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

Welcome to the Fly Fishing Report from Townsend, Tennessee.  Early this morning I checked the water temperature online, which is transmitted from the USGS gauge station located just inside the Park.  The graphic looked awful.  The water temperature dropped like a rock.  Right now, the temperature is 51.8 degrees.  It barely made it to 58 degrees yesterday.

Then I walked outside and got another shock.  The thermometer in my truck was reading 38 degrees.  We are not used to this.  It has been in the 80’s every day.  A wild turkey flew in front of me on our road.  That is unusual.  They usually walk.  Our neighbors are turkey hunting today.  They’ve got those birds all stirred up.

Josh was waiting at the shop when I got here.  He had his drift boat in tow.  Shortly after, his clients pulled in.  They are floating the Holston River today.  It has been fishing well.  Josh said they originally planned to fish in the Park.  This sudden cold front worried him.

Little River looks good this morning but the flow is high. Flow right now at the “Y” is 676 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 343 cfs.

The river and tributaries are certainly fishable.  You do need to be careful wading.  But, this drop in the water temperature could slow down the fishing at least until the afternoon.  You never know for sure.  I’m telling customers to use nymphs.  That’s what I would do.  I might switch to dry flies this afternoon.  When I’m picking out flies for customers right now they are getting Bead Head Pheasant Tails, Tellico Nymphs, Prince Nymphs, Parachute Adams and Elk Hair Caddis.

Yellow Sally Stoneflies are on the water. I would now add a Yellow Neversink Caddis or #16 Yellow Stimulator to my fly selection. Other Yellow Sally Stonefly imitations will work too.

The lowland rivers are running high.  Smallmouth fishing should be fairly good but you will be dealing with strong current on Little River and Little Pigeon.  Both may be turbid further downstream. 

Our early Spring is feeling more like late Spring now.  We are looking at a cool spell for the next 10 days with lows in the 30’s and 40’s and highs in the 60’s and 70’s.  The National Weather Service website indicates we may have frost Tuesday night.  I hope that doesn’t happen.

The lakes were getting warmer and fishing was picking up.  I caught lots of fish Thursday on poppers.  Now I don’t know what to expect.  Fish don’t respond well to drastic changes.  I’m the same way.

Mike and Kyle, the father and son who own the shopping center next door asked me to give them some advice on how to handle a sign change they want to make.  I went over there yesterday to talk to them.

At issue is the ongoing crisis with the Tennessee Department of Transportation.  I got involved to lead the town and find a solution.  You can read about it here in the Daily Times.  This thing was and is unusual, unprecedented and downright scary.  After I held four very heated public meetings we finally reached a consensus, not a solution everyone dearly loved, but one we can all live with.  That’s what a consensus is by definition or maybe that is my definition.  There are plenty of other stories on the web about this.  Just Google my name and TDOT.

I looked at some remodeling they are doing for the new Firefly Restaurant which will be owned by Debra who is one of the best restaurant operators I know.  She hopes to open in May.  It will be located at the end of Mike and Kyle’s  shopping center close to the Post Office next to us. Her restaurant will be packed with people.  She lost her lease for some strange reason and got out of the business for a few months.  Now she is back and we can’t wait until she opens close to us this time.

Speaking of food, Paula is giving a demonstration at the Visitors Center today about cooking with herbs.  This is herb and wildflower week in Townsend.  I think her demonstration, which will include live cooking and tasting begins at 11:00 am.

We bought a farm raised/no chemicals lamb from the Future Farmers of America.  Tomorrow’s Easter Dinner will be one of the legs. 

Also, speaking of food, Jay and Chad who own the Laurel Valley Golf Course and Restaurant have turned that place into a culinary landmark.  They have been shooting out mass e-mails and every time I get one and see the menu I get hungry.  Jay also owns the Picnic Pantry in Trillium Cove.  Chad owns Dogwood Cabin Rentals as well. 

Speaking of food, Miss Lily’s Restaurant is still closed for remodeling.  Steve started out during the winter on a project to shore up the floor in the kitchen.  This thing got out of hand and they have added on to the building and the remodeling is much more extensive than they planned.  Miss Lily’s is a great restaurant.  Janice and Steve are great people and run a good business.  I keep meaning to stop and see them but I know they are busy.  They will be handling the food at the Troutfest Banquet again.  They do an excellent job.

That’s about all the food news I can think of right now.  How did I get on the subject of food?

Have a great day and thank you for being here with us.  We will be closed tomorrow to celebrate Easter and I won’t be writing a fishing report.

Byron Begley
April 7, 2012 

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