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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  The air is so clear I can see more detail in the Smoky Mountains than I’ve seen in a long time.  There is not one cloud in the sky.  It is cool which would account for the clear air.  The temperature is 43 degrees.  The Fall colors are spectacular, especially today. 

Little River is flowing at 87 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 76 cfs.  The water temperature was 53.5 degrees at 7:55 am.

Something to think about happened Sunday.  An isolated storm in the East Prong of the Little River drainage dropped some rain.  I don’t know how much.  The water rose, turned brown and leaves covered the water.  One fisherman told me he almost got stuck on the other side.  The other side means across the stream from the road when we discuss such matters.  Jack was there too.  He saw the fellow.  He described the same conditions.  We didn’t get a drop of rain here. You don’t want to get stuck on the other side.  The man who almost did, used his wading staff to test the river bottom before he took a step.  He could not see the bottom.  The water was getting deeper by the minute.

Fishing is good.  Jack did not see the four brown trout he was looking for due to the turbidity of the water.  He wanted to see if they had begun to spawn.  Some browns are.  Some are not. Jack wasn’t fishing, he was looking.

Trout are taking dry flies and nymphs in the Smokies.  Isonychia dry fly patterns might be a good choice.  Those mayflies have been very active and in several instances I’ve heard about, the trout were slurping them down.  The adult imitation we sell is a Slate Drake.

Terrestrials have also been working.  Beetles and Green Weenies are a good choice.  After the first frost most people put those flies away until next Summer.  Blue Wing Olives might be on the water where you are fishing.  But, I would choose a Elk Caddis, Stimulator or Neversink Caddis to start with, mainly because I can see them and they float well.  Most reasonable nymphs will work.  I had a guy in here buying a lot of Tellico Nymphs yesterday.  He said they worked great for him a few days earlier.  He was fishing the Tellico River not far from here.  What works there usually works here.

Well, Mike and I have been trying to work out a lake trip this week.  We are short handed at the shop and I’m having trouble getting off.  That was finally worked out last night.  I looked at the weather forecast for tomorrow and Friday.  Expect wind gusts between 20 and 30 miles per hour, especially on Friday.  I hate doing a bow spin in whitecaps.  That’s a good way to sink a boat and lose your gear.  We’ll probably fish downstream in Little River for smallmouth bass wearing waders.  Smallmouth bass fishing has been hot lately in the rivers.

I filled out a one-year order for Tiemco and Umpqua hooks yesterday.  I hate doing that.  I have to fill out 12 orders and submit them.  Then, once a month I have to re-submit the orders that reflect exactly what we need.  For our trouble, we get 15% off wholesale. 

Tiemco raised their prices about 18% last year.  I don’t know exactly why.  Someone said Japanese steel prices increased.  The retail prices did not go up for 2013.  They raised the wholesale price a little, but gave us 60 days to pay for them instead of the 15 days we got this year to qualify for the discount.  Paying an invoice in 15 days means we have to move fast to receive the hooks and submit the invoice to payables.  The clock starts ticking when the hooks are shipped to us.  We have to factor in the time it takes for the check to get to Denver. 

I’m surprised the Umpqua hook brand is not selling better than it is.  These are great hooks.  Some customers rave about them and especially the price.  They come in 50 packs at a very reasonable price.  Maybe people think they are 25 packs.  I put the words “50 Pack” on the flip tags.  These hooks are made in Korea, not Japan.  Most fly tying hooks are made in Japan or China.  Mustad hooks have been made in China for a few years.  Most people don’t know that. 

Umpqua has a new kink shank popper hook.  If you compare the price to the Mustads we sell they are about the same, maybe a little less expensive.  I use the Mustad hooks to make my poppers and they are great.  I bought the Umpqua popper hooks too in case you want to try them.

I also bought a few extra sharp and very expensive Tiemco 600 SP hooks in the small sizes, #1 and #2.  You striper anglers will like these. I want to try them out tying Puglisi Threadfin Shad patterns.  This is the hook I usually use for tarpon flies in the 3/0 size.  You have to be careful tying a fly using these hooks.  You can slice your finger or your thread easily.  They are sharp.

Except for the wind tomorrow and Friday and maybe some rain tomorrow, we are going to have a beautiful week.  It is fishing time in East Tennessee.

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

Byron Begley
October 17, 2012

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