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 dark and 58 degrees at 6:45 am. 

Little River is flowing at 151 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.74 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 109 cfs.  The water temperature right now is 64.5 degrees.

We have awesome fishing conditions today.  The water levels are higher than normal and the water is cool.  It doesn’t get much better than this in August.

This weekend will be beautiful though warmer than it has been.  Fishing will be good.

You may want to fish higher up as the water will warm some.  I would fish above Elmont on the East Prong.  Thunderhead prong might be a good choice.  Again, driving up Newfound Gap Road to the higher elevations of Walker Camp Prong which is really the West Prong of the Little Pigeon would be a good idea.  There are many tributaries there you could try.   

I don’t think you will encounter many people in the higher streams.  It will be a weekend though.  Traffic will be heavier than it is during the week.

It will be warmer next week and we are expecting rain.  That is good.  By then, we will need some rain.  It is going to feel like Summer again.  We’ll see high temperatures in the low 90’s next week.  I thought we were phasing into Fall.

Many dry fly patterns will produce.  My Summer favorites are the Elk Hair Caddis (Yellow), Yellow Neversink Caddis or Yellow Stimulator.  Black foam beetles will work. Ants are good. Of course, Green and Pink Weenies are a good choice.

I’m working at home.  I go into the shop only to make a bank deposit and do some bookkeeping stuff.  I’m at home where I can get away from everything and accomplish some large tasks.  I’ll probably do this for a few months, just to see if it works.

The shop is having an excellent Summer.  We were up 21% over last year in July.  The first week of August was up 54%.  The second week of August, which ended yesterday was up about 20% over last year.

Daniel is running about everything that has to do with staff and customer service.  He is doing the ordering.  He told me he is planning to hire someone he has been talking to.

Our mail order business took off this year.  Many of our mail order customers have been our customers for a long time.  But, there are new customers who find us online.  For instance, we shipped a pair of Chota Hippies to Moscow, Russia this week. 

Due to our customer privacy rules, I can’t tell you who the customer in Moscow is.  No, it’s not him.

I’m looking forward to October.  We will be way up from last year, maybe double.  The reason is, Great Smoky Mountains National Park was closed for two weeks last October.  That was a devastating blow to our economy. 

October is always the best tourism month of the year.  Businesses build cash to make it through the Winter.  Some businesses didn’t make it because of what happened last October.  We all had a feeling of helplessness.  It happened so quickly, we could not prepare.  We waited, hoping the gates would open the next day, every day.  The problem dragged on.  When it finally ended, it was too late.  The best business month of the year was lost.

There is one business rule that overshadows all others.  I tell every person who is planning to open a business this golden rule.  I know because I have owned a business over 40 years and learned a few things.  “When the money is gone, the game is over.”

Last year, weather was a negative business factor during the Spring.  It rained almost every weekend.  Visitors were canceling their reservations.  Campers were not camping.  Anglers were not angling.  The list goes on.  This year has been more normal.  This Summer has been awesome.  Fishing has been very good.

I believe this Fall will be a good one in the tourism business.  I hope so.  Our local businesses need a break and we seem to be getting one this year.  You can help.  Plan a camping, hiking, photography, fishing or relaxing vacation this Fall in the Smokies. 

Our motels, campgrounds, cabin rentals, bed and breakfasts and lodges are open and ready to take good care of you. Our restaurants, recreation businesses and retail stores are ready for you.  Great Smoky Mountains National Park is waiting.

Business owners are working together on projects to benefit everyone.  We are all one team with one goal, take care of customers and visitors.  I think you will see more of that in the future.

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

Byron Begley
August 15, 2014  

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