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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is 5:15 am in Dry Valley.  I’m at home writing this report so I can go fishing this morning.  Right now the temperature is 58 degrees.  Today is going to be beautiful with a high of 79 degrees with light wind out of the south.  A south wind is good.  It’s that east wind that spoils the fishing for some reason.

It will be warm today and tomorrow.  Then it’s going to be very cool starting Saturday.  The weather predictors say that the temperature will drop to 40 Sunday night.  Temperatures will be near freezing in the higher elevations.  We’ll see the water temperature drop in the Smokies streams.

The streams in the Smoky Mountains have plenty of water right now. Flows are very good for fishing. 

The brown trout are all over the place, out in the open.  Their colors are brilliant.  The older males have extended lower jaws.  Shorter days and cool temperatures will drive their urge to spawn.  Some browns have already been spotted building redds.  They will be active this weekend especially when it is cloudy.  Rainbows and brookies will be active too.  Great Fall fly fishing in the Smoky Mountains is upon us right now.  Take advantage of it.

The brook trout are doing the same thing.  They are colored up and spawning or preparing to spawn depending on where you are fishing. 

Dry flies and nymphs will both work well depending on the conditions.  You will find trout scattered compared to the close quarters they shared when the streams were low a few days ago.  You will probably see brown trout in pools. If they are building redds, those will often be in the tails of pools.  They are fun to watch so sit down and enjoy the show.   

Mike Bryant and I are going fishing this morning.  I’m meeting him at the shop at 8:00 am.  We’ll pull the boat over to the lake and spend the day on the water.  From what I’m hearing, the largemouth bass are shallow, hitting poppers and staying active even on sunny days.  Mike and I will be targeting smallmouth bass.  We may need to get our flies deeper.  I bet we’ll be using shad patterns.  They work well in the Fall.

Fall fishing on the lakes is a great experience.  Since I fish on weekdays, there are almost no anglers on the water.  The trees are beginning to change color and reflecting on the smooth water.   

Next week, Randy Brown, the new COO of Cortland Line Company will be here.  Cortland was an employee owned company until recently.  Brian Ward, the longtime CEO is still with the company.  I don’t know Brian well but he has been in our store.

Cortland fell on hard times during the economic turndown.  It is reported that their cash position was a problem.  A group of avid anglers and business managers recently bought Cortland.  Randy is the “New Guy” who was brought in to help.  I think he is a stockholder as well.

I read in a recent industry magazine that most of the employees at the company have been employed there most of their working careers.  We have been a dealer for 18 years.  I am hopeful Cortland can bounce back with new technology and products waving the flag of that great old brand.  I know we will support them as well as we can.  We have all but stopped buying from the company.  I guess that’s one reason the COO is coming to see us.  I wish them well.

I’m pretty sure my first fly line was a Cortland.  My first fly rod outfit was a gift on my 11th birthday.  Back then, in1962, Cortland was about the only maker of fly lines I knew about. I bought Cortland fly lines for years.  I was a loyal customer.  Lately I’ve been using Orvis, Scientific Anglers and Rio fly lines.  I have not bought a new Cortland line in years.  Maybe it is time to give them a try again.  I’ve got a good feeling about this “New Cortland”.

I’m off. Have a great day and thank you for being here with us.

Byron Begley
October 4, 2012

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