Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is overcast with the sun poking through in a few spots.  It is a beautiful morning in Townsend.  Most of the clouds now appear to be hovering over the Smoky Mountains.  Townsend is quiet, traffic is light. 

Little River looks very good.  The flow is a lot higher than normal at 230 cubic feet per second.  Median flow for this date is 109 cfs.  That does not mean the water is high, it’s not.  Actually the flow is perfect.  There is a little stain in the water due to a tannic hue brought on by leaves in the water.  But, the river is clearing as those leaves are washed away.

Fishing will be good.  You should see some big fish.  Nymphs would be my choice.  I would start with a Girdle Bug with a Prince Nymph as a dropper.  Both flies would be weighted.  I would probably fish with 10 to 12 pound tippet and have a big net handy.  I planned to go today but my to-do list is long.

We should get some rain today and tonight it’s going to be cold.  That’s OK for the fishing.  I wouldn’t let cold temperatures keep you off the water this weekend.  This is an excellent time to be fishing in the Smokies. We may get some snow in the higher elevations today and tonight.  They say that will happen above 3,000 feet elevation.  Down here precipitation should be rain.

Tomorrow morning at 10:00 am Walter Babb and Caleb Abramson will be tying flies at the shop.  It’s free, just come on by.  They will be tying until 2:00 pm.  Walter has been fly fishing in the Smokies for over 50 years.  He is one of the best trout fishermen I know.  He is also one of the best fly tyers anywhere.  Walter’s advice and stories are something you all will learn from and enjoy even if you don’t tie flies.  Caleb grew up in the Smokies and is a part-time guide.  He is studying to be a fisheries biologist and when he’s not in college he works for the fisheries department at Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  You will also enjoy watching and listening to him.  You can ask all the questions you want.  It will be a great day at the shop.  You might want to squeeze in some fishing too.

On Sunday we are holding our Troutfest Committee meeting at the shop.  We will meet at 2:00.  Without actually counting, our committee has grown to about 18 people.  We are experienced now and Troutfest runs really well.  It is still a lot of work.  The dates are May 13th, 14th and 15th  2011.  Joe Humphreys, Lefty Kreh, Bob Clouser and other professionals will be there to help you and entertain you.  Many other people will be sharing their skills with you.  Troutfest is a event put on by the Little River Chapter of Trout Unlimited but other non-profit organizations and clubs are heavily involved.  This year the Little River Chapter donated $45,000 to the Park Fisheries program.  Part of that was matching funds from Trout Unlimited National. Most of it was earned at Troutfest.

Herb Handly and I began planning for a committee to re-build Laurel Lake.  Laurel Lake was a 50 acre impoundment located just outside town.  Actually I could walk there easily from our house.  It was just a few hundred yards away.  There is an additional tract of land surrounding what was the lake that is around 100 acres I think.  About 20 years ago the dam was purposefully breached and the lake was pretty much drained.  There were worries at the time the dam was not going to stay intact and the cost for upgrades was more than any agency or government was willing to spend.  The old lake bed and property is owned by our county.  Our goal is to develop a plan that is “shovel ready” so when and if funding becomes available, we can get started.  It will be an interesting long-term process and hopefully we can enjoy that lake like many people from our county did before. 

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

Byron Begley
November 5, 2010


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