Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  The sun burned off the fog just minutes ago.  It was 68 degrees when I drove to work but the high temperature today will be around 94 degrees.  It will be hot again tomorrow then a cool spell with a good chance for rain will move in Friday night and Saturday. 

Little River is looking low again.  The current flow is 77 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 129 cfs.  The water was running above normal for a couple of days, now it’s low again. 

Fishing will be best in the high elevations where the water is cooler.  Anglers are doing well in those streams.  You will need to use light tippet, fish in the riffles and pockets and stay hidden.  The shady areas will be better.  Dry flies are working well for those who know how to fish in low water conditions.  If you don’t do well fishing low water, keep trying.  You’ll figure it out.  I find trout holding behind rocks in pockets where the current is blocked.  It is tricky getting a fly to stay put in a pocket.  The currents will try to drag your fly out.  This type of fishing is fun and you have to be quick.  The trout will grab your fly before you know it.  They are used to moving fast on a meal in the strong currents.

Fishing is best early in the morning and late in the evenings when the sun is off the water.   

Try a good high floating fly.  A very small Yellow Stimulator, Parachute Adams or an Elk Hair Caddis should work fine.  Beetles and ants are a good choice.  The fish are seeing a lot of those.  You can’t make long casts, your fly will drag in all the conflicting currents.

Most anglers in the South are looking forward to Fall.  We’re also hoping for more rain.  It has been an odd Summer so far.  It has been hot and dry.  Temperatures have been much higher than normal.  Rainfall in our area is over 5” below normal year to date.  We are not in a drought situation but it is abnormally dry.  It appears we are moving into a wetter time.  July is normally out wettest month.  Tropical storms and hurricanes often add to the rainfall this time of year.  Of course, we’re hoping that doesn’t occur this year.  Our coastal areas don’t need that now. 

I hope they get this oil leak stopped soon.  I know we are all disappointed in the recent setbacks.  Hopefully they can be overcome and we can concentrate on the cleanup.  Have you noticed all the ads on television touting vacations in Florida?  I can’t help but feel very interested in taking a Florida fishing vacation right now.  The visitor bureaus are on top of things down there.  They are reacting to a need by spending more money on national and regional ads.  The counties with the larger budgets are placing the ads you see and most are in the Panhandle but I’ve even seen some ads targeted on South Florida.  I even saw one interesting idea, having a tax reduction incentive to lure tourists to the coast.  I’m glad to see this area become pro-active.  It will work. 

In Tennessee we work under the assumption that for every $1 spent on advertising for tourism we get a $16 return.  Most tourism advertising dollars in our State come from local hotel/motel taxes.  That money is collected and spent by the local visitors bureaus.  The State of Tennessee also spends money advertising our tourism opportunities.  Tourism is a huge business in our state.  Some of the big draws are Dollywood, Graceland, the “Music City” and the Smokies.  Our lakes are a big attraction and we have plenty of those.  I would hate to think about, what if tourism in our state dropped by 50%?  I am very sympathetic with the Coastal States located on the Gulf of Mexico.  I wish them well.  I pray for a recovery soon. 

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

Byron Begley
July 15, 2010

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