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

Welcome to the Fishing Report from Townsend, Tennessee in the Great Smoky Mountains.  At 5:58 am, it is raining and the temperature is 58.5 degrees. Weather predictions indicate rain will remain in our area through Wednesday.  High temperatures will be in the 60’s to 70’s with lows in the 50’s through the period. There is no mention of heavy rain in the forecast, just showers.

Little River is flowing at 76 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.32 feet on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 82 cfs.  The water temperature is 58.1 degrees this morning.

Fishing is good in the Smokies.  The conditions are excellent. Yesterday was a beautiful cloudy day. We fishermen love cloudy days.

Fishermen are catching trout on dry flies.  Stuart said he caught several on an Orange Neversink Caddis. Orange is a great color to use in the Fall. I haven’t seen huge hatches, but we do have October Caddis in the Smokies. The are large and orange, sometimes reaching size #10.  There are many October Caddis patterns.  Roger Lowe has an excellent version he came up with. I always used an orange Stimulator.  They work too. And evidently, the Orange Neversink Caddis works as well.

This seems like a nymphing week to me with the expected rain and cooler temperatures. I think this will be a perfect fishing week in the mountains.       

The campers were heading home yesterday. You can always tell it’s Sunday.  The travel trailers and motor homes are headed out of town toward Maryville.  It’s the opposite on Friday of course.  They are all coming in from that direction. With tourism at it’s peak, it’s hard to tell what day it is.  Monday’s are usually peaceful and quiet with no traffic. I doubt it will be that way today.

The Park Service is reporting visitation numbers for October will likely be higher than any October in 15 years.  According to the WBIR website, “Last October had the highest visitation since the year 2000”.  “This year there is a 5.5% boost in tourism even from 2014.  You can read the article on their website by CLCIKING HERE.

We all know what is coming, Winter.  I was not a big fan of Winter before moving here. I lived in a large city running a large business with stores spread out all over.  Winter weather was a huge inconvenience.  Now that my priorities have changed, and living in the mountains, Winter is a great season.  I love it.  I even like snow and I never thought I would say that. 

Our home is at 1,200 feet elevation.  The view of Scott Mountain from our home peaks at 3,200 feet elevation.  So, it often snows up there, when it is raining down here.  Many mornings, when dawn comes and the fog lifts, we see that white mountain. Sometimes it is a surprise. It’s always a pleasant surprise. When the air is cold, the air is clear.  The mountains seem to be larger and closer during the Winter months.

We don’t have many tourists during the Winter, except on holidays.  So, pretty much, everyone your see, you know or sort of know.  They say the population in our large valley is about 2,000 people. We are spread out.  We have vast amounts of uninhabited land in Tuckaleechee Cove.  Here, the wild turkeys outnumber the people.  I wanted to live this way most of my life.  I have for about 1/3 of my life and there is more to go. 

To many of us, it is a blessing we have a fly shop in town.  I bought a spool of thread while I was there today.  I would have bought more but I forgot my checkbook. Today is the day I do payroll, so I’ll take my checkbook then.  It is convenient for me, that I have a key and a security code to the fly shop.  If I’m desperate, I can go in at night and pick up a fly tying item.  I haven’t done it often, but the option is there if needed.  

Daniel has a special order of fly tying materials at the shop for me.  It includes 500 Gamakatsu bass stinger hooks and 2,000 XL black mono eyes to tie Knuckleheads.  He usually orders a 500 pack of mono eyes for me.  We got nervous when Wapsi ran out recently.  So, he ordered 2,000 when they were back in stock, to get me through the Winter and beyond, just in case.              

A shipment of new Korkers wading boots should arrive this week.  We got out of the Korkers business for a while.  Now, we’re back in.  They make great wading boots and you can’t beat the convenience of switching out soles from felt to rubber.  Dan has been testing a pair of a new model and he loves them.

Chota has two new wading boots or shoes coming out this Winter.  One is a wading boot that sells for $80 and it looks very durable.  That boot is going to sell like crazy.  The other is a wet wading shoe.  It looks like a winner too.

I saw a lot of people shopping in the fly tying department yesterday.  That is a sign that Winter is approaching.  Fly fishermen start thinking about fly tying.  Winter is preparation time.  One shopper was a 14 year old boy from Missouri, near St. Louis.  This young fellow will be tying at the Sowbug Roundup in Mountain Home, Arkansas in March.

My buddy Doug, who lives near us, was shopping for materials.  He said he had gone through his fly boxes and decided what needed to be tied this Winter.  Doug lives up in the mountains, and he often gets snowbound during the Winter.  Like me, he works from home.  Without power and a computer, he’s out of business. They have power outages up there.  We hardly ever have one down here.

In a couple of weeks, everything will change in Townsend.  It will be quiet.  We’ll just see people we know, especially during the week.  Fishing often remains good through November.  I’m hoping this is one of those years.

Don’t forget, Fly Tyers Weekend will be held here November 7th and 8th.

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

Byron Begley
October 26, 2015

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