106 Town Square Drive
P.O. Box 505
Townsend, Tennessee 37882
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Copyright 2006-2016 Little River Outfitters, Inc.
Townsend, Tennessee - Fly Fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains, East Tennessee and Western North Carolina
Welcome to the Fishing Report from Townsend, Tennessee in the Great Smoky Mountains. At 6:08 am, the temperature is 70 degrees.
High temperatures in the high 80’s are predicted through the weekend. Lows at night will be around 70 degrees. The chance for rain today is low. Rain chances increase to 60% or 80% tomorrow and 50% to 60% Friday and Saturday.
Little River is flowing low at 71 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.48 feet on the flow gauge. Median flow for this date is 116 cfs. The water temperature is 73.6 degrees at the Townsend USGS gauge, which is at the lowest elevation of the river inside the Park.
Rain fell in the Oconaluftee River watershed yesterday. The water level there crept up to near normal but it has receded. Rain fell in the Tellico River watershed, which raised the level there some. It is flowing closer to normal this morning. Cataloochee got a spike in flow yesterday. It has fallen back to about where it was before. So, you may find slightly higher water in some streams today, but not much. Flows are still low in the Smoky Mountains, for the most part.
Due to the warm water in the lower elevations, you should drive or hike to the higher elevations streams to fish today. It is not healthy for trout, to be caught and released in warm water.
Dry flies will work. Try a Yellow Sally Stonefly imitation or a black beetle. Fish the choppy water and stay well hidden from the trout.
Hopefully, fishing conditions will improve over the next few days, if we actually get some rain. Right now, it’s tough out there. The weather pattern, I see in the long term forecast, indicates more of the same through August 17th.
Generation schedules on the tailwaters are about like yesterday. Unless TVA changes them, Norris will be off, Cherokee will be on later in the morning, and Center Hill will be off and on. Check the TVA website yourself before you go. Don’t take my word for it. It is early in the morning. I am prone to errors, and worse, early in the mornings.
If you plan to fish the lakes, go early or late when the sun is off the water. Fish the banks and watch the channels for baitfish on the surface. It will be mostly sunny today. We should have some cloud cover, at times, after today, through the weekend. Watch out for those thunderstorms. If you see them coming, run for cover, specifically, your truck.
I went to the shop yesterday. I did notice much less traffic on the roads, a sign that schools are back in session, and less people are taking vacations.
I was surprised to see how well we did in July, despite the heat and dry conditions in the Southeast. We were up 16.3% from the same month last year. For the year, we are up right at 20%.
Other conditions, other than the weather are favorable. The economy is growing, fuel prices are low, and for sure, more people are traveling to fly fish. I can tell by looking at our numbers in the luggage department. We are selling a lot of luggage. The guys are doing an awesome job running the business. We were way up last year too. I’m just staying out of their way and hoping this continues. I go by the shop a couple of times a week to say hello.
We are selling to more warm water fly anglers, or more customers are trying warmwater fly fishing. Our marketing is doing well in the western states. I see that every day when I check the mail orders that come in.
I watch the Knucklehead sales closely, because I tie them. I inventory what we have in stock at the shop and here at home, every week. We are selling a dozen per day, this time of year. It takes me two hours to tie a dozen. That does not count preparation to tie. For instance, I cut 2,000 bodies this past Winter. I have a cutting jig setup, to speed the process but it still takes a long time to cut 2,000 bodies. I asked Daniel to order more foam for me. I’m about out of black. We buy the foam sheets from Wapsi. They are a special order, in the size 12” x 18”. It’s time to cut more bodies.
When I cut rubber legs, I cut a few hundred at a time, in one color. We buy the mono eyes in 1,000 packs. The Gamakatsu hooks are ordered in 100 packs, several at a time.
My tying desk looks like a factory assembly line, with two Dyna King vises clamped to the desk. I use Loctite Super Glue in the first step. While it dries, I can work on another fly using the second vise.
I try to keep 20 to 25 dozen in stock. I remember one day, I saw a mail order on my computer that put me into action. A man in California ordered 3 dozen.
I could have them tied overseas but that scares me to death. I’ve been tying flies for over 50 years. During that time, this is the only fly I actually came up with that is unique. I don’t want to take a chance on having a huge shipment of this fly arrive, and have to trash them due to quality issues. So, I keep on doing it myself.
I get a lot of satisfaction seeing this fly used by customers and angling friends all around the country. I think, having this fly available, helps our overall business, especially in the warmwater fly fishing department. We sell a lot of rods, reels and fly lines, intended for bass fishing. We sell a lot of BoogleBug poppers, sometimes, along with Knuckleheads. They are shipped to places, I have not heard of.
They sell well at $3.25. The materials cost about 25 cents each, since we buy in bulk and at wholesale. If you want to tie them yourself, that is fine with me. CLICK HERE to learn how. It’s not hard at all. To do it right and make them durable, takes time.
I normally build up inventory during the slow months, January and February. I could not do that this year because I was doing a lot of work on our online store. Now, I’m paying the price.
Have a great day and thank you for being here with us.