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.  Wow, what a nice morning in Townsend, Tennessee.  The sun is shining, the air is clear, and it is a comfortable 45 degrees outside.  The leaves in the valley are at peak, it is beautiful here.

Visitors have flocked to the Smokies in what appears to be very high numbers.  Everyone I talk to in the tourism business has their thumb pointing up and a smile on their face.  Business is good, very good.

There is no mention of rain in the forecast for a few days.  It looks like Fall but it won’t feel like Fall.  We’ll have low temperatures in the 50’s and highs in the mid to high 70’s through Friday.  This is going to be a fishing week.  It may not be much of a hunting week.  One of my best friends in the world, Wayne is coming to Townsend tomorrow.  We plan to spend two days in the boat on a couple of different lakes fishing for smallmouth bass, if we can find them.  I’m pumped!  If fishing is slow it won’t matter.  We will have a great time.

Little River is flowing at 70 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 75 cfs.  The water temperature at 8:00 am was 52.8 degrees.  So, flow is about normal and the water temperature is very good. 

Normal flow in October is low so don’t expect what you would see in the Spring.  Most important, for fly fishing in the Smokies right now, is stealth.  Blend in. You may see brown trout in the tails of the pools preparing to spawn or actually spawning.  They probably saw you get out of the truck and pull out your fly rod. 

I would concentrate my time and pleasure on the faster water.  Your presence is more concealed with choppy water flowing over the trout.  The trout feel safer too.  They will be hiding in the riffles and runs. 

With the warm temperatures and in most cases we have not had a freeze in the lower elevations, I would tie on a black foam beetle and try that first.  If that didn’t work, I would pinch a piece of split shot above a Green Weenie.  Or, you could drop a Green Weenie or most any other nymph for that matter off a dry fly.  The trout are going to be active for days.  Just make sure you get a good drift and don’t let them see you or your fly line.  Just show them a fly, nothing else.

I talked to my buddy Brad yesterday.  He lives in Chattanooga.  We talked about bass and bluegill fishing with a fly rod.  Brad still loves to wade in streams and fly fish for trout.  But, he also enjoys warmwater fishing out of a boat.   I’ve moved over to the more comfortable side of fly fishing.  At 61 years old, I think more about comfort and less about rock hopping.  Also, when I do wade like I did last week, I use a wading staff.  Brad and I discussed family, Yellowstone, the Smokies, politics, church and comfortable boat seats. One of the most important benefits of being in this business is talking to people like Brad.

I also talked to an angler yesterday from Ontario.  He is here to fish for smallmouth bass.  He and Josh Pfeiffer will be floating one of the rivers this week.  And this fellow will be poking around the rivers dropping a bass fly in likely spots.  He is a smallmouth bass fisherman.  You should have seen his collection of flies.  They were awesome.

I am folding t-shirts like a madman.  350 of them came in Friday.  Our printer put the wrong image on the back of 149 shirts.  So, we’ve got plenty of Brown Trout T’s and we’re short on Brook Trout Restoration T’s.  I’ll order more today and have them sent to the printer in Nashville to become Restoration T’s.  We did get around 200 of our new Townsend T’s in.  They are available in short sleeve and long sleeve in three different colors.

Paula is writing a holiday food article for a magazine in Canada. So today she is baking a turkey so she can photograph it and I can eat it.  I’m looking forward to a great Christmas meal tonight.  Turkey with all the fixin’s and two days of fishing this week.  Obviously I am happy.

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

Byron Begley
October 22, 2012

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