Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It was a cool 66 degrees this morning at 7:30 am.  I only saw two vehicles on the streets on my way to work.  That is very odd.  I usually see between 15 and 50.  There is no doubt according to my friends here that tourism business in June is slow.  We've been slow too. Maybe it will pick back up soon. 

Little River looks much better.  The flow is still below what it should be though heavy rain night before last brought the level up temporarily.  Now the flow is down to 105 cubic feet per second.  Median flow for this date is 166 cfs.  The water temperature at the swinging bridge was 66 degrees earlier. 

We are not in a drought.  Rainfall at the airport is above normal for the year.  This low water is the result of rain storms petering out before they reach the mountains.  We’ve watched it happen on the radar for weeks.  Rainfall at the airport is recorded at 25.89 inches year to date.  Average is 24.54 inches.  There is a decent chance for thunderstorms today, tonight and tomorrow.  Next week it is going to be hot again.  It is cloudy right now.  The radar and forecast indicate rain is headed our way. 

Fishing is good.  Yesterday evening would have been perfect.  Evenings are a good time to fish right now.  When the sun drops behind the mountains and the streams are dark, the fish and the aquatic insects get active.  You will find Yellow Sally Stoneflies on the water at that time.  I would use a Yellow Sally pattern of some kind.  It doesn’t seem to matter much what you use as long as it is yellow and floating.  I like a #16 Yellow Stimulator or Neversink Caddis.  I can see them and they float well.  Terrestrial dry flies like a beetle will do well.  A Green Weenie will be another good choice.

Anglers have not been fishing as much here as they have in the past since June 1st.  We know that because our fishing license sales are down 27% from last year for the first two weeks of the month.  I have not been fishing much either.  It’s been to darned hot!  Frank and I fished last week on my day off which was Friday.  We were on Tellico Lake and we baked for 8 hours before giving up.  The sun took it’s toll on a couple of 60 year olds. 

Yesterday was my day off this week.  I stayed home and tied flies.  In all I tied 6 flies and had to come here for some materials.  The patterns I tied were Puglisi Shad and they are huge.  I used #1 and 2/0 hooks.  They take about an hour to tie.  The smaller ones take a lot less time.  I tied a couple on 2/0 jig hoods with dumbbell eyes for weight.  I’ve never tried that before but I’m using jig hooks more often.  The hook rides up and the flies can be bounced on the lake or river bottom without hanging up as much.  I hate losing a fly that takes an hour to tie.  The jig hooks help.  I’ll try tying some “Clouser Style” Puglisis too on a 1/0 stinger hook.  A Puglisi fly with the hook riding up is something I’ve never seen.  It will be an interesting experiment.

I started yesterday morning with a full pack of Enrico’s Fibers.  After the 6th fly, about 75% of the material was gone.  I plan to tie the same pattern in a rainbow trout color too.  Stripers and large brown trout love small rainbows.  All of this tying is preparation for stripers running up into the Little Tennessee River in Tellico Lake.  I guess they like the cool water there when the lake warms up.  I’m hoping to try them next week.

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

Byron Begley
June 17, 2011

Don’t forget that our Aquatic Entomology Class will be held on Saturday July 16th.  We still have openings.  You can check out the details by CLICKING 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 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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