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.  I’m off today.  Paula and I will hang around home today.  This is our 21st wedding anniversary. The past 21 years have been the best time in my life.

The temperature at 6:37 am is 53 degrees.  Today’s high will be around 74 degrees.  There could be wind gusts up to 25 miles per hour today.  It may rain.  We won’t be going to the lake today.  It is not fun, riding in a 16’ boat, when the lake is white capping. It gets a little tense at times.

Little River is flowing at 295 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.17 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 357 cfs.  The water temperature is 50.9 degrees this morning.

Fly fishing in the Smokies is excellent.  Great water temperatures and flows are the reasons.  The water temperature in Little River rose to 55 degrees yesterday in the lower reaches. 

Most people are fishing in the low to mid elevations, where the water is warmer.  Some friends of ours hiked to Clingman’s Dome this week.  They told us, there is still some snow up there.

Other than a low temperature of 36 degrees Saturday, the next 10 days will be warm, maybe even rising to 80 degrees tomorrow.  It may be windy at times tomorrow too.  Expect lows in the high 30’s to the 60’s at night and highs in the 60’s and 70’s during the next 10 days.

Trout are taking just about any reasonable fly, dry or wet.  Dan caught 51 Monday, mostly on a Parachute Adams.  He and Steve, his dad, went yesterday.  I’m sure they did very well.

I overheard Paul talking to a customer on the phone yesterday.  He told them fishing is very good.  He also mentioned that some people are catching 30 to 50 trout in a day.  He is right.  We are hearing those numbers.  Bill and Dan both did that during the past few days.  Other anglers have too.  Except for the expected wind at times, today and tomorrow, this is an excellent time to be here.  I’m looking outside right now at a turkey.  The wind is not blowing. 

We are busy at the shop.  Like I said yesterday, March ended with an increase of 21% over the same month last year.  I also reported our school tuition sales were up 600%.  What was I thinking?  I must have read that number earlier in the month and it stuck in my head.  I was way off.  Actually, our tuition sales were only up 160%.  Sorry to mislead you.  I write this early in the morning.  Sometimes, I’m not exactly awake.

The Troutfest banquet and auction is coming up soon, April 24th.  The event will be held at the Airport Hilton in Alcoa.  This fundraiser is a lot of fun.  This is the main fundraising event held by the Little River Chapter of Trout Unlimited.  The chapter funds Great Smoky Mountains National Park fisheries work and also trout education for young people, including the Trout in the Classroom program.  You can CLICK HERE to learn more and buy your tickets online.

What would the Park do without volunteers?  TU volunteers are a very important component of the fisheries program.  In fact, volunteers drive the progress and hold down costs in the total National Park system.

I saw a TV special on the subject recently.  I wrote down some interesting facts. 

There are 401 units in the National Park system.  20,000 people work for the Park Service.  250,000 people volunteer to run these parks, at no cost to the service.  The Park Service if very efficient, due to the outpouring of volunteer support.  Volunteerism, is driven by the fact, that these are “our” National Parks.  Our National Park system, costs American taxpayers, $4 per year each.

I’ve been a Great Smoky Mountains National Park volunteer and supporter for about 23 years.  When I was much younger, I did a lot of field work for the fisheries department.  Little River Outfitters has donated thousands of dollars to the Park directly and through Trout Unlimited since we have been in business. At one point, around 10 years ago, that number was $10,000.  It’s a lot more than that now. 

I know many individuals and businesses, that support “our” park, by donating a huge amount of money.  I know many people who give a large amount of their time, not only to fisheries, but other departments in the Park.  My neighbor, rides Cades Cove on a bicycle and breaks up bear jams.  Friends of the Great Smoky Mountains was formed about the same time as the Little River Chapter of Trout Unlimited.  They have raised millions of dollars to support our park. 

So, you can do the same by buying a ticket and attending the Troutfest Banquet. 

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

Byron Begley
April 2, 2015

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