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.  At 5:30 am, the temperature is 67.6 degrees just downstream from Townsend, near Little River, at the Jules Treehouse weather station, shown on Weather Underground.  The humidity is reported there to be 94%.

Today and tomorrow, we have a very good chance for thunderstorms, 80% tonight and tomorrow. We could use some rain.  We are not listed as being in a drought or even abnormally dry by the U.S. Drought Monitor.  August is normally dry anyway.  We just have not had much rain lately.

Much of the South United States is listed as being in a moderate drought or abnormally dry, by the Monitor.

Weather forecasts from several sources, predict a cooler week here.  We may see a low in the 50’s Wednesday night.  This is going to be an awesome week for fishing and I plan to go, after this rain passes through.  Temperatures will actually be close to normal, which will seem abnormal, because it is.

Little River is flowing low at 63 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.28 feet on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 134 cfs.  The water temperature is a warm 72.3 degrees this morning, below the “Y”.

If you go fishing in the Park, drive or hike to the higher elevations.  Fishing is good there but you will need to be sneaky and fish the choppy water, where the trout are hiding.  If you don’t know how to fish in low water conditions, you will learn today if you go.

Use dry flies or nymphs.  You will be catching mostly rainbow and brook trout in the cold waters.  Those fish are fine up there, happy and eager.  Living quarters are a little tight.

The water temperature in the low elevations is way above the trout’s comfort and healthy range.  I would leave them alone.

Generation will be ongoing all day at both Norris and Cherokee dams.  Wade fishing is probably out of the question today, unless TVA decides to change their schedules.  I doubt if that will happen.

Lake fishing should be good in the evenings.  I hope to find out this week.

Rangers camped out with an injured hiker Friday night on the Appalachian Trail.  Evidently, the hiker broke an ankle.  The hiker was airlifted out Saturday morning.  I bet that was a long night for everyone involved.

In the late 80’s, I sold a company.  I was working for the new owners, a publicly held larger company based in Liverpool, England.  I was young, single and in my 30’s.  I had a 5-year employment contract with the parent company, running the smaller company here in America. I kept wondering, “how would I spend the rest of my life”?

So, I did what you would expect.  I flew to Bozeman, rented a truck, and drove around Montana and Wyoming, fly fishing.  Frank flew out and fished with me for a week.  I was gone at least two weeks, maybe longer.

When I returned to the East, I did buy some property in Townsend, where we live now.  The decision, I made in the West, was living in the East, and not out there. I have a lot of friends here, and the winters are less brutal.  Paula and I started dating a couple of years after that fateful fishing trip.  We married in the early 90’s, after I built this house and moved here.

While I was still out west, I was buying some flies, leaders and other items at Dan Baily’s Fly Shop in Livingston.  A guy working in the shop told me he was taking Robert Redford fishing that evening.  Redford was in town, filming a movie called, “A River Runs Through It”.

The movie was based on a book I had not heard of.  I bought the book a read it while I was there.

We all know what happened.  Three years later, the movie came out, and just about everyone we know, decided to take up fly fishing, much to the disgruntlement of the golf industry.

Something similar may happen again.  In 1998, Bill Bryson wrote a book titled “A Walk in the Woods”.  It is a story about Bryson’s attempt to hike the Appalachian Trail, with a friend.  We have the book somewhere in this house, but I have not read it.

Next month, a movie, based on the book, with the same title, will be released. Bryson will be played by no other than Robert Redford.  His hiking buddy, is played by Nick Nolte.

What happens next is anyone’s guess, but those who oversee property along the trail, including Great Smoky Mountains National Park, are preparing for an onslaught of hikers, re-living Bryson’s adventure on the Appalachian Trail.

My guess is, after seeing what happened in the late 80’s, hiking and backpacking manufacturers and retail stores are also preparing.  This will be interesting to watch.

I’ve been working long hours on some large website projects.  I spent most of the day, yesterday, writing content and re-touching photographs.  The photos are of poppers, which are difficult to shoot, because of glare.  I’ll be doing more of that, today, and every day for months to come, because our industry, has a ton of new fly fishing products to offer you.

Go fishing this week if you can.  I’m pumped about normal weather.

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

Byron Begley
August 10, 2015

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