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.  It is raining lightly and the temperature is 65 degrees in Townsend this morning.

It rained all night.  I don’t think it ever stopped.  I know, because we have a new roof on our house and it is metal.  Rain sounds different to us now.  I didn’t sleep much.

We got 1.75 inches of rain at the shop during the past 24 hours.  Oddly enough, Little River was running clear this morning.  I was surprised.  I looked at the radar online earlier and it appeared this front moved just west of the North Carolina line, maybe missing the highest peaks in the Smokies. 

Little River is higher and the flow is increasing.  Currently, flow is 115 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.51 feet on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 121 cfs.  The water temperature at 7:45 am is 67.1 degrees.  The river appeared normal when I drove by this morning.

We are holding an Aquatic Entomology for Anglers class today with Dr. Brad Cook.  The class is full, 10 students.  I don’t know what the outcome of that will be.  The first half of the day is all classroom discussion.  After lunch, Brad and the students go to a stream in the Smokies to collect and identify aquatic insects.  They usually do that above the Glory Hole on the Middle Prong of Little River.

The forecast calls for rain all day, a 100% chance.  Tonight and tomorrow there is a 60% and 50% chance respectively.  We may get some thunderstorms tomorrow.  A quick glance at the weather radar shows a different story to me.  It appears the rain we are getting now may end soon. 

If you plan to fish in the Smokies today and tomorrow, I really don’t know what to expect.  It looks like a nymphing day to me.  I would use Green Weenies, Pink Weenies, Tellico Nymphs, Pheasant Tails, Hare’s Ear or any other reasonable pattern for the Smoky Mountains.  You might try a tan colored San Juan Worm.   

Be on the lookout for flash flooding.  It may not occur but you should always be aware of the water level and turbidity when there is rain in the mountains.  If the rainfall remains light and not pounding the higher elevations, fishing could be excellent.  I just don’t know what will happen.

One thing is for sure, we needed this rain and I’m glad we are getting it.  I hope we get more tonight.

I’m working diligently on our new online store.  I’m using new software and learning as I go.  Sometimes I get stuck with a problem.  Then, watching a video pretty much straightens me out unless that particular instructor is not communicating well.  For the most part, it is going well.  I expect now, we will launch in about two months or more. 

I did figure out that our fly photographs are not large enough for this new software.  I will have to re-shoot a few hundred flies.  It’s probably best.  We have improved our fly photography over the years with new techniques and especially adding professional flash to our studio.  Before I used small Nikon flashes.  These big soft boxes work better for me. 

The software we are using was developed by a company that claims to be the largest, with 60,000 online stores.  I have called the customer support line a couple of times and got someone to help without a long wait time.  They don’t charge for the calls.  I also had an online chat with a guy last week and that didn’t work out well.  Everyone I talk to are in the office in Texas.  I asked a lady how many people worked in the customer service department.  She said there were about 60 people.

What is kind of discouraging is, about the time this new site is ready to launch, the new 2015 products will be coming out from our manufacturers.  In fact, we are seeing some of it now.  Some products I’ll be adding over the next two months will be discontinued.  Colors will change.  I’ll be taking new photographs and writing new content.

Content has to be your own these days.  You can’t just copy what the manufacturers write.  That will get you into trouble with the search engines.  They call it plagiarism.  Plagiarism will get you indexed lower by the search engines. 

Writing the content and working with the photos is the time consuming part.  Placing an item for sale on the online store only takes a minute.

I think, to maintain our new online store and our website will take 30 to 40 hours per week, all year long.  For instance, this fishing report eats up an hour each day.  That’s 361 hours per year.  The website/online store and the accounting, will take most of my time in the future.  We are planning for that.

Brad just walked in.  He is staying in Gatlinburg.  He drove by Little River from Elkmont to Townsend.  He told me the water looked good and it was clear.  Today may be an awesome fishing day.

UPDATE 2:55 PM - LITTLE RIVER HAS RISEN TO OVER 3 FEET ON THE FLOW GUAGE OR 803 CFS. AT THIS FLOW, WADING CAN BE DANGEROUS IN SOME AREAS. THE WATER CONTINUES TO RISE. CARE SHOULD BE TAKEN WHEN FISHING IN THE SMOKIES TODAY, AT LEAST ON THE WEST SIDE OF THE PARK.

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

Byron Begley
July 19, 2014

Respond to: byron@littleriveroutfitters.com


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