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 is fairly warm outside this morning, 52 degrees.  It is Sunday at 5:55 am.  I’m at home now writing this report.  Today is bookkeeping day at the shop for me.

Visitors are loving the Park this weekend.  The Park Service is saying it takes 2 to 3 hours to drive around the Cades Cove Loop Road.  They also report that a patient will be airlifted of one of the mountains this morning.  I don’t know why or where.  Bear jams slow the traffic.  People are looking at the pretty fall colors and there have been automobile accidents as a result.  They also report that the colors are almost gone in the high elevations.  Soon, leaf peeping season will be over.  Here in the valley it is still beautiful.

Little River is still flowing above normal at 142 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.69 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 82 cfs.  The water temperature at 5:55 am is 53 degrees.

Median flow is rising.  Just a week or so ago it was in the 70’s.  It is about this time, most years, it gets wetter in the Smokies.  It looks like we’ll get some rain Tuesday night and Wednesday.  It is going to be warm and sunny through Tuesday with highs in the 70’s to 80 degrees and lows in the high 40’s to low 50’s. 

Fly fishing is very good right now.  Brown trout are actively preparing to spawn.  Brook trout are colored up for the spawn. Rainbows are feeding well.  The water levels are very good.  The water temperature rose 3 degrees yesterday and peaked after midnight at 53 degrees.

I would fish nymphs or dry flies.  In the lower elevations you might use some terrestrial patterns.  Beetles and especially yellow jackets are active.  Watch out for yellow jacket nests.

Most reasonable nymph patterns will work.  I like a Pheasant Tail, Tellico, Hare’s Ear, Copper John and others.  Dry fly patterns should include an Orange or Yellow Stimulator.  Those are great searching patterns right now.  A Yellow Neversink Caddis will work.  Black beetle patterns with a bright color on top so you can see it would be another good choice.

The time changes next weekend.  I personally hate that.  It’s dark when I leave the shop.  I’ll start carrying a handgun again due to that.  I don’t like carrying a handgun.  It is only with me going to and leaving the shop.  We don’t have a crime problem in Townsend.  I’ve never heard of an armed robbery.  I just hate locking up and leaving the shop when it is dark.  I feel vulnerable.  That probably comes from living in a city long ago.

Fly Tyers Weekend is coming up soon, in less than two weeks.  The dates are November 8th and 9th. 

The more I think about it, the more excited I get.  I have never attended a larger fly tying event.  I plan to be at the lodge the whole weekend.  I’ll be the guy with the camera and flash unit. 

This event has been marketed in many ways.  TU Chapters mention it in their newsletters.  Our Tourism Authority is getting the word out.  They are asking WBIR TV to come and do a story.  Of course, it’s been on our website for months.  We’ve sent thousands of e-mails and we are going to do it again.  If we don’t get a great turnout, I’ll be surprised.

Right at 40 fly tyers and fly fishermen will be demonstrating and talking to attendees throughout the two day event.  I think the most we will have demonstrating at one time is 23 which is Saturday afternoon.  I think we have 3 Trount Unlimited Chapters who will be represented and have their own large table.  Project Healing Waters will have a table.  Casting for Recovery will be there.  Lots of Fly Fishing Federation members will be demonstrating. 

I’m hoping for a minimum of 300 attendees per day.  We are prepared for more.  Tremont Lodge is arranging for off premises parking (not far away) and golf carts to shuttle attendees to and from.  The Event Center is large.  It has 4,000 square feet of display space.  If this event continues and grows, we have an additional building we can use.  It looks to be about 3,000 square feet but I haven’t measured that one.  It is a large round log structure and it is beautiful.  The building we are using this year has been completely remodeled.  It was finished last week.   

There is one thing I didn’t think of but it was brought to my attention weeks ago. The people who are demonstrating, would enjoy the event even if it did not draw huge crowds.  They will enjoy each other.

I just hope you all show up.  It is free, Townsend is a great place to be in early November and I guarantee you will have fun and learn lots of fly fishing tricks including new places to fish in the Southeast United States. 

Watching and talking to Scott Sanchez will be a great experience.  Scott guides and runs a fly shop in Jackson, Wyoming.  He has written three books about flies and tying them.  Scott is a nice guy and you can tell, he loves fly fishing about as much as anyone you have met. 

I first met him several years ago.  Our conversation never veered away from fly fishing. Scott runs Jack Dennis’ fly shop in Jackson called JD High Country Outfitters. CLICK HERE to visit their website.  I’m looking at their site now.  Today’s high will be 49 and the low will be 27 with a chance for rain or snow.

CLICK HERE to visit their Staff Page.  There’s Scott. I don’t think Jack Dennis owns the shop now.  I remember meeting Jack and I think we are about the same age.  He’s probably fishing more and working less.  He’s probably a lot smarter than me. 

So, have a great Sunday.  Get out on your favorite stream and enjoy this beautiful day.

Thank you for being here with us.

Byron Begley
October 26, 2014 

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