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

Welcome to the Fishing Report from Townsend, Tennessee in the Great Smoky Mountains.  At 5:59 am, the temperature is 65.7 degrees.  We are in for some rain for several days, every day, through Saturday.  The chance for rain ranges from 60% to 80%.  This is the kind of week we’ve been waiting for.

Little River is flowing at 40 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.10 feet on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 92 cfs.  The water temperature is 66.4 degrees this morning.

Yesterday’s forecast called for cloudy skies.  It was sunny most of the day. I talked to several regular Smokies fishermen yesterday.  Most reported fishing was slow.  One guy, who is a very good angler, said he caught 5 brook trout and hard to work hard to get those.  He said he was fishing the same stream a week ago, and probably caught 60.  Some days are just like that.

The brown trout are beginning to show themselves, preparing to spawn.  Some were spotted yesterday, in the 20” to 24” range in the East Prong of Little River.  The predicted rain and cloudy skies will get them going this week.  They probably won’t be spawning, but they will be active.  Jack told me yesterday, the earliest he has ever seen a brown on a nest, in the Smokies was on October 3rd, several years ago.

Fishing in the Park should improve this week.  Clouds and rain will help.  It is going to be cool too, after today.  Expect high temperatures in the 70’s this week and in the 60’s next weekend.

Trees are turning and leaves are falling.  There is no doubt, Fall is here.

Fly Tyers Weekend is coming to Townsend November 7th and 8th.  This year, the Southeastern Council of the International Federation of Fly Fishers (SECFFF) has partnered with us and frankly, they have done all of the planning.  They have done an excellent job.  This event is going to be huge.

Anthony Hipps is lining up the fly tyers.  He will have close to 50 tying demonstrators performing on Saturday and Sunday.  That part of the event is Free.  Just show up any time. 

Saturday night, SEFFF will hold a BBQ fundraiser with raffles and an auction.  Part of that event will be a showing of the IF4 Fly Fishing Film Festival.  Tickets are available in advance at a cost of $15.  You can buy them at the shop, in person, or order them online.

Two fly tying classes will be held by experts Craig Riendeau and Allen McGee.  Craig is a river bass expert.  Allen McGee wrote the book called Tying & Fishing Soft Hackled Nymphs.  There is a fee for these classes.  Space is limited.  You can enroll in these classes online.  Proceeds from this event benefits the Fly Fishing Museum of the Southern Appalachians. 

I’m re-designing the Fly Tyers Weekend web pages now.  I re-designed the home page twice this weekend.  You can see it by CLICKING HERE.  I’ll finish the other pages by tomorrow night. 

You can book a room at Tremont Lodge and Resort.  We have a block of rooms reserved at a 15% discount.  If you wait too long they will probably be gone.  Then you will have to pay the full rate.

You don’t have to be a fly tyer to enjoy and learn at Fly Tyers Weekend.  Many attendees, in the past, are not fly tyers.  The demonstrators are often expert fly fishemen and women.  While they are tying, you can talk to them.  They will explain how and when they use these flies, and why. 

I’m even tying.  Look around the room for the nervous old man.  That will be me.  I’ll be tying Knuckleheads of course.  I haven’t written my biography for the website.  It will probably read something like this: “I’ve been tying flies for over 50 years and I’m still not good at it”. 

We are busy at the shop, very busy.  The guys are shooting for the best September ever.  They may hit it.  I think the best September we’ve had was in 2006. 

Paul told me yesterday, we sold an incredible amount of fishing licenses this weekend.  When that happens in September, you can be sure they were sold to non-resident fishermen. Most people living in Tennessee bought theirs this Spring.

Our fly fishing school has been very busy too.  We’ve had more students this year than I can remember.  I’m almost positive this will be a record year.  It seems, more people are getting into fly fishing, and those who already participate in our sport, are fishing more.

Daniel showed me a new Sage 8-weight saltwater fly rod yesterday.  I didn’t get to cast it. I was busy trying to become friends with a dog, a customer brought into the shop, that doesn’t like men.  I was not successful. The dog is a rescue, that was probably abused.  That little fella just needs time and love.  I could tell, he is going to get both.

Daniel said it casts better than any 8 weight he has seen.  I will say this, it is beautiful.  He told me the rod sells for $850.  Daniel casts every rod we sell.  When he says it casts good, it does. Sage has been our best selling rod brand this year.

You can probably tell, we’ve got a lot going on and we are all very excited.  I’m really happy about the Fall fly fishing we are going to have.  I’m going to be fishing every day for a week, soon.   

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

Byron Begley
September 28, 2015

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