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 4:52 am.  The temperature is 62 degrees.  Today’s high should be around 84 degrees.  We have a 50% chance for rain according to one weather website.  Another puts the odds at 20%. This forecast will be similar, every day, through the weekend.  The chance for rain next week is high some days.

Little River is flowing at 170 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.76 feet on the gauge. Median flow for this date is 233 cfs.  The water temperature is 61 degrees this morning.

As you can see, the water is fairly low.  I looked at 2014 August numbers.  We are on the high end of what we saw that month.  Of course, the water was much warmer then. 

Fly fishing in the Park is very good, mainly due to the cool water.  Lower than normal flows, call for stealth.  Stay hidden from the trout as much as possible.  What we have are good dry fly fishing conditions.  Trout are taking many different fly patterns but my choices would be Light Cahill, Yellow Sally, small Yellow Stimulators and the popular Yellow Neversink Caddis.  These conditions may change today if it rains.  Next week may be totally different.  Fishing will remain good for a while, unless we have high water.

Fishing for trout in Little River’s stocked section is good.  You will find more people there, bait and conventional spin fishing.  Some fly fishermen use this section but most prefer to fish for wild trout in the Park. 

I see some fishing opportunities on the Clinch River below Norris Dam early today.  The generation will be off and on at Cherokee Dam as well.  Check the TVA website and determine if the schedules are right for you.

Many of the impoundments in our area are filling or are at Summer pool.  Lake fishing is very good for smallmouth bass, largemouth bass and bluegill.  Smaller lakes and ponds are fishing extremely well.  Most of my information is coming from Kentucky and Tennessee.  Anglers in states to our south are probably enjoying good warmwater fishing too.

I planned to take off yesterday but things came up at the shop.  I finished the fishing report yesterday morning at 9 am, then went there.  It turns out, it’s a good thing I was there.  We were going through our annual credit card security review.  I was the only person who knew the security answers.  If I had been fishing and out of touch, they could not have completed the review.  From now on, Daniel has that information.  I’m taking off today instead.

I’ll finish an electronics project on the boat today.  I got a lot done last night.  Today I have to remove the floors and run some wire circuits to the bow from the stern in flexible conduit. Both depth finder transducers have been relocated.  I won’t know if they work, until the boat is on the water, running full speed.  If they don’t work, I’ll have to trailer the boat and re-position the transducers.   

Paula and I plan to fish two days next week, wind permitting. We will probably be fishing on mid-Tellico Lake.  What I’ll most likely be doing is learning how to use this new chartplotter and learning to navigate new waters.

Some of my friends are leaving for Florida in 30 minutes.  Another is already there.  They asked me to go with them but I’ll stay here and fish our waters.  I hope they don’t have wind like they did last year.

I talked to Marvin Cash yesterday.  Marvin is the President of the Southeastern Council of the Fly Fishing Federation (FFF).  We are planning Fly Tyers Weekend, to be held in Townsend November 6th and 7th.

Our shop started the event in 2005, I think.  Maybe it was 2006.  We held it at the shop in a large rented tent and in our classrooms.  It was successful, but costly.  When the economy tanked, we pulled the plug.  We brought it back last year, partnering with Tremont Lodge and Resort.  The indoor conference facility there, is the largest in Townsend, actually the only place in town that can host an event this large.  Fly Tyers Weekend 2014 was a great success.  We had around 40 fly tyers demonstrating all weekend in shifts.  We don’t know exactly how many people attended this free event.  It was in the hundreds.

A substantial amount of money, was spent years ago, on direct mail to market events. We spent thousands of dollars on promotion for just one event.  Today, that cost is incrementally zero.  No additional costs are incurred for advertising.  The reason is, our website is visited by thousands of people, every day.  When we do something, the word gets out cheaply. 

This year, we are taking on a new partner, the Southeastern Council.  This move alone will attract more attendees.  Our marketing last year was limited to this website.  This year, all the fly fishing clubs in the Council will be notified by FFF.  I expect a much larger turnout.  FFF will hold a fundraiser banquet, to benefit the Fly Fishing Museum located in Cherokee, North Carolina. 

Anthony Hipps, a famously well known fly tyer and angler from North Carolina, will be contacting and scheduling the fly tyers.  Anthony knows a lot of fly tyers well.  The event will be free, just like it always has been.  It will be held again at Tremont Lodge and Resort.

The only stumbling block I know of is parking.  Last year we parked cars at the Townsend School and City Hall.  We had golf carts shuttling attendees to and from the event.  We maxed out our parking. 

Parking facilities will need to be expanded exponentially this year.  I’ll work with the Police Department and the Tourism Authority to get this done.

This event will give our tourism business a boost at a time when it is normally tapering off and slowing down.  The Fall colors are about gone.  In our case, timing is perfect.  The crowds are about gone too, and fishing is usually very good.  It can also be a perfect time to camp.  Sometimes we have frost and even snow the first week of November.  That is unusual though.

Right now, fly fishing is very good and we’re all thankful for that.

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

Byron Begley
May 7, 2015

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