fishing in the Park.  By small nymphs I mean something around a #16.  There are midges on the water and trout are feeding on them. 

Guide Mike Bone was here yesterday.  He said trout fishing in the Holston has been very good when you can get on the river.  TVA has been generating at many of their dams often.  The TVA website is indicating there will be generation at both Norris and Cherokee today.  They have a cutback to one generator scheduled at Norris this afternoon. Check the TVA website yourself.  Don’t take my word for it.

Many front country campgrounds are now closed for the season.  They are:  Big Creek, Cataloochee, Cosby and Deep Creek.  Other campgrounds closed due to the Budget Sequestration are:  Abrams Creek, Balsam Mountain and Look Rock.  Cades Cove, Elkmont and Smokemont are open.

Remember last year on November 1st?  There was almost 3 feet of snow on the ground in the high elevations, specifically Mt. LeConte and Newfound Gap.  Today the high temperature is expected to be 72 degrees in the valley.  After today, we will have cooler temperatures and it will be cold in the high elevations.

We’ve got boxes of fly tying materials often.  We got two boxes yesterday.  I’m hoping a big hook order will show up today.  We are concentrating our store remodel project on the fly tying department.  During this transition we have been busier in that department than I can remember.  Something is going on.  I doubled up on the ordering last week to catch up with demand.  It’s like, customers are stocking up and preparing for a shortage.  We hope to have the new fly tying department finished in about a week.  It will be located upstairs. We have allotted 700 square feet to the fly tying department.  

Our fly tying classes and Free Saturday Fly Tying Demonstrations are about to begin.  You can view the schedule by CLICKING HERE.  You can also learn more about our fly tying classes by clicking “More Information” in the ad below.

Walter Babb will be tying here tomorrow between 10 am and 2 pm. Brian Courtney was supposed to be here but he had to cancel. Walter has been tying and fishing trout flies in the Southern Appalachians over 50 years. He is considered by many people as an expert angler and fly tyer. Come on by the shop and visit with Walter as he ties flies. This is a free event. All you have to do is show up.

I looked at our website visitor information this morning dating back to 2006 when we launched this site.  Visitors are unique in a 24 hour period.  If you visit twice in one day, you are only counted once.  Total visitors our first year amounted to 425,007.  That number grew every year to 1,649,662 last year.  This Fishing Report will probably end the year with about 237,000 visitors, 15% of the total.


Have a great November 1st and thank you for being here with us.

Byron Begley
November 1, 2013

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