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 outside and 69 degrees on the outskirts of Townsend, Tennessee this morning.  Sometime during the night, a brief but fierce thunderstorm woke me.  It was pouring out there.  At daybreak, I’ll go down to the barn to check the rain gauge. 

Little River is flowing at 105 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.54 feet on the gauge.  For now, the rising river has peaked.  Median flow for this date is 84 cfs.  The water temperature at 6:10 am is 71.5 degrees.

More rain is expected over the next few days with chances stated at 40% to 60% each day.  I think we can count on the rain and more flow in our streams.  That is good.  Rain in early September should equate to good flows for the month. 

It is also going to be hot until the weekend.  Then, we will see day and night temperatures drop some.  Temperatures will still be above normal during this period.  We should be seeing highs in the low 80’s and lows in the 50’s right now. 

Fishing in the Smoky Mountains is good in the high elevations. Some streams may be stained right now.  If the rain holds off, they should clear soon.  Though the flow in Little River is above normal, it is still fairly low from a fisherman’s point of view, just high for this time of year.  If we get heavy rain over the next few days, we could see high water. 

When the temperatures drop to normal, hopefully soon, fishing in the lower elevations will be very good.  Fishing will improve everywhere around here when the temperatures drop to normal.

The photos of brook and brown trout I’ve seen lately, indicate the fish are becoming more colorful before spawning.  These beautiful fish will become more colorful as the weeks progress.  Soon, trees will become more colorful as well.  It may not feel like it now, but Fall is just around the corner. 

I’m photographing flies for our new online store which I hope to take live by the first of the year.  I think I reached around 90 patterns that I have photographed so far through yesterday.  Our current online store has about 300 patterns listed for sale.  I’ve got a feeling we have more than that now, in the store. 

I had no idea, we had so many different beetle and ant patterns.  It’s hard to tell by looking at the fly bins.  Try photographing every pattern in our store and the reality is, we have a huge offering of trout flies.  And, we stock heavy with terrestrials.  Daniel does the buying so I have no idea what sells or what he buys.  I’ll just keep shooting until the job is done.  Our new online store software requires larger images than we had for the zoom pictures.  We can’t use our old photography.

With these larger images, you will see, if you look closely, my camera and my head reflected in the gold, silver and copper bead head flies.  I don’t have a flash unit on my cameras.  The flash comes from each side and above from large commercial photography studio flashes.  Still, my head and camera will be on each bead.  It won’t be noticeable unless you are looking for it. 

Business is good, very good.  At first, early this year, I thought it was a fluke.  Now, I think it is an upward trend.  I’m hearing the same from other fly shops, sales representatives and other businesses.

I talked to my former partner and good friend yesterday.  He and his wife own a printing company in Nashville. We started working together while he was a student at Vanderbilt back in the 70’s.  We go back a long way.  To me, he is more like family.  We are close.  He said the same thing.  With the coming of 2014, his business started growing fast.  And, that growth is continuing.

We sold the company to a publicly owned British firm in 1986.  He stayed with the new owners and ran the company for them.  I was there for a few years then faded away and moved to the Smoky Mountains.  I ran another company for the owners for a few years.

In the early 90’s, the firm in England decided to liquidate all of their assets in the United States.  We bought the printing company back.  After we got it on its feet, my partner bought me out. 

He and the crew at the printing company made it through the tough times and they are doing well.  I am happy about that. 

I checked the Gallup website this morning.  I do that often.  U.S consumer spending has been growing slowly but steady since early 2009.  For instance, on February 9, 2009, according to Gallup, consumers reported spending $60 per day. Now, that number is right at $94 per day. That is over a 50% increase.  That number is growing substantially this year.  That explains to me, what’s going on.  That makes me happy.  It seems to be making everyone happy.

I checked the rain gauge at the barn.  We got 1.2” of rain down there last night.

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

Byron Begley
September 3, 2014

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