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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is overcast, very foggy, humid and 71 degrees in Townsend this morning.  I can’t see any mountains.  There is almost no traffic on the streets.  People who live here are probably getting over the holiday.  There was a lot of hard work going on in Townsend this weekend.  I don’t know when I’ve seen that many campers.  And there are those who camp in tents that I would not have recognized as campers when they drove through town.  The camping business seems to be alive and well, in our town and in the National Park.

Little River looked good this morning.  Flow is 63 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 91 cfs.  Sometime late yesterday the discharge was recorded right at 90 cfs.  Scattered rain and thunderstorms passed through our region all day and all night. The water temperature was 71.8 degrees at 7:40 am.

We have a 70% chance for rain today and 50% chance tonight.  The chance diminishes to 30% on Wednesday but returns to 60% on Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.  It should be cooler this weekend.

Fishing has improved due to higher water.  But here were reports this weekend of great fishing on Friday then slower fishing on Saturday.  That probably had something to do with the barometric pressure and the storm fronts moving through.  There is about 63% more water in Little River than there was 3 days ago.  Other streams may be relatively higher.  We needed more water and we got some.  We may get more.

If the Smokies stream you intend to fish is clear, try dry flies. If that doesn’t work, switch to nymphs.  If the water is turbid, use nymphs or streamers.  For a dry fly I would use a foam beetle pattern, yellow sally stonefly imitation or any yellow dry fly.  I might try a Black Chernobyl Ant too.  A Black Stealth Bomber will catch trout, maybe a big one.  Try one of those.

A nymph selection would be any reasonable pattern.  Try a Prince, Tellico or Pheasant Tail.  I don’t think it matters.  Just make sure the fly is not dragging.  Get a good drift.

Lightning struck the Café at Richmont Inn last night.  Firefighters estimated the damage to be about 50%.  I hate that for Jim and Susan.  One of their buildings burned a few years ago.  I drove up there after I heard about that fire to see if they needed help.  They re-built and now this happened. 

Richmont Inn is a super bed and breakfast located about 3,000 feet from our house in Laurel Valley.  We live in Dry Valley.  I didn’t hear that thunderstorm last night.

We have a new Mayor in Townsend.  He is one of my very close friends, Mike Talley.  He runs the Talley Ho Inn.  I talked to his dad yesterday and talked to Mike a couple of times this weekend.  I think Mike will get a lot of support from our community.  He is smart and a lot of fun to be around.  Everyone likes him.  We have worked together on a lot of community projects.  He serves on the Concept Committee to re-build Laurel Lake.

I have had two meetings this weekend with people who would be affected by re-building Laurel Lake.  One was Tom from the Appalachian Bear Rescue (ABR).  They lease over 25 acres of the land on the two parcels that total 144 acres.  ABR takes in injured, malnourished and orphaned bears.  They get them healthy, then release them.  Right now they only have one bear.  Last year they had over 30. 

I also met with a couple of ladies who served on the board of a non-profit organization that owned one of the parcels and had a 100-year lease on the other.  They conveyed the land to the County with deed restrictions that include their oversight in activities that affect the properties.  I don’t think any of us working on this project knew that.  We knew about the deed restrictions but not the oversight. 

I have learned a lot this weekend and will use that knowledge to avoid failure.  It is essential that there is widespread support and we don’t need to make any serious mistakes.  People, Government and organizations have been trying to re-build Laurel Lake for 20 years.  All attempts failed for one reason or another.  I am motivated by “fear of failure”.  Maybe that’s why I’m in charge.  People know that.

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

Byron Begley
September 4, 2012

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