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 69 degrees outside.  I am at home and it is early.  The expected rain last night didn’t happen.  Now it is time for some cooler weather, more normal than we’ve had lately.

Little River is flowing at a perfect level, 153 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.72 feet on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 83 cfs.  The water temperature at 7:03 am is 69.1 degrees.

Flow was higher yesterday morning and the water was a little off color in all three prongs.  David Knapp told me the water color was perfect for fishing.  A little turbidity can be an advantage for the angler. 

Over the next 10 days, expect high temperatures in the 70’ s to low 80’s.  Lows will be in the 50’s to low 60’s.  Now that is perfect.  That’s what we’ve been waiting for. 

Fishing has been very good in the higher elevations.  Now, we’ll see improvement in the mid elevations first, then in the streams near the valleys after that.  Today I would fish mid to high.  Use dry flies or nymphs or both in a tandem rig.  Fishing conditions are great and it’s time to go.

Rain is in the forecast this morning but I don’t see it on the radar.  This will most likely be a beautiful weekend.

Our business is up double digits again in September over last year, which tells me, people are fishing more.  People are traveling more.  I heard yesterday, Cades Cove Campground was about 2/3 full.  This is going to be camping weather in the Smokies and in Townsend.  We are seeing quite a bit of traffic in town, even on weekdays.

Organizers and runners are preparing for “The Great Smoky Mountains Half Marathon” to be held on September 20th.  The race will begin in Maryville and finish in Townsend.  Daniel got a call from organizers asking for permission to park spectator’s and runner’s cars in our lot. We can handle about 25 cars while still leaving plenty of parking for our customers.  We have a total of 50 parking places in our lot.

That’s a long race!  I bet it’s at least 15 miles.  I would be running but that $120 entry fee scared me off.  Also, I have not done any jogging since the late 70’s.  It killed me back then.  Need I make up any more excuses?  OK, I have to work that day.

CLICK HERE to read more about the race and enter if you are up to it.

Frank, Mouse and I are e-mailing back and forth every day.  Frank and I have been friends for 57 years.  Mouse and I go back 50 years.  They are hot to buy fishing kayaks.  They both live in Richmond, Kentucky where I grew up with them.

They tested boats at Canoe Kentucky last weekend.  Frank flipped one over and is now thinking about a wider boat.  Mouse turned a rented kayak over a few weeks ago and lost a fly rod.  I think you should choose a kayak that won’t turn over.  Canoe Kentucky sells wide boats that probably won’t turn over.   

Some of these newer, higher end boats have comfortable seats.  The seats are higher too.  And some can be moved from a low to a high position.  I like them.  Paula and I have kayaks that probably would not turn over.  But ours have the older less comfortable seats.  I’m looking to replace those seats before Spring. 

There are some awesome anchor mounts you can buy and attach to your kayak.  They are similar to what you see on drift boats.  Evidently you can jerk your anchor rope and the anchor goes down.  Then, you can pull the rope and the anchor comes back up and locks into the mount.  That would be a huge improvement for our boats.  They cost about $50 each.  We’ll be getting those.

The fishing kayak industry is growing more than about any outdoor sport.  One manufacturer reported mid double digit growth.

We’ve been approached by several fishing kayak manufacturers, who wanted us to become a dealer.  We declined because that does not fit our business model. 

First, I don’t want to be out in the blazing sun trying to install a roof rack.  I did that once, helping a dealer install a roof rack and kayaks on my Suburban.  The temperature was about 100 degrees that day.  I bet he remembers that day too.

Second, I don’t want to watch a customer pull out of our parking lot while I’m wondering if the kayak is going to blow off the vehicle and kill someone. 

And third, we do not charge for ground shipping. 

It’s just not a fit.  We have plenty of fishing kayak dealers around here, in Maryville and in Knoxville.  I think we’ll let them sell the 97 pound kayak and we’ll take care of selling the 2.8 ounce fly rod.

Now that Daniel is in charge, things could change.  He’s a lot younger than me.  I’ll watch all the fun from inside the air-conditioned store and chat with the customer.

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

Byron Begley
September 13, 2014

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