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 really looks like Fall this morning.  The trees shed a lot of leaves last night.  Thunderstorms arrived late yesterday afternoon.  I heard a click, then thunder immediately.  Lightning hit somewhere near the store.  I looked out side and debris was circling like tiny tornados.  I’ve never seen anything like that.  The power of that lightning bolt must have caused it.

Rain and thunder kept me up much of the night.  I expected to see flooding in town.  To my surprise, Little River is flowing at 167 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.78 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 70 cfs.  I thought it would be much worse.  The water at 8:00 am was clear.  I didn’t expect that either.  The water temperature is 57.5 degrees.

We don’t know what is coming down from the mountains.  It could be high stained water.  Or, maybe nothing will happen. 

More rain will come.  We have an 80% chance today, 60% tonight, 30% Wednesday and more expected Friday and Saturday.

I don’t have any idea what fishing will be like in the Park today.  It could be good or bad.  We’ll know more in an hour or two.  I do know the water temperature is good, actually perfect in the lower elevations.  It’s the flow we don’t know. 

If you go, use nymphs.  Be careful.  Water could come up quickly.  You could get into trouble.  Or, everything may be fine.

If we have decent business at the shop today, our sales will be up 50% over this same week last year.  If we have a very good day, it could be up 60% to 70%.  Business is good but not that good.  Remember last year?  The U.S. Government shut down the National Parks on October 1st.  I think I remember they were closed until the 16th. 

I did read some of the quotes I made in last year’s fishing report this week.  You can do the same using the archive selection below.  The reports go back to 2007.  It was not a pretty sight around here.  All the business people in town were pondering their fate.  For many, October is the best business month of the year. 

Michael Talley and I drove to the Park entrance that day.  He is our Mayor.  We talked to a ranger, trying to determine if people could walk into the Park.  Information was sketchy.  We were about to walk away and I mentioned to the Ranger that Mike is Townsend’s Mayor.  All of a sudden, he wanted us to talk to his boss. We did but didn’t learn much.  They told us all they knew.  They didn’t know much either.  I felt bad for them.  They were trying to make a terrible situation better.

The way it eventually played out, fly fishermen, tourists and hikers could walk into the Park.  Highway 441 from Gatlinburg to Cherokee remained open.  That was a trying time that none of us want to re-live.

We held a Townsend/Walland Business Alliance Website Committee meeting yesterday.  Mayor Mike Talley (Talley Ho Inn), me, Bob Harris from the Solar Institute and Kathy Janke who owns Gracehill B & B make up the committee. We had some guests give presentations.

We discussed page views.  I don’t look at page views for our website as often as I should.  I look at unique visitors.  I’m looking at our website activity right now.  We have had a little over 11 million page views so far this year.  Our average is 1.113 million page views per month.  That seems high to me but I have no reference for comparison to other sites.  I do know this, each visitor clicks on 10 pages per visit.  I know that is high.

The schedule for Fly Tyers Weekend is almost complete.  I’ll post it soon. 

You will get an e-mail from us today or tomorrow linking you to the web pages devoted to Fly Tyers Weekend.  I’ll design it and Daniel will send it.

UPDATE 10:38 AM - LITTLE RIVER IS RISING QUICKLY. IT IS CURRENTLY FLOWING AT 420 CUBIC FEET PER SECOND (CFS) OR 2.45 FEET ON THE GAUGE. WE DON'T TAKE BEGINNER STUDENTS ON THE STREAM WHEN THE GAUGE IS READING ABOVE 2.5 FEET SO IT'S GETTING CLOSE TO THAT. FLOW HAS NOT APPEARED TO HAVE PEAKED YET. RECORD HIGH FLOW FOR THIS DATE WAS 471 CFS IN 1973. I SEEMS LIKELY TODAY WILL SET A NEW RECORD FOR THIS DATE. GOING FISHING TODAY IS PROBABLY NOT A GOOD IDEA.

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

Byron Begley
October 7, 2014

Respond to: byron@littleriveroutfitters.com


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