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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is overcast and 70 degrees in Townsend, Tennessee.  The Smoky Mountains are barely visible due to the higher elevation fog this morning.  Traffic is light and few people are out this early.  I got here early to put fly tying materials on the wall before we open.  One of our largest suppliers, Wapsi, lost a large order two weeks ago.  We figured that out after I made two phone calls.  So, now that this order is out I will need to place another one today.  This whole process takes about two days to complete.  That’s why fly tying materials are not very profitable and that is why fly shops are stocking less.  We learned. I do it because it draws customers to the shop.  I would hate to have to make a living selling fly tying materials.

Little River is getting low.  That rain we were supposed to get didn’t show up.  Flow is currently 112 cubic feet per second.  Median flow is 164 cfs.  There is no rain in the forecast for the next 5 days.  The water temperature at 7:50 am was 65.8 degrees.

Fishing is good but you need to hide from those wild trout in the mountains.  The low clear water makes you a visible predator and you need to do everything you can to blend in.  The trout will be hiding in the riffles and under natural structure.  Dry flies are working.  Use anything that looks like a Yellow Sally stonefly, beetle, ant or inchworm.  The fish are hungry but spooky. I would go early and late.  Fishing in the higher elevations for brook trout is another good idea.  You might find the streams up high to be low. 

The backcountry is where I would fish.  Those smaller but shaded creeks offer some excellent fly fishing for trout, all three species.  You will also find solitude.  Tubers rarely hike more than a mile or two. 

Fishing on the lakes is fair for smallmouth bass and very good for largemouth and bluegill.  Again, go early and late.

I have a major popper making operation going on at home.  Right now there are about 3 dozen in production.  To speed things up, I cut the bodies from foam cylinders and slide a hook in a slit.  Once I think there are enough to last the balance of the year, I wind thread on the hooks then slide the bodies on again.  This takes some time.  Next, I will glue the bodies to the hook and thread base using thin CA Zap-A-Gap. 

Next are the eyes.  I push a tooth pick through the body to make a hole on each side, shorten the stems on the eyes and glue them to the body.  I can probably get 6 dozen eyes glued on in one evening. 

Then I add the rubber legs.  Using a large sewing needle I thread the legs through the foam bodies forming an X.  They are glued using Zap Gel.  Last comes the tails.  I tie in a little Krystal Flash and some rubber legs for the tail. 

Three dozen of these poppers tied in sizes #6 and #8 in chartreuse, black, yellow and white should last until Winter.  These bugs are durable.  Even bluegill have a hard time destroying them.  Poppers are fun to make and catch a lot of fish during the Summer.  You would be surprised at the large bass you can catch on these small poppers, though my intention is to make them for bluegill and shellcrackers.

Preparing for fishing is almost as fun as fishing.

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

Byron Begley
June 13, 2012

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