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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is partly cloudy and 74 degrees in Townsend this morning.  I drove through town at 7:30 am.  I saw more pedestrians and vehicles than I’ve seen in a long time on a Friday morning.  It’s not exactly cool outside.  But people were out and about.  I stopped at the IGA to buy a newspaper.  There is plenty of news around here and I can’t get it all on the internet.

Little River is low right now.  Flow is 60 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 121 cfs.  The water temperature was 72.5  at 7:40 am.  Rain is on the way.  We have a good chance today through Monday.  The Drought Monitor was updated on July 31st.  We are still normal here though there are drought areas nearby in Middle Tennessee and elsewhere.  Just to our West the monitor indicates a rating of “abnormally dry.” 

Fishing has been good in the Smokies, lowland rivers and the tailwaters.  I’ve been working 7 days a week for over two weeks.  I have not been fishing at all.  I hope to go week after next.

In the Smokies, the higher elevations are fishing best.  Elkmont is a good bet.  I would hike upstream from the campground.  Thunderhead Prong is another good choice nearby.  You could drive up Highway 441 toward Newfound Gap.  You will find plenty of cool water up there and trout willing to take your flies.  The water is low so downsize your tippet a little and stay hidden from the trout.  I would use yellow stonefly patterns, beetles, ants and Green Weenies.  Other flies will work too.

If we get some rain, and I think we will, fishing is going to improve.  It is going to be a little cooler too.   

David caught a nice smallmouth in Little River on Wednesday.  He sent me the photo.  He caught it on a wooly bugger.  It was a beautiful bass. It looked to be 3 or 4 pounds.  It’s hard to tell.  He might have been holding it out just a little bit.  David was with me on the first outing this year in our boat.  That was memorable.  I bought some bad gas and the thing conked out on us about two miles from the ramp.  We made it back using the trolling motor.

Fishing is good for smallmouth bass on the tailwaters.  Like most fisheries, one day can be great and the next day fishing is marginal.  But overall, it’s good.

Yesterday was election day in Tennessee.  I voted early two weeks ago.  Senator Doug Overbey won the Republican Primary for re-election.  Doug is un-opposed in the Fall election.  Art Swann won the State House seat in our district in the Republican primary.  Doug and Art have both been very helpful in our quest to re-build Laurel Lake.  Art used to fish in Laurel Lake.  Doug has helped me out often.  He saved my bacon during our TDOT problem two years ago when I was in charge of that.

Bob Ramsey won the Republican primary for his seat in the State Legislature.  Though Bob does not represent our district, he has always been very involved with any issues we have in Townsend.  He was formerly the Chairman of our County Commission before becoming a State Representative.  So, he feels compelled to help out anywhere in our County.  Also, he’s a nice and helpful guy.  He has attended a few important meeting that were held at our store in the classroom.

Our Townsend City election drew what is thought to be a record number of voters.  300 residents voted.  We have 376 registered voters in Townsend.  Paula and I do not live in the City so we could not vote.  Three City Commissioners were elected, Becky Headrick, Jackie Suttles and David Wietlisbach.  Becky came by to talk to me this week.  She is a civil engineer.  I’ve known Jackie for a long time.  Her husband is our Police Chief.  He and I get together often and talk about fishing for the most part.  David is an incumbent member of the City Council.  I have enjoyed working with him over the years.  I think we got a great new crew to join the others who run our City.

We may get a winery in Townsend.  A existing winery in Tennessee wants to locate a second wine making and selling facility in the City limits.  Townsend has no city ordinances allowing that, or we didn’t until Tuesday night.  A special meeting of the Council voted to accept the new ordinance, paving the way for the winery to locate here.

Jimmy Haslam bought the Cleveland Browns for $1 billion this week.  That’s a “b” not an “m”.  Jimmy lives exactly 8 miles from here.  I know because I’ve been in his house a few times, before he owned it.  But, I’ve never met Jimmy.  I have been around his dad.  I know his brother Bill.  When Bill was running for Governor of Tennessee we hosted the Townsend “Meet and Greet” at our store.  Bill won and he is our Governor now.  His home is close by, near his brother Jimmy.

We have a lot of notable leaders living around here.  Lamar Alexander has a home a few miles away.  He is a former Tennessee Governor and current U.S. Senator.  He fly fishes.  Don Sundquist lives near what will be Laurel Lake again.  Don does some fly fishing.  He is a former Tennessee Governor.  And, Bill Haslam lives a few miles from Townsend.  Bill told me he had been in our store before.  His son bought some fly fishing stuff when we held the party at our store. Maybe Bill fly fishes too.   

So, as you can see, there is a lot going on around here.  I’m going to be working on T-shirts today.  That’s enough excitement for me.   

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

Byron Begley
August 3, 2012

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