Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is sunny and cool this morning in Townsend.  It feels great outside.  The air is clear and the mountains are in sharp resolution.  Traffic is light though there are a good number of visitors in town.  It’s easy to tell.  Just go to the IGA. 

Little River looks perfect and it is.  The water temperature dropped last night to 56 degrees.  Yesterday morning the temperature at the same location was 62 degrees.  That is a big change.  The flow is 311 cubic feet per second and the gauge is reading 2.29 feet.  That is a level that most people like.  I prefer a little more water but that’s just personal.  Fishing is very good in the Park, especially in the late afternoon hours until dark.

Bugs are hatching.  You will find a good assortment of aquatic insects and terrestrials on the water.  My favorite hatches, the Yellow Sally Stonefly and Light Cahill are doing their thing.  Other caddis and mayflies will be found in the park streams too.  I would use any Yellow Sally pattern including a #16 Stimulator as a dry fly.  Off that I might drop a Bead Head Pheasant Tail or Green Weenie.  If the action is slow on the surface try nymphs fished deeper.  Nymph fishing has been very good.

I’m hearing some great reports from anglers who are fishing on the tailwaters around here and in upper East Tennessee.  Fishing is just good everywhere. May is my favorite month to fish in East Tennessee.  There is so much going on in the Park, in the rivers outside the Park and in the tailwaters. The moon phase is favorable too.

We are all getting ready for Troutfest.  Right now it is almost a full time job for me.  Jack and I worked together for several hours yesterday.  We are preparing for the vendors.  He looked it up.  We have twice as many vendors this year as we did in 2009.  Last year we more than doubled our attendance at the event.  We are wondering what this year will be like.  All indications point to another increase. 

Many of the Troutfest Committee Members will be on the site Thursday morning to start setting up.  We will spend four days there.  Jack and I will mark off all the tents and vendor/exhibitor sites.  The tent people will show up around 3:00 pm to start setting up the big tents.  One of them is 7,000 square feet in size.  There will be three others, two of which are about half that size.  Vendors will start showing up Friday. 

A huge crew of people will be preparing the big tent for the banquet which starts at 6:00 pm Friday night.  We have committed to the caterer for 325 attendees.  Last year we fed about 300 people.  Ticket sales started slow but they are selling like gangbusters now.  We are expecting a sellout at some point next week.  If you buy yours online they will be held for you here at the shop.  We’ve been mailing them but we think it’s getting too late for that.  Our store will be open Friday night until 6:00 so you can easily pick them up here and drive two blocks to the big event.  After the banquet ends, we’ll clean and setup the big tent for vendors and exhibitors to move in.  We’ll finish around midnight and start moving them in at 7:30 Saturday morning.

The fly fishing celebrities will be arriving Friday so they can attend the banquet.  I am working on the web and print version of the Schedule of Events.  You will see them soon.  Lefty Kreh, Joe Humphreys and Bob Clouser will be giving fly tying and casting demonstrations both days so if you can only attend one day you will get to see them perform.  Jim Casada will be here both days.  Lefty, Joe and Bob will be at the banquet.  Stan Bogdan will arrive Friday and attend the banquet.  Many other well known folks will be here.  It is an assembly of fly fishing talent like you have never seen before.

After Troutfest is over, I’m going fishing!  And, I’m going to work on my real job.

So get ready for the fun.  Call us or stop by the shop to buy your banquet tickets.

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

Byron Begley
May 9, 2010

Respond to: byron@littleriveroutfitters.com  


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