Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  Wow, is our town buzzing this morning.  The Spring Festival and Old Timers Day has begun. There will be thousands of visitors in town this weekend.  It starts today and runs through tomorrow night.  There is going to be some picking in town.  Little River looked really beautiful this morning.  The flow is down somewhat from the way it looked Wednesday.  There is still plenty of water though.

Flow now is 195 cubic feet per second compared to median flow for this date of 261 cfs.  The water temperature is 52 degrees.  That is down from around 62 degrees a week ago.  It is been cooler and cold in the mountains.  The high today is supposed to be 69 degrees in the valley. 

Fishing conditions are perfect.  You might find the water a little cool this morning and nymphs might work best to start out.  Try dry flies later in the day if you want to.  It will be warmer this weekend. There is a chance for rain today and Saturday night.  The chance for rain is low.  Fishing will probably get better as the water warms.  The hatches you will most likely see will be Yellow Sally Stoneflies. Best dry fly patterns will be Yellow Elk Hair Caddis, Yellow Sally stones and small Yellow Stimulators.  Terrestrials might work too.  Many of the Spring mayfly hatches are over.  You will see some bugs other than stoneflies on the water.  Ethan told me yesterday he saw lots of large stoneflies when he was fishing on Wednesday.

If we don’t get much rain we should see some good tailwater fishing opportunities.  That is because TVA is trying to hold back water to help the flooding situation in the Mississippi River basin.  I hope the tailwater fishermen get a break this weekend.  You guys and gals are over due.  

I had not taken a day off for two weeks so I took one yesterday even though I have way too much to do to get our store ready for Troutfest.  I also have maybe one day or two of work left to be done for Troutfest.

Yesterday I drove down to the part of Tellico Lake where the Little Tennessee River and Tellico River merge.  I’m trying to find new places to fish for smallmouth bass.  I talked to the owner of Tellico Marina.  It’s nice.  Most of the boats are large.  It is situated on a creek embayment and the water was a little muddy yesterday.  We will probably buy an annual membership to that private club so we can launch whenever we want to.  Launch fees there are $10 but an annual membership is only $50 and you can launch and park as often as you wish. 

I also found some nice public ramps.  I closely examined each ramp and they all looked good.  I timed and recorded the distances from each location to the other.  The ramps that are further away from our house were about an hour and twenty minutes away.  The closest ramps we use in the upper end of Tellico Lake can be reached in a little over 30 minutes from Townsend.

Bob Clouser called me last week and we talked for a long time.  We discussed smallmouth bass fishing, as usual.  He has some 7’ 9” fly rods he designed or helped design.  They are made by Temple Fork.  We have a some of them in the shop.  Bob fishes with heavy flies like his own Clouser Minnow.  I use Clousers some but I hate the heavy ones.  I better get over that. 

I’m reading a book again about smallmouth fishing.  It is called Smallmouth Strategies for the Fly Rod by Will Ryan.  In that book the author is discussing the history of and lack of interest in smallmouth bass fishing.  Now that I’m into fly fishing for smallies I don’t understand.  To me they are the most pugnacious fish that swims for it’s size.  Jack would probably disagree.  But, I have not caught a permit.  He has caught plenty of them.  I have caught some big tarpon though.   

In the book the author talks about a young man named Bob Clouser who waded streams in Pennsylvania, fishing with a fly rod for smallmouth bass.  I’ve only been a friend of Bob’s for a little over 10 years.  And I didn’t know he practiced this smallie fishing with a fly when he was a youngster.  But I’ll tell you one thing, he knows as much about that part of our sport than anyone I know.

Of course there is Lefty too. I’m pretty sure Lefty told me he would rather fish for smallmouth than any other freshwater fish.  It makes sense.  He lives in a place near Baltimore, where there are many great smallmouth bass rivers nearby. 

Lefty has a Lowe boat similar to ours.  And he likes to fish Chesapeake Bay in it.  His is wider than ours but similar in design.  When we bought ours I sent an e-mail to Dusty McCoy.  Dusty is the CEO of Brunswick Corporation, which is the largest boat manufacturer in the world.  I knew Dusty when he was President of Sea Ray, years ago.  Lowe Boats is one of their many boating companies. 

I mentioned in the e-mail that Lefty owns a Lowe.  Since Dusty is a fly fisherman I knew he would think kindly of that.  A couple of days later I got a call from the Sales Manager at Lowe.  He wanted my opinion on building a special Lefty Kreh edition Lowe Boat.  I had no opinion.  When he asked if I knew how to reach Lefty I have him his phone number.  I kind of forgot about that and I’ve seen Lefty since then.  I wonder what happened to that idea.

Until Troutfest is over I am locked in my office during the day and putting out fly tying materials at night.  I can’t be reached by phone.  I may check e-mail but I can’t say for sure.  Troutfest is one week away.  Any time spent talking to people will result in that same amount of time working at night.  And that can amount to hours in a day.  I won’t get another day off for 14 days.  So, if you try to reach me and fail I am sorry.  I’ll call you back either after Troutfest or after our vacation.  I will write this fishing report early in the mornings.

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

Byron Begley
May 6, 2011

Troutfest will be held on May 13th through the 15th. This is going to be an incredible event and you should plan to be here. To learn more CLICK HERE to visit the Troutfest website.  To purchase banquet tickets online, CLICK HERE.

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Our fly fishing classes will be offered from March to October 2011.   To sign up just call the shop at 877-448-3474.  You can read more on our website in the Schools Section.  The fly fishing class schedule follows:

Saturday March 26 – Beginner Day One
Saturday April 9 – Beginner Day One
Saturday April 30 – Beginner Day One
Sunday May 1 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday May 7 – Beginner Day One
Saturday May 21 – Beginner Day One
Sunday May 22 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday June 11 – Beginner Day One
Saturday June 25 – Beginner Day One
Sunday June 26 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday July 9 – Beginner Day One
Saturday July 23 – Beginner Day One
Sunday July 24 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday September 10 – Beginner Day One
Saturday September 24 – Beginner Day One
Sunday September 25 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday October 8 – Beginner Day One
Saturday October 22 – Beginner Day One
Sunday October 23 – Beginner Onstream Day Two

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