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.  At 6:40 am, the temperature is 69 degrees.  Small storms peppered the Smokies with rain yesterday, off and on.  Some streams swelled temporarily from the much needed rain.  We are not expecting much if any rain until Wednesday.  Then, we’ll have a good chance, and that chance will continue Thursday through Monday of next week.  It is going to be hot.

It is Sunday, and we are open from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm.  Happy Fathers Day dads!


Little River is flowing at 74 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.35 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 131 cfs.  The water temperature is 72.5 degrees this morning.

Cataloochee Creek is flowing at 49 cfs and median flow there for this date is 75 cfs.

Oconaluftee at the Birdstown gauge is flowing at 49 cfs.  Median flow there for this date is 75 cfs.

All streams are probably running below normal, but some are relatively lower than others.


Fishing is best in the higher elevations where the water is cold.  And there, fishing is good.  Josh took his clients way up yesterday.  They did well.  The brook trout streams are fishing very well. 

I would use a Yellow Sally stonefly pattern for my dry fly and a Green or Pink Weenie for fishing below the surface.  Josh told me, the trout were hitting about any dry fly they used.  Jack was standing there talking to Josh and I.  He said, “They will hit anything right now”.


Dan held our first Orvis 101 free fly fishing introductory class yesterday.  I think we had 7 students.  I sat in and I’m glad I did.  I met some nice people and made personal connections with a few.  One man’s girlfriend is a friend of Paula’s.  A couple from Oak Ridge, know some very close friends of ours.  One couple was visiting the Smokies from California.  They could not believe our humidity here.  Another nice lady, drove here from Cookeville, Tennessee to attend.

Dan did a great job teaching the 2-hour class.  He did a lot better than I would have.  I was impressed.

Dan’s hope is to bring more people into the sport.  I think he is going to do it.  Our school has grown by leaps and bounds this year.  I guess he is doing it.


I read an article this morning in the Daily Times.  You can read it too, by CLICKING HERE

The article describes the work to be done on the long awaited “Missing Link” section of the Foothills Parkway.  This 16.1 mile section, will connect the 18 mile length that runs from Chilhowee Lake to Walland, to Wears Valley Road near Pigeon Forge.  This section could be completed and opened by June 2017.  There are a lot of “ifs and buts”. 

For instance, Congress authorized the project in 1944. Funding and engineering/construction problems have delayed this project for 70 years.

You can stand in the parking lot at our store and look up on the mountain ridges, and see, there is a road being built.  I see it every day.

I was invited to visit this construction project, along with some Park Service dignitaries and Congressman Jimmy Duncan a few years ago.  I took a camera along and shot the photos below.  What you see, are views from two different new bridges, of Tuckaleechee Cove, the valley where Townsend is located.

We were there in late Fall.  The leaves had fallen.  The landscape is dark grey.  You can see, why I love living and working in this little valley.  We are tucked away in a paradise, surrounded by the oldest mountains in North America, which are contiguous to millions of acres of public owned wilderness.  This is where I was meant to be. 

In the bottom photo, I placed a tiny, white LRO logo.  The building to the left of that logo is our Fly Shop and School.  The farm, across the road, is limited by a conservation easement, and will never be developed.  Paula and I own that building and land.  We are glad we do.  We want it to remain a fly shop and fly fishing school, long after we are gone. That is what I'm planning for.

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

Byron Begley
June 21, 2015

View of Tuckaleechee Cove from the un-finished Foothills Parkway

View of Townsend, Tennessee from the un-finished Foothills Parkway

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