Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  As predicted, traffic is almost non-existent.  I saw less than 10 vehicles on my commute to work.  I stopped at the swinging bridge to take the water temperature.  I saw the Police Chief’s truck parked by the walkway.  He was on the phone so I walked down to the river.  An older gentleman was fishing.  We talked for a few minutes and one topic was all the trash left there by the tubers.  It was a mess down there.  We saw two pair of flip flops, a cardboard worm container, lots of cans and cups and stuff everywhere.  I usually pick up a piece or two of trash when I’m there.  This would have taken some time to clean up.  When I got up the hill I found that it was Frank, one of my police officer buddies in the Chief’s truck.  Frank’s cruiser has a mechanical problem.  Then Fletcher drove up on his bicycle.  We decided it’s time for a river cleanup. 

The river is up quite a bit from yesterday morning.  Flow is 142 cubic feet per second.  Median flow for this date is 124 cfs.  A small thunderstorm blew through here yesterday afternoon and dropped a small amount of rain.  There must have been some heavier rain in the mountains.  But, Little River looks good today and more rain is expected this afternoon.  The water temperature was 70 degrees at 7:40 am.

Fishing should be fine but I did not talk to anyone returning from the Park yesterday. Holiday weekends are slow at our store.  You will find the streams up some and about normal.  It is going to be cooler today by some predictions, a high of 86 degrees.  Another weather website is calling for a high of 91.

Ants, beetles, Yellow Sally stonefly imitations and Green Weenies should work fine.  This will be a nice day to be on the streams.  You should find solitude.  Lots of people cleared out of town and the mountains yesterday afternoon.

Attendance at our fireworks display in town was light last night according to the police department report I got this morning from Frank.  Most of the fireworks displays in our County and the towns within have ceased due to the cost.  Townsend still holds a great fireworks event, or that’s what they say.  I’m in bed by the time that starts. 

Michael Talley came by around closing time yesterday and we talked for a while.  We are planning to fish Little River above the mill dam at night in his canoe.  He grew up here and his great aunt owns property on the river including that dam.  He’s been fishing the dam pool all his life.  We will be fishing with poppers for redeye bass or rock bass.  He uses a Jitter Bug.  I’ll use a stealth bomber.  We may go this week. 

I have read this and heard it lately from people in town.  More families are buying tents and taking up primitive camping.  I bet family tents and Coleman lanterns  are selling like hotcakes.  It’s a good way to take an inexpensive vacation and it is also good for children to be exposed to a more natural setting. 

What is best for a child, staying in a resort hotel near a theme park, or camping at Elkmont on the Little River?  Give me the tent on the river any day over the resort hotel.  How about a cabin on the lake near a marina?  I like that too.  Paula and I vacation that way. 

When I was a kid my parents bought a travel trailer.  We camped at Conley Bottoms on Lake Cumberland.  Dad would rent a 14 foot deep V boat with a 10 horsepower motor for me to spend the week in.  I fished all day, every day.  I have been driving boats since I was 4 or 5 years old.  Back then I sat in my father’s lap.  By the time I was 10, my parents turned me loose in a boat.  All I had to do was wear a life jacket. 

I grew up spending lots of time sleeping in a bag and smelling the campfire close by.  The smell of a treated canvas tent is still etched in my brain’s senses.  I always liked waking up during the night and wondering what wild animal I could hear walking around out there in the darkness. Is it a bear?  Or is it one of our cattle walking to the pond for a drink of water.

Sam and I used to camp on the farm when I was young.  Sam was my English setter, named after the dog in movie I liked called “Savage Sam”.  Sam was afraid of the dark and guns but he was a good companion and friend.   At night when we would hear something outside the tent, he would move over next to me and whine.  I would pet him and he would finally go to sleep until we heard something else.  Those were good days.  I grew up well.

One time Deward and I drove my boat about 50 miles down the Kentucky River and camped where Dix River enters just upstream from High Bridge.  We pulled the boat up to the bank, pitched a tent and fished until dark.  The next morning when we woke up the boat was high and dry on a sand bar. When we parked it, they were generating at Dix Dam.  During the night the water receded leaving the boat on the bar.  We couldn’t budge the boat.  It was a 17’ Boston Whaler with an 80 hp motor.  I bet it weighed 2,000 pounds.  We had to wait until they started generating again to move off the sand bar.  It was a great place to camp and fish.  That was back in the late 1960’s.  I wonder what it looks like down there now?

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

Byron Begley
July 5, 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 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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