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 6:39 am and still dark out side.  I’m writing this report from home and will be doing so over the next few months. In fact, I will be working at home all day during that time.  We have some important website work to be done and it requires that I don’t have interruptions.  My plan is to show up at the shop at closing time to do the bookkeeping every day.  All communications during that time will be done using e-mail. 

It is muggy outside and 72 degrees.  That is about as warm as it has been, this early in the day, all year.  They say the low temperatures will be in the 50’s by Wednesday night.  For now, we have a chance for rain every day until then.

It rained in the mountains late yesterday afternoon and Little River spiked upwards temporarily.  At 6:28 am this morning, flow was 133 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.68 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 124 cfs.  The water temperature this morning is 69 degrees.  It didn’t rain here yesterday.  It did rain in Maryville and Alcoa.  They got 1/3 of an inch.

Today, I would venture a little higher where the water is colder.  Fish near Elkmont or above in the backcountry, up Newfound Gap Road or any stream at an elevation of 2,000 feet or higher.  You will find that the trout will be more active there in the cooler water.  The warpaint shiners will be less active.

You will have the benefit of clouds for the next few days.  That gives the advantage to the angler and not the trout.  Dry flies should work fine.  If you like fishing nymphs, they should do well too.  A double rig, with a dry on top and a nymph trailing below would be best in some situations.  I would start with dries, most likely a small Yellow Stimulator or Neversink Caddis.  Later today, when the land living insects get active, I might switch to a foam beetle.

I am not hearing much at all about the lake fishing.  I do know there is some good surface fishing in the evenings.  Trout and bass are chasing minnows when the sun drops behind the hills. 

It is 6:52 am and Jack just walked in.  He is remodeling our house.  Jack is the best fly fisherman I know.  Like me, he hasn’t been fishing much this Summer.  There is too much going on. We waited 9 months for Jack to get free to work on our project.  Jack worked here 6 days last week.  He brings in sub-contractors for some of the work but does a lot of it himself.  I help him on my days off.  Paula helps him every day.  So far we have a new metal roof, new deck and we almost have a new kitchen.  The driveway and ports will be the last of the project.

I’m back.  Jack and I were outside measuring.  He will be building a carport and boat port with access from our upper driveway.  I’m looking forward to the boat port.  It will hold two boats on trailers and two kayaks.  The drive will be concrete so the trailers can be manually pulled from the port and attached to a truck.  All I’ll have to do when returning from fishing is disconnect the boat and trailer, push it into the port and plug in the battery chargers.

Business was slow this weekend in the shop.  The surge we have had over the past few weeks caught us by surprise.  Now, Daniel can concentrate on ordering more merchandise.  Weekdays will probably be busier than weekends for a month or so.  That is because, mail orders come in on weekdays.  People do not order much on weekends.  And, fishermen are not very active in August or early September. 

Right now is a great time to visit Townsend.  The crowds are gone, especially on weekdays.  Here, right now, you will enjoy peace and quiet. 

Fly fishing conditions are excellent for August.  One reason is, rainfall since June 1st is about 1” above normal.  Also, temperatures have been lower than normal. We have not had extreme high temperatures or flooding.  We have had lower than normal water levels at times but higher than normal other times.  It has been a nice Summer.  Fishing has been good more often than not.

We will be building our stock of fly tying materials now, getting ready for Fall and Fly Tyers Weekend.  Fly tying material sales used to slow down during the Summer.  For some reason, it has not happened this year.  That has been a surprise too.  The normal fly tying material orders come in, we put them out, and then they are gone. Some items, like small hooks for midges have been in short supply this year.  Daniel orders hooks, and the small hooks don’t show up.  There must be some temporary problem with our supplier.

I entered a big invoice from Whiting Farms yesterday when I was doing payables.  Evidently hackle is available from them right now.  During the Winter months, hackle is hard to get.  Thankfully, women are not wearing tyer’s grade saddle hackle in their hair.  That fad pretty much wiped out the saddle hackle pipeline for a couple of years.  I guess that was a windfall for hairdressers.

Our Fishpond business has gone crazy.  We have a fairly new Fishpond Gear Guide on our website.  CLICK HERE to see it. I spent a lot of time designing and writing the content for this website, within a website.  I guess the hard work paid off.  Fishpond has quite a bit of new gear coming out in October.  And, some older pieces will be offered in new colors.  That means, I’ll have to re-design our Fishpond Gear Guide.  There is always something to be done in a fly shop.  You would think it is easy.  It is not.

It’s 8 am so I’m off to the bank.

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

Byron Begley
August 11, 2014

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