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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  When I drove to work this morning it was partly cloudy and 72 degrees.  The weather websites beg to differ.  Right now the National Weather Service website reports the temperature to be 78 degrees at 8:15 am.  Anyway, it is warm, way warmer than normal for July.  There was quite a bit of human activity in town earlier.  Joggers, walkers and bicycle riders were out in numbers.  They must know what is coming later, a high of 96 degrees.  It is going to be hot today.  We have a good chance for rain tomorrow, 60%.

Little River is moving low and slow.  Currently the flow is 85 cubic feet per second.  Median flow for this date is 137 cfs.  Hot and fairly dry conditions are claiming the flowing water by evaporation.  The water temperature is 73 degrees this morning.

I would fish in the higher elevations where the air and water are cooler.  Venturing into the backcountry would be a good idea.  I would fish above Elkmont or on Walker Camp Prong and it’s tributaries.  I have some friends who drove over to Smokmont yesterday to fish.  That was probably a good idea too.

The trout are going to be spooky so stay low and hidden.  They will be in the riffles, in the pockets and in deep pools where the water is moving somewhat fast.  They are hiding and hoping for food to drift by their lie.  I would probably use dry flies.  But, nymphs might work well and maybe better than dries.  We are telling customers to use Yellow Sally Stonefly patterns, beetles, ants and Green Weenies.

Some rain and cooler temperatures will certainly help the fishing and the fishermen.  This has been a extremely warm year.  According to NOAA April ranked as the third warmest April on record in the United States.  Many locations in the Country set a record for their warmest temperature on record during April.  January through April was the warmest on record in the United States.  I’m certain May and June will show that trend continuing.  It is hot, a lot of people here are not even thinking about fishing and we are having a slow Summer thanks to the heat. 

Much of the country is in a severe to extreme drought.  A few spots are experiencing an Exception Drought.  The Drought Monitor bears that out.  We have been lucky so far in East Tennessee.  Most of East Tennessee is either in the No Drought Category or Abnormally Dry.  Rainfall in our County is above normal for the year, so far.

The Laurel Lake project is moving forward.  We had a meeting yesterday.  We intend to finish the concept plan, have a printed, web and Power Point version and hold a public meeting in August or September. 

Now we need to raise some money.  Two years ago, Carl raised $4,000 in three days to clear the lake bed using volunteers.  The money was used to rent equipment and buy fuel.  Local residents worked for a few days and pretty much cleared the bed that was drained 20 years ago.

We plan to re-build this lake without using any County Government funding.  We will need money to pay for permits and engineering.  Our plan calls for organizing a Friends of Laurel Lake non-profit organization.  We are not at that point yet.  By doing that, we could accept tax deductible donations.  We will need a board of directors, officers, liability insurance and by-laws.  We will need to file for non-profit status as a 501 (c)(3). That takes time.  We need money for a permit application right away.  I’m sure we will get that money soon. 

I am planning to seek out another non-profit that is willing to take on the acceptance and distribution of funds on behalf of the County as needed. I guess we’ll require some volunteers to be trustees and we would need an agreement between the County and the non-profit to make this work.

When we raised the $4,000 before, 10 of us kicked in $400 each.  We were not able to deduct the contribution on our tax returns.  All that took was a few phone calls.  There is a lot of public support for this project.  I don’t think funding is going to be an issue.

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

Byron Begley
July 26, 2012

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