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 cloudy and 50 degrees in Townsend, Tennessee this morning.  Last night when I got home after work, a huge flock of wild turkeys were standing right in front of our house.  It dawned on me that the fall turkey season is open.  But, I was not sure if our County is legal for Fall hunting.  So, I decided not to walk down the driveway and shoot one.  Fresh wild turkey would make for some good meals.  Instead of looking up the rules, I opted to stay in the house.  I think the idea of cleaning a turkey last night might have swayed my decision.

Little River is flowing low but it is not dropping much at all despite the fact that we’ve had almost no rain in a few days.  Currently, flow is 72 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.48 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 85 cfs.  The water temperature at 7:48 am is 48 degrees.

Fishing is fair depending on where you go and your skills as a low water angler.  Trout will be found in the riffles, deep runs or near cover.  They are hiding.  You need to hide too.  Wear camo or something close to it.  Stay low.  Make short casts so you can get a good drift.  Dry flies may be working.  A warm front has moved in.  There could be some terrestrials on the water if they didn’t freeze night before last.  You might try a beetle, Parachute Adams, Orange Stimulator, Girdle Bug, Copper John, Tellico Nymph or Prince Nymph. 

I would fish a smaller stream unless my sights were set on a large brown trout.  You should not have any trouble catching trout on a small stream right now.  The fish are concentrated and competing for food.

Fishing will certainly improve next week everywhere.  We are going to have some warm temperatures and some cloudy days next week unless the forecast changes.  Expect highs in the 70’s and lows in the 50’s beginning Tuesday.  Today is going to be beautiful in the Smokies.  The high temperature in the valley should be around 68 degrees.

A bunch of guides have been in here lately.  They are buying fly tying materials.  Rocky Cox was in yesterday.  I really like Rocky.  He has been guiding full time since 2000.  He specializes in drift boat trips on all the tailwaters near here and even ventures to the Caney Fork and Cumberland River occasionally.  I bet he would call the Hiwassee his home river.  He has had a very busy year and the Hiwassee has been fishing well. He takes good care of his clients and does a great job.

You can visit Rocky’s website by CLICKING HERE.

We are hoping to move into our new 700 square foot fly tying department in a few days.  I have been busy ordering materials and looking for new things to sell.

One thing I plan to do is check the customer records for each guide who shops here and determine what they are buying.  I want to make sure we don’t run out of their favorite materials.  I will not share that information with anyone so don’t worry guys.  This will be between you and me. 

Our store specializes in trout and trout flies.  We like selling and using tackle for other species but make no mistake about it, we are a trout store.

One of the most important items for tying trout flies is beads for tying bead head flies.  I did some research in our data base yesterday to pick out our best sellers so I can stock heavier on those.  The results were interesting.  I took an average of 3 years.

The best selling bead is the Copper Tungsten 7/64th.  All beads that size sell best.  It is the most popular size in most colors including the brass beads.  5/64th” beads are popular too.  3/32” is up there fairly high.  This is exciting stuff, huh?

Looking up beads that sell well is probably not the most interesting part of my job.  Believe it or not, I don’t just stand around and talk about fishing all day.  Today will be extremely exciting.  I get to do payroll and pay the bills.

I was talking to a friend of mine yesterday who is planning to retire soon.  He works for the government.  He told me that after 32 years, he has had enough.  I told him that I have owned a business for over 40 years and I’m just as excited about work today as I was in my early 20’s.  I love work.  I work 60 to 70 hours per week.  It’s no big deal to me.  That is what I like to do.

We decided, one difference is, I don’t have anyone telling me what to do. On the other hand, when things go wrong, I have nobody to blame but myself.  A business has to be constantly re-invented to be successful so you always have to be willing to change.  You have to be willing to try new things.  If they fail, you try something else.  There is always a challenge facing you every day. 

Boredom would be my downfall.  If I retired I would be bored to death. It is hard to be bored when you run a business.  Your thoughts and planning must always be focused on improvement.

You know what?  Writing this report is one of my favorite times of the work day.  I get in here at least an hour before anyone else shows up.  I gather information and try to think of things to write.  This essay is never planned until I walk in the door each morning.  I spend about an hour and a half on this project each day. 

What makes this worthwhile is you.  Without you, I would have stopped doing this a long time ago.  This report has been updated every day for 5 years except on holidays.  When I get a day off Daniel does it.  I can’t believe how many people mention this report when they are in the shop. 

I really appreciate you.  Thank you for clicking on this page.  Thanks for making me happy.  Thank you for supporting Little River Outfitters and all of us here.  We are a great team. I can sincerely say, we all care about taking good care of you.  When the customer is happy, we are happy.

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

Byron Begley
October 27, 2013

Respond to: byron@littleriveroutfitters.com


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