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 6:33 am, raining and 57 degrees in Townsend this morning.  Yesterday was beautiful here, cloudy and warm.  The water temperature in Little River climbed to 50 degrees.  I was off and home.  Fishing had to be good.  I noticed some gold color on the mountains yesterday.  I had the view all day as I was washing and working on our boat.  I couldn’t help but stare at the mountains.  The light was low and the scenery was beautiful. 

As of yesterday morning, measured snow at LeConte Lodge was 8 to 10 inches.  I’m sure it is less now.  They had 22 inches on the ground earlier this week.  Because the trails were covered with snow and ice, the llamas could not bring supplies to the lodge.  A helicopter was used instead.

Operating a lodge at that elevation, with no roads must be a logistical nightmare.  The llama train is much less expensive than using a helicopter.  The chopper is only used for re-supplying when the animals can’t make the trip. 

Little River is rising due to the rain and snow melt.  Flow is currently 265 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.08 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 146 cfs.  The water temperature is 50 degrees this morning.  Both numbers may rise further today. There is a 40% chance for rain today.

After this front passes through, it will be cool and dry over the next few days.  There is no rain in the forecast through Monday.  Highs will be in the 50’s with lows in the 30’s.

Fishing should be fair to good.  If Little River rises to 2.5 feet, wading will be tough in places.  I don’t know yet how the water levels will go, up or down.  I suspect they will go up.  That remains to be seen.

If I were fishing today I would certainly use weighted nymphs.  I would also fish the lower elevations, the Middle and West Prongs of Little River or from Elkmont down to the Sinks.  Trout may take dry flies.  They do when the water temperature is 50 degrees but usually when there is a hatch that attracts the fish to the surface.  You can try either or both.  I would start with nymphs.

Everybody is getting ready for Fly Tyers Weekend.  Wilson, who owns Tremont Lodge called me at home yesterday.  We are both gathering tables for the fly tyers and non-profit exhibitors.  We are using tables from our classroom.  He is bringing some from his photography school.  The lodge has meeting tables but the tops are too thick for tyers using clamp vises.  Through collaboration, we’ll have about 30 tables suitable for fly tying.

Mike and I will measure the event center’s main rooms and create a digital scaled drawing today.  Then, he will decide how to set them up with tables and chairs.  Tomorrow, we’ll do the actual placement of everything.  Mike has a lot of fishing show experience.  He thinks of everything.  I’m thankful he is helping with this. 

Wilson is a fun guy to work with.  We’ve been friends for 8 years.  He lives on a farm in Maryland but has another home here.  One of Wilson’s friends is Dick Cheney.  He said he told Dick about Fly Tyers Weekend a few days ago.  Dick is an avid hunter and fly fisherman, just like Wilson.  They hunt together.  Dick can’t be here so you won’t see him or the Secret Service at the event.  I would not rule out seeing him at a future events.  That would be interesting.

It’s all coming together and we’ll be ready Saturday morning.  The event begins at 9 am.  It is free.  Just show up at the lodge Saturday and Sunday.

It’s daylight and the rain has stopped.  We didn’t get much.

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

Byron Begley
November 6, 2014

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