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.  I’m at home, it is dark outside and the temperature is 52 degrees.  Fall is here, no doubt about that.  Leaves have fallen on many trees around our house.  Now, when I look outside, I see the mountains.  It’s been a while.  Trees hide the mountains here during the Summer.  The peaks re-appear in the Fall.  I planned it that way a long time ago. 

I bought this land in the 80’s while still living in Nashville.  I was single at the time and spent most weekends here, camping on the land.  My remodeling crew from Nashville came over for a week and built the barn.  Those guys included a retired engineer.  They did all the store remodeling I needed in Nashville and the surrounding counties.  That barn became the camping spot.  I spent endless hours trying to decide where to build this house.  It could have been built in the field, back at the creek or on this small hill with the mountain view.  I chose the mountain view over watching and listening to the creek, eventually. 

Little River looks to be in perfect shape for fly fishing.  Flow is on the high side of good.  Some anglers consider what we have today as perfect.  Others may say it is high.  Look at the water temperature, 57 degrees.  That is one degree shy of perfect.  I say that because the spring creek behind our house stays at about 58 degrees year round.  It comes out of the ground at that temperature. Upstream is a former trout farm.  The water is 58 degrees there all year. The trout grew all 12 months in that environment.  In my way of thinking, 58 is ideal.

Brown trout are on the move in the Smokies.  Adults have even been spotted “Pairing Up” as they say here.  It happens every year at about the same time, the second or third week in October.  They are right on time.  I haven’t been up there looking around.  I’m listening to the guides. 

At the flows we have right now, I would use nymphs.  All trout species are going to be very active due to the water temperature, especially in the mid to low elevations.  Dry flies may work fine.  I would start with nymphs.  You should do well this weekend.  There is almost no chance for rain.  Highs will be in the 60’s with lows in the 40’s maybe dropping to the high 30’s tomorrow night.

There will be traffic on the Park roads this weekend, probably very heavy traffic.  After all, this is “Leaf Peeping Season.”  This beautiful weekend will bring the people out.  If you are a hiker or photographer, this is your best time of year.  If you are a fisherman, this is your second best time of the year.  You can’t beat May for fishing. 

I’m going to spend the whole day here working on our online store.  I’ll do the same tomorrow except for a visit to the store to run payroll and pay bills at some point.  Sales taxes are due this weekend.  Paula will do that online. 

Check out Tradd Little’s blog by CLICKING HERE.  Tradd is the 11 year old I met exactly one year ago, yesterday.  Back then he was learning to tie flies.  He was a natural, one like I’ve never seen before.  One year later, his skills have become remarkable.  He has been traveling to fly tying events in the East Untied States, demonstrating his skills and catching huge trout. 

On his website yesterday, he recounted his first visit to Little River Outfitters exactly one year ago.  I remember that day like it was yesterday.  At my age time goes by quickly.  This past year has done that again. 

Tradd will be performing Saturday November 8th here in Townsend at Fly Tyers Weekend.  He will have many visitors.  Check out his website and you will see why so many people are drawn to this young boy.  Look at his flies and check out the trout he has caught during the past year.  You will be truly amazed.  I give a huge amount of credit to his parents.  They are awesome people.  His grandparents are awesome.  I connect with his dad, Rusty, often. I like Rusty and enjoy our personal conversations and e-mail exchanges. We are friends.  

This week was a wake up call for me.  I had an episode with a debilitating condition known as kidney stones.  That was new to me.  It set me back and made me think. 

Of course, being me, my pondering always made me wonder, “What if this happened before or during an important fishing trip?”  Nothing else matters more than that.  I’m seeing a urologist next week and I will be making plans just in case this happens again, especially when I’m going fishing.

So, here is what I’m thinking:

We will buy trip insurance from now on.  The home we rent in Florida has a non-refundable full payment and it is hefty.  The cost of trip insurance runs about 6% of the home rental fee. No brainer there! 

I’m counting on the doctors to provide me with a kit that includes:

Morphine (including everything necessary for giving myself an IV and the instructions to do it).  I wonder if the doctor will have a problem with that.  Morphine got me through the first few hours of this ordeal.

A prescription of Flowmax.  That stuff works.

Pain killers – Oxycodone got me through the second half of the first and the second day.

Laxative – I didn’t know about that until it was too late.  The over the counter stuff works fine, finally.  I haven’t had that problem since 1971.  I remember the time well because that was my first week of basic training in the U.S. Army at Fort Polk, Louisiana.  Those drill instructors scared the heck out of me that first week. Everything shut down! I know, this may be too much information. But, I want you to learn from this.

With the above kit, I can live through a kidney stone attack without ruining my fishing trip.  I might lose one day or maybe two.

I know, I’ll have to go to the local hospital at the fishing destination for the IV and morphine.  I understand that.  But, I’m going to be prepared.  Life is too short to have kidney stones ruin a great fishing trip that has been planned for months. 

We live and we learn.  What a learning experience this week has been for me.

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

Byron Begley
October 18, 2014

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