Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is sunny and pleasant in Townsend this morning.  What a beautiful town we have.  There were hardly any vehicles on the street when I drove to work and everything around me looked clean, well kept and nice.  Townsend looks different when there are less people driving. 

Little River looked good too though the water is very low.  Flow right now is 37 cubic feet per second.  Median flow for this date is 90 cfs and the record low flow was 33 cfs in 1998.  Again, we are close to a record low flow.  We do have rain in the forecast later in the week.  The chance isn’t much but the chance does exist.  We’ll get some water soon and fishing will be back to normal.

Fishing is slow by almost all accounts in the Park.  There is no doubt that this fishing report is keeping anglers away.  But, you want to know the truth, don’t you?  I want you to know the truth.  People are catching trout, mostly on terrestrials.  The water is about 4 degrees cooler than it was two weeks ago.  But it is also much lower.  I would fish around Elkmont or the upper Middle Prong of Little River.  I got an e-mail from Jim yesterday.  He caught three browns below Elkmont in a couple of hours of fishing.  Two of the fish were in the 14 inch range.  Ralph was in here yesterday morning.  He reported slow fishing here and across the mountains too.  They caught a few trout but overall it was poor fishing.  All we need is a little rain.  Some cooler temperatures would help too.

I’m going to be off tomorrow but it’s just going to be too hot for me to go fishing.  Our boat is like a convection oven.  It reflects all the heat right at me.  The lower river offers tough fishing for smallmouth bass right now.  Two weeks ago it was great.  Some people are having success using float tubes, kayaks and canoes in the deep pools, especially those backed up by mill dams. 

I think I’ll stay home and tie flies tomorrow.  I’m donating some poppers and Stealth Bombers to a fishing tournament fundraiser and need to get those done.  The tournament will be held at the Black’s private ponds.  The money goes to the Heritage Center.  In addition to the flies, we are also donating a TFO fly fishing outfit and a beginner fly fishing school for two people.  Bass Pro is donating some stuff too.  I would like to participate.  Paula and I were invited.  We both have to work.  It’s on a Saturday.

In two months we’ll probably have our first frost and maybe snow.  That’s hard to believe.  I don’t like fishing the lakes during the winter.  If you fall in there can be serious consequences.  Therefore, the boat needs to be winterized in late October. That takes about two hours. Fishing in the Park will be excellent.  The brown trout will be spawning or preparing to do it.  That’s probably where I will be fishing and waiting for Spring.  We’ll be holding free fly tying demonstrations every Saturday starting in November at the shop.  We curtail that during the holidays then start back after the first of the year.  We’ll be holding fly tying classes during the late Fall and Winter months.  So, changes are ahead in about two months.  After enduring this hot Summer, I’m ready for a change.  I just hope we get plenty of cool days and nights before the snow and frost arrive.

I'm planning to throw in about three weekends of deer hunting and go on the bear and boar hunts in the Cherokee National Forest. To me, hunting is more about being with friends than actually shooting something. Shooting something means cleaning and butchering something. I much prefer watching someone else do that.

The new fishing gear will be arriving soon.  One item I like is the new Sage “One” fly rod.  We have two ordered right now and one is sold.  I don’t know if Temple Fork has added any new rods.  The BVK has been a huge hit.  I love mine.  We stock one in almost every line weight.  They cost around $250.  They feel and cast like a rod costing much more.

Orvis has a ton of new fly lines coming to a store near you, including ours.  Their Clearwater lower priced rod got a make-over.  It looks great on paper.  I won’t get to cast one for three weeks. 

We will be overhauling the fly department, in fact we’re doing it now.  Umpqua’s new fly catalog is sitting on my desk.  Our plan is to phase out some slower selling flies and find replacements that will catch more trout, especially on the tailwaters.  I will be adding some new warmwater flies too.  They sell well.  Walt Cary has been busy making poppers for us.  I’ll give him a good order this Winter in preparation for Spring.  He makes them all himself.  I don’t know how he does it so inexpensively.  He must have some systems that he developed over the past 50 years.

So, get ready for a new fishing season starting in a week or two.  That’s what we are doing.

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

Byron Begley
August 30, 201

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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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