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

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Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is partly cloudy and clear, finally.  The temperature at 7:35 am was 49 degrees.  I’m looking out my office window and it really is clear.  Yesterday was different.  A haze obscured the mountains in every direction.  Paula and I noticed it when we were eating lunch in her office.  I thought it was just another forest fire like we have had in previous dry years.  This year has not been dry.  And, we couldn’t smell smoke.  The haze was brown. 

It was very windy all day yesterday.  When that happens, the air is usually clear.  Not this time.  The haze turned out to be dust that originated in a dust storm in Oklahoma.  That dust blew in here and caused much concern.  See the story on the WBIR Website by CLICKING HERE.  As predicted, the haze or dust would fall to the ground last night.  It did and the air is clear today.

Fishing should be fine but I did not talk to any returning anglers yesterday.  The water levels are right at normal.  Little River is flowing at 75 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 76 cfs.  The water temperature at 7:40 am was 54.5 degrees.

Fishermen are catching trout in the Smokies on dry flies.  Terrestrials like a foam beetle have been working.  The Neversink Caddis has been good.  Elk Hair  Caddis and small Stimulators are producing.  One fisherman told me yesterday he’s been using a Parachute Adams and doing very well this week.  Nymphs will work as well and the Green Weenie is still catching trout in the Smoky Mountains.

The lowland rivers are low so smallmouth bass fishing is best in the deeper pools.  They are definitely not in the shallow water.  My plan is to fish the lakes next week for smallies.  We’ll see what happens there.

I got an e-mail from Charles yesterday.  He has been doing fairly well on the Caney Fork.  I miss fishing the Caney.  I used to fish there about every weekend when I lived in Nashville.  That was in the late 70’s and early 80’s.  Later, I started driving over to the Smokies to fly fish in the mid-80’s and drove past the Caney Fork. I decided to move here around 1990 and this is now my home and I am grateful every day to be living here.

I will be meeting with our director of tourism next week.  She is fairly new to Blount County.  Her name is Tami Vater and she moved here from Versailles, Kentucky to take this job.  Tourism makes up a large part of our economy including revenue from taxes and jobs created because people like to visit here.  Businesses survive because of tourism. 

We have a great website that touts our area.  There are some points missing that we will discuss next week.  The reason they are missing is because money has not been budgeted and the marketing plan has overlooked some essential activities that could improve tourism.  You can visit the website by CLICKING HERE. It is called the Townsend Vacation Guide. It is beautiful and very well done by our advertising agency.

If you click the “DO” button, then the “Activities” button, you will find the category “Fishing”.  The category contains about 40 words and a link to our website.  I am thankful for that.  The content describes fishing the streams in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  I know it will cost money to expand this category but I think it’s worth it.  There are so many fishing opportunities, (not just fly fishing) in our area.  Think about it, we have several large rivers in the area.  There is the Little River of course.  The Holston and French Broad form the Tennessee River.  We have the Little Tennessee River bordering our County.

There are lakes, lots of lakes within a half hour to one hour drive from here.  Think about all those conventional tackle anglers who would be willing to visit here if they knew about those lakes.  They could bring their bass boat and spend many vacations here but never see most of the impounded water.  We live in a fishing paradise.

Fort Loudoun and Tellico Lake are very close.  There are Douglas, Cherokee, Norris, Watts Bar and Melton Hill lakes nearby.  There are smaller impoundments and don’t forget the tailwaters.  These lakes and rivers offer great fishing for many species including trout in some of them.  Additionally there are smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, stripers, shellcrackers and even Musky. 

The lakes are what I would focus the marketing efforts on in the fishing category.  They appeal to more fishermen.  Most anglers don’t fly fish and most won’t.  I’m talking about targeting the casual angler who owns a boat and uses a spinning outfit or bait caster.  I just think we are missing an opportunity.

In addition to fishing and boating, I think we need to expand our marketing of restaurants, golf, sporting clays and skeet, museums, historical sites, shopping, arts and crafts and everything else this County has to offer the visitor.

This is going to be a beautiful weekend with clear views of the Great Smoky Mountains and the colorful trees.  I’m looking out there now and the view is awesome.

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

Byron Begley
October 20, 2012 


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