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

Welcome to the Fly Fishing Report.  It is a beautiful Spring morning in the Great Smoky Mountains.  In Dry Valley, where we live the dogwoods bloomed and I first noticed them yesterday morning.  This morning, I noticed the May apples sprouted.  They were everywhere I looked in the low lying moist and shaded areas.  They were not visible yesterday.  Trees are turning green everywhere you look in the lower elevations.  I was at a bed and breakfast late yesterday for a meeting.  It is situated on a mountain at 3,000 feet.  Up there, the redbuds were just starting to bloom.  In the valley they have peaked.

Little River looks good.  I stood on a rock today that has been covered with water for at least two weeks.  Flow is 411 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 301 cfs.  The water temperature was 56 degrees at 7:40 am this morning.

Fishing is good in the Smokies and all freestone Southern Appalachian streams. We have very good water conditions.  Rainbow and brown trout in the lower elevations are active on nymphs early and dry flies later in the day.  Brook trout should be feeding better in the afternoons.

Aquatic insects on the streams are so varied it is hard to make a good dry fly choice.  I would use a Parachute Adams or Elk Hair Caddis.  But, you will see everything from midges to Quill Gordons depending on where you are and especially depending on the elevation where you are fishing. 

Streams are just like the land.  The redbuds bloomed in the valley and two weeks later they are blooming at 3,000 feet.  Imagine what it is like at 6,000 feet? 

They won’t be generating at Norris Dam much today.  That’s a big deal.  It looks like the Holston will get a pulse at 10:00 am for about an hour.  Then it will be off until 4:00 pm.  It will be about the same at the South Holston.  In some cases the water will be off in our local tailwtaters today except for an hour.  Check with TVA before you go.  This is all subject to change. 

Power demand is down and rivers are receding.  The TVA system seems to have settled down for now.  Fishing opportunities are improving on the tailwaters.  Fishing is good from what I’m hearing.

Our little Lake Level chart at the bottom left of this page is working well I think.  It takes me maybe 3 or 4 minutes to update.  The information you are getting is a day old.  But, I have verified the data and when you are seeing is correct except it is not exactly current. OK, forget what I just said. Today the information is current. I'm looking each lake up on the TVA website. This information may be current from now on.

I talked to Bill Reed yesterday.  He is the National Sales Manager at Orvis.  He’s a good guy and we always enjoy our talks.  At 11:00 am today, I will be contacted by a company that has been hired by Orvis to gather information.  We have been discussing this for weeks and today is my day.  The interview will last about an hour.  I am looking forward to it.

I used to hire marketing firms to find information of importance to the printing and dry cleaning business.  We always did some kind of market research before opening a new store.  That was a given.  That was the first step. 

We don’t have much information about the fly fishing business.  We have an association that used to do a national research project every four years.  I have not seen one of those in a long time.  Bill Reed and I talked about that yesterday.

I spent some time with a guy from a company who may do some digital advertising for us just two days ago.  He asked me about our customer demographics.  I could not give him a definitive answer.  When you advertise on the web these days, you can target an age group or where people live or work.  You can target men or women. You can target all kinds of things.   And, since we would be paying by the view, reaching the right demographic is important. It would be nice to know.

You can also target people based on sites they have visited.  One time I looked into getting a U.S. Coast Guard 6-Pack Captains License.   I searched on the web for those sites.  Well, all of a sudden it seemed like wherever I went on the internet, this Maritime School ad would show up.  I guess there was a cookie on my computer that prompted that.  I removed my cookies and never saw the ad again.

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

Byron Begley
March 28, 2012

Respond to: byron@littleriveroutfitters.com


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