Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is sunny and 65 degrees in Townsend this morning.  Traffic is heavy by my standards.  I probably saw 50 vehicles on my way to work.  Townsend is going to fill up tomorrow.  Troutfest will begin tomorrow night.  There is a motorcycle convention at one motel and a British car rally at the Talley Ho.  Everyone in town is getting ready as usual.  This time of year, businesses prepare for the weekend rush.  In July the rush is 7 days per week.  Young families looking for an inexpensive vacation find us and show up. 

Little River looked peaceful this morning.  There was a guy with a light spinning rod tossing a Panther Martin across the river.  He said he had two strikes so far.  He appeared to be a good fisherman.  He told me the river was stocked on the 8th so TWRA is due to stock again at any time.  I would bet on today.  We don’t keep up with that much.  Most fly fishermen fish in the Park for wild trout.  Hardly any fish the stocked water is town.

The water is getting slightly lower each day.  I hate to say it but it looks like we some rain moving in for a few days starting tomorrow.  The rivers will be replenished soon.  With the water at this level it is critical that you stay hidden as much as possible when fishing.  You will be able to catch trout in the choppy water and dry flies are what I would use.  But, nymphs and wet flies will work too.  I just like fishing a dry in pockets, in riffles and in runs. 

I would certainly use a yellow fly of some sort, most likely a Yellow Elk Hair Caddis with some chartreuse calf hair tied in on top of the wing.  I tie that in as the last step before whip finishing the fly.  Why?  So I can see the darned thing.  I would also use a yellow Neversink Caddis or a #16 Yellow Stimulator.  A beetle might be good.  The beetle would need some orange or chartreuse on top so I can see them too.  I venture to bet, more trout are lost because the angler can’t see the fly.  You don’t know when you have a strike. 

Flow is currently 142 cubic feet per second.  Median flow for this date is 227 cfs.  The water temperature was 64 degrees at 8:30 am in town.  The water will be cooler in the Park where shade holds the temperature down during the day.  In the high elevations the water will be even cooler than down here.  I think the temperature typically drops 3 degrees per 1,000 feet in elevation going higher.  So, on the highest peaks the air is 15 degrees colder than here in the valley.  It’s easy to find places where you can drive and get a 10 degree break from heat.

Well, Lefty Kreh, Bob Clouser, Joe Humphreys and Tom Rosenbauer are flying in tomorrow.  Volunteers are picking them up at the Knoxville Airport.  Zach Matthews is driving here from Atlanta.  People are coming from all over the East United States to attend Troutfest.  I drove home last night from work at 7:00 pm.  There are already a ton of huge tents setup at the visitors center for the event.  The big 6,000 square foot monstrosity will be erected today.  I think we spend around $7,000 for tents, tables and chairs for Troutfest.  I don’t know exactly how many PA systems we’ll have.  Probably four.  I think we will have about 160 volunteers.  Eight of them will be working here at our shop today and tomorrow in shifts of two.  They will be selling banquet tickets.  Bill is plugging in one of the Little River Chapter of TU’s credit card machines right now.  He will train the volunteers.  At 3:00 pm tomorrow, they will move the machine and tickets to the banquet tent.

Bill and I checked the ticket sales numbers just now.  I think he said we are at 178 which is about 20 less than we were at this point last year.  We sold about 300 last year.  If that trend holds true we will sell at least 100 today and tomorrow.  That’s why we have volunteers here to handle that.  Our staff has tried to do it in prior years.  That and the extra customers here for Troutfest overwhelms us.  So, these volunteers will solve the problem.

The big question is, “Will it rain during Troutfest?”  Of course it will.  It always does.  It wouldn’t be Troutfest without rain.  That’s why we spend $7,000 for tents.

I better get to work.  Have a great day and thank you for being here with us.

Byron Begley
May 12, 2011

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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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