Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is overcast and warm in Townsend this morning, 70 degrees.  Tomorrow morning will be 8 to 10 degrees cooler.  Traffic was very light on the streets during the morning commute.  I saw a young couple standing on the rocks below the swinging bridge watching the river amble by.  It was really peaceful there.  I took the temperature at 7:30 am.  It was 73 degrees.

Flow is low in Little River.  Right now the water volume passing the gauge near the Park entrance is 43 cubic feet per second.  Median flow for this date is 107 cfs.  Record low flow was 26 cfs in 1987.

Fishing in the Park will require completely different skills during this low water event.  People are catching trout but they are adjusting their tactics to the conditions.  The trout will be behind flow breaks in the riffles or in the choppy water where a riffle enters a pool.  I would find a stream that is shaded.  Fishing will be better early and late.  The mid to high elevations will be best.  If you are fishing along the roads the undercut banks where rock walls have been built offer cover for the fish in the slower water.  Try there.  A Prince Nymph or Girdle Bug can entice a larger brown to run out of those holding areas and grab your fly. 

For the most part though I would use dry flies.  Beetles work well.  You can’t beat a Yellow Neversink Caddis this time of year.  And if you need to fish under the surface, try the Green Weenie.  I’m also hearing of good results from San Juan Worms.  A cicada pattern or large black beetle with long rubber legs can be awesome on the shaded banks.

Stay hidden from the trout.  That will be easier in the choppy water.  But you will have to get close to the area you are fishing to get a good drift.

The tailwaters close by will be generating today as power demand increases.  I did notice that Wolf Creek on the Cumberland River in Kentucky is not posting any generation all day. You might be taking a chance by driving up there.  TVA could change their mind.  But right now their website indicates “0 Generators) from 6 am til midnight.

I drove by the Little Pigeon on Wednesday.  It looked good for smallmouth fishing.  And it has been good.  A friend of mine caught a big one there this week.  I think he said it weighed over 5 pounds but I could have my stories mixed up.  I hear a lot of fish stories working in a fly shop.

Lower Little River will be tough in my opinion.  The deep pools will hold smallmouth bass.  And people are catching them there.  The water is too low to fish some of my favorite spots.

Business owners in Townsend are contacting me a lot lately.  The President of one shopping center’s association wants to talk to the city to discuss ideas that we might be able to help them with.  I am putting them on the Planning Commission agenda in September.  I met with him yesterday for about an hour.

Another business owner called me yesterday.  She is getting a group together to meet Monday afternoon.  The goal is to come up with some ideas and work with the Chamber of Commerce, Industrial Development Board and the Convention and Visitors Bureau to improve business in our area.  This has been a tough year by almost all accounts.

Two large projects are on hold right now.  One is a 20 room lodge on Little River.  We approved the plan months ago at a Planning Commission meeting after several sessions with the owners and the architect.  This lodge would be the perfect place for fly anglers to stay. 

I am glad to see business owners get together and brainstorm.  We need to do something.  Park attendance is down and that trend is likely to continue.  We want to keep this little resort town quaint and not appearing to be overdone. The Peaceful Side of the Smokies is a good asset that we have and we know it.  It will probably be this way for a long time.  Our visitors like to hike, camp, fish, view nature, photograph nature and landscapes and relax in a beautiful setting.  Places like this are becoming hard to find.  Townsend is a special place.  The people who live here are friendly and helpful too.  I noticed that years before I moved here.  Every time I visited Townsend, I got treated well.  I still get treated well.  I will never leave. 

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

Byron Begley
August 27, 2011

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Our fly fishing classes will be offered from March to October 2011.   To sign up just call the shop at 877-448-3474.  You can read more on our website in the Schools Section.  The fly fishing class schedule follows:

Saturday September 10 – Beginner Day One
Saturday September 24 – Beginner Day One
Sunday September 25 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday October 8 – Beginner Day One
Saturday October 22 – Beginner Day One
Sunday October 23 – Beginner Onstream Day Two

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