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 early as heck, 4:46 am.  It is cool outside too, 52 degrees.  Finally, the official Fall season began yesterday and it sure does feel like it.

High temperatures will be in the 70’s this week.  Lows will be in the 50’s in the valley.  That is what the National Weather Service predicts.  The Weather Channel thinks it will be warmer.  They agree on one thing, it’s not going to rain this week.

Little River is flowing at 83 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.45 feet on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 76 cfs.  The water temperature is 61.2 degrees.

Fishing is very good in the Smokies.  Trout are taking dry flies and sub-surface flies.  Yellow Neversink Caddis is king of the dry flies right now.  The Green or Pink Weenie take highest honors for a sub-surface fly.  Drop the Weenie off the Neversink.

Water levels will drop this week to normal or maybe below.  Scattered thunderstorms have popped up in the mountains this month and maintained the flows mostly above normal.  But, if you look at the rainfall number at the Knoxville Airport, September has been very dry.  There, rainfall is reported to be .18 inches this month.  Normal is 2.36 inches for the same period.  Rainfall this year, reported at the airport, is 6.52 inches below normal.

You can’t believe the “weather man” when you live in the Smoky Mountains.  This is a rain forest, a “temperate rainforest”.  Temperate rain forests are rare in the world.  One of the definitions is a total rainfall over 55 inches per year.  The other component in the definition is, “mean annual temperature between 39 and 54 degrees.

You will find that along the Pacific coast from Southeast Alaska south to Central California.  And, there is one more temperate rain forest in the US, a narrow slither, the one here in the Southern Appalachians from North Georgia up the spine to New England.

So, even though the weather forecast predicts no rain this week, take a rain jacket when you go fishing just in case.

I’m going fishing tomorrow with Frank.  We are taking the kayaks to the tailwater on the Little Tennessee River below Chilhowee Dam.  If the are generating while we are there, the water will be cold.  I told Frank yesterday, “Make sure you don’t turn over”. 

I don’t know what we’ll catch or if we will catch anything.  There are rainbow trout, stripers, smallmouth bass and walleye in the main river.  Largemouth bass, bluegill and carp will be in the creeks.  I don’t care what we catch.  I just don’t want to turn over.

We will be fly fishing so the odds of catching a walleye are slim. 

Business is good at the shop.  I’m working on the new online store at home. 

“I’m betting the successful future of a small business depends on its willingness and ability to adapt.” 

Of course that is nothing new.  It’s been that way for me for over 40 years.  I’m used to it. 

I believe mail order will continue to grow.  I think retail sales in brick and mortar only stores will not grow.  We hired some e-commerce consultants a few months ago.  We bought new software.  I learned how to use the software.  And I am working on this project full time.  We hope to launch by January 2015.

Shippers UPS and FedX are planning to change the way they charge, or so I’ve heard. Daniel knows all the details. Shipping companies know mail order will continue to grow. I don’t know the details but from what I understand, they are trying to get companies like us to ship in smaller boxes. Size will be more important than weight.  In the future, when we pack to ship, we’ll need to make sure there is no dead air in the box.  It should be packed well.  We don’t charge for ground shipping.  We need to keep an eye on this coming trend. 

Look who went public a few days ago.  It is a Chinese owned mail order company named Alibaba.  They chose the New York Stock Exchange for their IPO. It may be one of the largest initial public offerings ever.  It’s not Chinese owned anymore.  I bet you and I own shares in our mutual funds and don’t even know it. Everyone is betting mail order is going to grow.

Fall fly fishing in the Smoky Mountains has begun officially.  What a great time of year it is.  Cold mornings and comfortable days are in store for us.  Fall colors are coming on already.  I’m seeing a few yellow leaves.  The brown and brook trout are colored up for the spawn.  The males will be fighting soon, hopefully over your fly too. 

Before long, we’ll see snow on the peaks.  The temperature was 37 degrees at LeConte Lodge yesterday morning.  It is most likely colder than that this morning.

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

Byron Begley
September 23, 2014

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