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 56 degrees and we have some light rain falling in Townsend, Tennessee.  I left home at 7:35 am this morning.  It was dark out there!  Traffic was very light on the streets.  I’ve never seen it like this in October.

We had .60 inches in our rain gauge.  Little River is flowing higher than yesterday at 156 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.83 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 70 cfs.  The water temperature at 7:40 am is 60 degrees.  I could not tell if the water was stained earlier because it was too dark outside.  I bet the water is clear.

Fishing is good in the Smokies for those who dare to slip in.  I saw some great pictures on our message board of some guys who did just that.  They kind of make me want to slip in myself.  I better not.

Fall weather is upon us right now.  Low temperatures in the valley will dip into the 40’s almost every night for the next 10 days.  Rivers and lakes are going to cool off.  Fishing is going to be great.

TVA will be cranking the generators at our closest tailwaters today.  They say Cherokee Dam will be off this morning so maybe you can develop a fishing strategy there.  Check the TVA website before you go.

The lakes will be cooling down and fishing will improve.  Getting to the Little Tennessee River is not easy for us right now since the Foothills Parkway is closed.  We might be tempted to spend an extra hour driving each way and go fishing there this week anyway. 

I know most of you are stream anglers.  You have plenty of opportunities in the National Forests.  They are open from what I can tell.  I like North River in the Cherokee National Forest (CNF).  That is a great stream.  It is beautiful and access is good.  There are lots of wonderful trout streams in the CNF. 

I used to fish there often 25 to 30 years ago.  After moving to Townsend over 20 years ago, I have only returned to the CNF to fish with Walter Babb a few times.  I have been on a couple of hunting trips there during the past few years as well.  I always marvel at the beauty of Tellico River. To me, Tellico River is only rivaled by Little River from a aesthetic perspective.  They are both pretty but in a different way.  They don’t look alike at all.

The leaves are changing.  This is the time to be in (or near) the Smokies.  We don’t have the crowds this year.  You can probably make a reservation easily at the last minute.  The “Peaceful Side of the Smokies” is very peaceful.  I noticed some cars in the motel parking lots on my way to work this morning.  That is a very good sign.

The shop remodeling project is going very well.  It may look disorganized to you but to us it looks like progress.  Of course, we know what it’s going to look like when completed.  We are all excited about it.  I am going to try to stain some new cabinets this afternoon.  We are also replacing much of our lighting with equipment and bulbs that are more energy efficient.  We can give you more light at a lower cost. 

I plan to concentrate my efforts on three things from this day forward through the Fall season:  Fishing with Paula, Tying Flies and Little River Outfitters.  What I’m not going to do is watch the news on television or on the web.  I am over it.  It’s too depressing.  There is absolutely nothing I can do about it.  So, why fret over it?

I will follow the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Twitter tweets.  I want to know what is going on with the people who are still working there.  Somebody in the Park is tweeting.  I know nothing about tweeting and I don’t tweet. But I want to know what those folks and friends are going through.  One of their problems, other than working without a paycheck, is vandalism.  People are actually defacing our Park and I am angry. I don’t get angry often.  Only lately have I been angry.

I know, it’s your Park too.  I’m sure you share my emotional ties to this place.  I don’t know what specifically happened.  Tweets are not very detailed.  All I know is, there has been vandalism and I read it on Twitter.

So, I am going to spend my time tying flies, fishing and working on our website.  I’ll work on the shop remodel too but the other folks who work with me will handle most of that.  I’ll do some staining and painting.  I will assemble and hang light fixtures.  Bill will do the woodworking.  Daniel will move things around, screw and unscrew, and make sure the plan is followed.  The other Bill will handle customers and move things around.  Alex, Glenn and Paul will take care of customers.  Chuck will handle customer’s needs and teach fly fishing.  Walter, Josh and Rob will teach fly fishing.  Brian and Walter will start the fly tying classes in November.

As a team, we will take care of you and make your visit to our store in person, by phone or on the web a pleasant experience. 

I’m not even going to mention or think about what’s going on in Washington.  That’s it.  I’ve said it.  I mean it.  I feel better for it.  You should try this!

UPDATE: 1:24 PM - Rangers at the Townsend entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park are allowing pedestrians to enter. Doug and I just drove to the Townsend entrance and talked to Rangers there. They are letting people walk in. You can walk in to go fishing during legal hours. You can't drive a vehicle or bicycle. I asked about riding a bicycle through a non-guarded entrance. I did not get a specific answer.

The Rangers said I should warn you, "you are on your own". Don't get lost or hurt.

Parking was not an issue when we were there. I guess at some point, especially on weekends, it will be. I would think Metcalf Bottoms would be a good entry point for anglers though the parking could be a problem.

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

Byron Begley
October 7, 2013

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