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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is foggy and 71 degrees in Townsend this morning.  There must have been an accident in the Park.  Two ambulances have gone by with sirens sounding and those vehicles were moving fast.  At this time of morning it would not be a tubing rescue I would not think.

Little River looked great earlier.  A small thunderstorm dropped rain in the Little River watershed somewhere early yesterday evening.  The flow increased then dropped overnight.  Right now the flow is 311 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.29 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 121 cfs.  The water temperature at 7:50 is 65.1 degrees.  The water is clear.

Fishing is good as you would expect.  What we have now are some of the best fishing conditions I can remember in July.  We have plenty of flow in the streams and the water is relatively cool.  You can choose dry flies or nymphs.  Take your pick.  Light colored stoneflies and mayflies would be my choice today.  I might also fish with a Parachute Adams since I’ve been hearing good things about that pattern lately.  That fly almost always works.  Nymph choices would include a Green Weenie, Bead Head Pheasant Tail, Copper John or Tellico Nymph.  I don’t think it matter right now what fly you use.  The trout are hungry and they are looking for a meal.  Fishing will be best early and late or on shaded streams. That sun is scorching hot!

TVA says they will run minimum flow at Norris Dam tomorrow June 20th until noon.  They are doing that so the Clinch River Chapter of TU can hold their annual big Clinch River cleanup.  Check their website for details if you want to help.  This would also be a good time to fish since the water should be turned off.  Check with TVA before you go.  Somebody could change their mind.

It looks like Norris, Cherokee and Douglas dams will be in generating today, all day.  In fact, all dams will probably be generating in our area.  TVA is still spilling at Watts Bar Dam and generating with 4 or more generators.  The Tennessee River is full of water right now. 

We have a chance for scattered thunderstorms every afternoon for days.  The chance varies from 40% to 60% through Monday.  That is kind of normal for July.  It is going to be cooler after tomorrow.

August will be here before we know it.  Kids will be going back to school and the typical Summer tourists in Townsend will be less in numbers than we are seeing now.  Townsend is a great place for an inexpensive Summer vacation.  Young families like that.  Here, parents can expose their kids to the outdoors and the wilderness. Townsend is also an excellent destination for campers.  Camping is very popular here. 

My parents took our family camping at Lake Cumberland when we were kids.  We had a fairly large travel trailer and we usually stayed at Conley Bottoms.  Dad would always rent a boat for me and I kept it tied up near our campsite when I was not fishing.  It was always the same kind of boat, a 14 foot aluminum deep V with a 9.9 hp Johnson motor.  All I had to do was wear a life jacket and I had that lake and boat to myself, even when I was 10 years old.  I learned early in life how to drive boats and I was careful.  I spent my first 20 years driving around the Kentucky River in a boat, almost every day during the Summer.

I took to fly fishing when I was eleven years old.  I think what really drew me to the sport was tying my own flies.  I started tying when I was 11 years old too.  The sport of fly fishing, or any type of fishing for that matter is all about fooling a fish.  We love fooling fish.  We think about it all the time. 

Tying your own flies takes the fooling to a new level.  Not only are you casting to likely spots and drifting or stripping your fly, you created the fly. That is the ultimate form of deception.  When a fish makes a bad judgment call, we win.  We tricked them.

Most of us let the fish swim back into the stream, ocean or lake.  After we duped the fish, we admire their beauty.  Fish are beautiful animals.  We like to take photographs of these lovely creatures.  I like to watch them swim away. 

You know what?  There are people who do not understand our fascination with fishing. 

I’m still looking at websites about trapping crayfish.  I got on one of those sites last night.  I have not ordered traps but I’m planning to do just that.  I have always loved eating crawfish, ever since I was a kid.  My plan is to place a couple of traps in Little River after work, then pull in the catch the next morning on my way to work.  Crayfish (crawfish) are nocturnal and there will be less chance of someone raiding my traps at night.  I rise early and drive to work early.  I think this will work.  I guess I will never grow up.  I hope not.

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

Byron Begley
July 19, 2013


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