Townsend, Tennessee - Fly Fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, East Tennessee and Western North Carolina

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is foggy and 58 degrees in Townsend this morning.  The wildlife was active earlier.  I saw maybe 12 wild turkeys feeding on something in our neighbor’s garden.  Many of them were young of the year birds.  Perched on the power lines in front of our store was a red-tailed hawk.  I parked close to him and he didn’t seem to care.  Our store is bordered on two sides by empty fields.  Hawks find plenty of mice to eat here.

Little River is flowing low like many waterways in the Eastern U.S. right now.  Flow is currently 50 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow is 111 cfs for this date.  The water temperature is 65.7 degrees at 8:00 am.

I would like to say fishing is great but it is not.  You can catch trout in the Smokies.  Stealth is of utmost importance.  I would fish a dry fly in the riffles and try to get a drift in the pockets.  You could do well fishing nymphs in the deep runs.  I would use some sort of dry fly.  It might be a Parachute Adams, Stimulator or Beetle.  I might drop a Green Weenie or small nymph off the dry.  To dredge deeper I would weight a Prince, Pheasant Tail or Tellico.  Right now, pattern is not as important as staying hidden, make careful casts and get a good drift.  It is going to be sunny today.  I would find a smaller backcountry shaded stream or fish early and late.

Smallmouth bass fishing has to be tough in the lowland rivers.  I did talk to Tyler yesterday afternoon.  He fished Little River through town for smallies.  All he caught were rock bass.  That is typical when the water is low.

I did hear that smallmouth bass are begin caught by conventional tackle anglers on the lakes at night.  And, at times the bass are in shallow water.  We need some much cooler conditions to keep them shallow, making it easier for fly fishermen. 

I do know that smallmouth bass fishing in the tailwaters is good right now as it should be. 

We are going to have warm days and cool nights for a while.  The extended forecast offers little hope for rain through the weekend.  The long term forecast indicates we may have a good chance for rain later next week. 

We saw a lot of new fly fishing gear yesterday.  Raz Reid show us the new Fishpond Gear and the new Sage trout rod.

The Sage Circa is made for light duty trout fishing, perfect for streams like we have here in the Smokies.  It is available in line weights 2 through 5.  We tried a 4 weight yesterday.  The blank diameters are tiny and the rods are extremely light.  The action is slower than any Sage I have ever cast.  It is made using the same technology as the One, the rod that was such a big hit this year.  This fine rod is going to be popular however it is priced at the top end of the Sage lineup, starting at $745.  The 4 weight we played with yesterday is the perfect dry fly rod.

Fishpond has introduced a new line of waterproof bags and luggage.  They look great as usual.  Umpqua has introduced a new line of chestpacks, fanny packs, fishing packs and a boat bag.  They looked to be well designed.

Rio has added more tip floating technology to their fly lines.  The packaging has changed too. 

All of this means more work for me updating our online store.  Since most of these new products are available now, I better get to work on that.

Tonight I’m attending the Little River Chapter of TU’s board meeting.  Discussion will focus on Troutfest and new officers.  I am not on the board but I want to hear what they have to say.

I read some interesting articles about barge traffic on the Mississippi River.  The river was closed to barge traffic for a day or two this week but it is open now.  The Corps of Engineers did some dredging work and to the depth in the closed area to 9’.  They try to keep the depth to at least 10’+.

The result of the drought and low water is, barge companies have to ship lighter loads than they normally do.  That equates to less tons per trip.  That means transportation costs will be higher and we’ll feel the pinch.  These barges transport lots of grain.  Food costs will rise for that reason and the fact that our corn crop has been drastically reduced due to the drought. 

Paula and I eat a lot less beef these days.  We are eating a lot more lamb.  We buy a lamb from a 4H student and have it processed.  We bought one or two last year.  She picked up one at the processor a few days ago.  And you know what, I had a physical last week and my blood work numbers were the best I’ve seen in a long time. 

Ever had a lamburger?  I love them.  I prefer lamb over beef.  It is also nice to know that these sheep are not fed chemicals by the 4H students.  We are also helping the students pay for their farm projects.  It’s a win/win for everyone except of course, for the lamb.

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

Byron Begley
August 23, 2012

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