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 a little chilly this morning, 40 degrees.  Today’s high should be around 72 degrees with sun most of the day.  The weather websites are predicting, though April 9th, high temperatures at 70 degrees to the high 70’s.  There is one exception, Saturday.  Then, the high is expected to be in the high 50’s.  We have a chance for rain, some days over the next ten. Not today or tomorrow.

Little River is flowing at 323 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.24 feet on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 349 cfs.  The water temperature this morning is 47.8 degrees.  The high water temperature yesterday was 52 degrees.

Fishing is very good again and will be excellent for the next ten, unless we get too much rain.  That does not look likely right now.  So, we are expecting a busy April at the shop.  And you should be expecting great Smoky Mountains fly fishing.

You can expect to catch trout on nymphs or dry flies.  Switch back and forth if you have a slowdown.  Try a dry fly, with a small bead head dropper, such as a Pheasant Tail or Green Weenie.  The trout are going to be very active in early April.  I can say with some bit of assurance, and years of writing this fishing report, the cold weather is over.  I should not say that.  I may be jinxing us all.

Business has been crazy good at the shop, way up from last year.  We have made a lot of positive changes in every business component over the past year and it is paying off. 

Dan Munger asked me to mention our Nymphing Tactics Class on this report.  Not many people had signed up.  I mentioned it, and wrote about its importance.  Yesterday, the class filled and we have two people on the waiting list.  Daniel told me they can probably accommodate the people on the waiting list, if Dan can help Bill and Rob teach the class.  I suspect, we will be adding more class dates for this one.  Learning to nymph fish in the Smokies is essential to fishing success.  Many fishermen don’t understand the many ways to do this.  All we need to do is let people know this class is available.  That can be done on this page and our home page.  Of the 3 to 4 thousand people who visit our website daily, 20% visit this page and 20% visit the home page.

Our beginner fly fishing classes are filling quickly, better than they have in a long time. Also, our Aquatic Entomology for Anglers class is filling quickly.  I think we have two scheduled this year.  It seems to me, judging from our school bookings, more people want to learn more.

Yesterday I left the shop to go to the bank.  I stopped by Ace Hardware to buy some fire extinguishers for the boat house, the carport and the boat.  They didn’t have one for the boat so I bought two “garage models”.  At checkout, all heck broke loose when I tried to use my credit card.  Their credit card processing company went down.  I waited as Kenny and Don talked to the credit card geeks.  Staff in the store started telling everyone they could only take cash or checks.  I waited to see if the problem would correct and I could pay for the extinguishers.  It didn’t.  Everyone there told me to take them home and come back to pay later.  I made them promise to ask me, the next time I came in, that I owed them money.  Kenny, the manager, made a note of it.

I can feel their pain.  When our data lines go down, which has only happened occasionally, we are out of business. Our phones don’t work.  We can’t process credit cards.  We can’t get online, to print out mail orders.  We can’t process phone in orders.  We have a guaranteed 2 hour maximum down time limit from our data company.  They have held up their end of the deal, so far. 

Townsend is a small town.  We all know each other.  Yesterday, at Ace Hardware, during a time when there is not much to do but talk, that’s what we did.  Kenny, the manager is our Vice-Mayor.  He served as Mayor for 15 years.  Jackie, one of the nicest ladies I know, serves on the City Council. She has worked at Ace since it opened.  Her husband, Ronnie, is the Police Chief.  He was there yesterday.  So, we talked about our town for a while.  I love going there.  Ronnie and I also talked about boats and fishing, which is our usual topic.  We had a great time.  I still felt bad for them.  I put the empty fire extinguisher boxes in my truck, to remind me to go back and pay later.

Kenny was frustrated.  I told him, “We live in a digital world now”.  Like me, he grew up in a small town, this one, in times that were less complicated. 

The trolling motor I bought has the wrong size fitting to connect it to the battery.  I called John, at Parkway Hitches in Maryville yesterday.  He told me to come by today and he would switch out the fittings.  He and his wife live down the road from us.  I have the hardest time, crimping electrical DC fittings. None of my crimping tools work.  My brain doesn’t work either.  So, when I need something crimped, I go to John.  He has all the tools and the brain. 

Paula and I planned to go fishing tomorrow.  I decided to cut my work week to 47 hours beginning this week.  Neither will happen this week.

Next week, Paula and I will go fishing, no matter what.  I may go another day next week.  Heck, I might go several days next week. I hope you can do the same.  It will do you good.  It will do me good.  What do non-anglers do during their down time?

Daniel ordered two more Fishpond Westwater Sling Packs for me.  Now, I’ll have three.  You may wonder, “How can he wear three sling packs?”  I don’t.  In fact, I cut the waist belt off, and use them as boat bags.  They make perfect boat bags.  The also make excellent SLR camera bags. They are just the right size.  They keep everything dry and protected.  They are easy to get into.  So, I’ll have one for a digital SLR and two for Paula and I, to use for tackle bags in our boat and kayaks.  I bought one for my buddy Frank for Christmas.  In my world, I can’t find a more useful piece of gear.  Check them out. 

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

Byron Begley
March 31, 2015

Respond to: byron@littleriveroutfitters.com


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