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 6:39 am, it is 68 degrees.  Dew is falling like rain.  It will be cooler today and tomorrow.  Highs will be in the mid 80’s with lows around 60 degrees.  Those temperatures are right at average for August here.  Rain is not in the forecast until Friday and the chance then is not high.

Small thunderstorms moved through our area yesterday evening.  One weather station in Townsend reported .32” while the Knoxville Airport claims they got .81”.

Little River is flowing at 100 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.48 feet on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 144 cfs. The water temperature is 70.9 degrees this morning.

Stream flows in the Smoky Mountains will be below normal for the most part, depending on which watershed you are in.  Care should be taken to blend in and not be seen by the trout.  Fish the water with chop, runs and pockets.  Trout will be hiding there and near other structure for cover.  Dry flies and a nymph dropper will work for you.  I would use terrestrials or a Yellow Sally Stonefly pattern, for the dry.  A green or pink Weenie would be my choice for a sub-surface fly but most any reasonable nymph will do.

Fish the higher elevations streams today where the water is cooler. Water temperatures will likely drop over the next two days.  The nights will be cool.

TVA will be generating all day, full bore, at Norris and Cherokee Dams.

I think lake fishing will be good in the evenings for bass and bluegill.  Paula and I plan to fish a lake tomorrow evening.  We’ll be tossing poppers and Knucklheads and see what happens.

More than anything, I just want to be on the water and enjoy the cooler temperatures.

I checked the long term weather forecast through August 26th.  If what I read is true, we will experience above average temperatures by about 5 degrees.  It looks like it may be wet too.  Man, I’m ready for Fall.

Fishpond has 14 new items in their lineup for 2016.  Yesterday I set up a new sub-category on our online store, just for the new gear.  I’ll do the same with our Fishpond website.  I’ll be adding the new items to both this week.  There are two new sling packs, the Buckhorn and Summit that are available now. A new chest/backpack called the Oxbow is also available now.  We should get them in the store this week.

The other items are supposed to be available before or near the middle of November.

From our website, you can order what is available, or pre-order what is not.  I’m really pumped about the new waterproof and submersible Westwater Thunderhead Sling.  I would use this as a sling pack, a boat bag and a camera bag.  The bag is secured closed and waterproof by the TIZIP submersible zipper.

I think kayak fishermen will love this bag.  And if you are like me, who always seems to get caught in the rain, it will be perfect as a sling or boat bag. 

When Fishpond introduced the Westwater series of waterproof packs and bags, I decided to never go back to any tackle storage item, that was not waterproof.  That just makes sense.  Fishermen and their gear are going to get wet.

Behind this desk, in my man cave, is a large window.  It is 6’ wide and 5’ tall.  From here, is a great view of the forest.  We have a 20’ buffer from the house to the forest, then the trees take over.  I can see back into the woods about 100 feet, because I cleared the undergrowth in that area last winter.  I enjoy the view.

I had not played guitar or piano for over 20 years until 6 weeks ago.  For some reason, I decided to play again.  I have an old vintage Gibson Les Paul and a Fender amp.  The stereo in here is hooked up to my computer, so I can play iTunes through it.  I found a few songs, mostly Eagles songs, that I knew had lots of chords and were hard to play.  So, for an hour each day, I play those songs over and over, accompanying the songs on my guitar, practicing, and trying to “get it back”.

Yesterday at 6 pm was no different from any other day during the past 6 weeks.  I played guitar, along with the songs on iTunes, and looked out that window, enjoying the view.  It was raining hard.

As I played, two black bears walked by, 25 feet from where I was standing.  Of course I lost my concentration and quit playing.  One bear was a big sow, with what looked like a 2 year old cub. They were soaking wet.  I could tell they hated the rain.  The mother stopped and shook the rain off her body.  They ambled along and disappeared into the forest.

What a moment that was!  We’ve seen lots of bears this year, most of them exactly where these bears were, walking along the edge of the woods.  They probably walk through every day or more often than that.  There is no telling what goes on out there at night.  Sometimes we watch them for a few minutes, but more often, it’s a fleeting glimpse.  A large lone bear has been hanging around all Summer. 

I’m just thankful I live in a place, where I can be standing next to a window, playing my guitar while watching wild bears walk by.  The only things that come close, are all of these trout streams and lakes.  This is where I was meant to be.

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

Byron Begley
August 12, 2015

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