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 Mountians.  It is sunny, frosty and 31 degrees in Townsend this morning.  Where did Spring go?  OK, the high today should be around 64 degrees.  Tomorrow looks like 66 degrees. 

The USGS Flow Website is up and running again.  Little River is flowing at 937 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 3.27 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 364 cfs.  The water is clear in town but there is plenty of it.  The water temperature at 8:00 am is 44 degrees.

Fishing will be slower today because of high water and cooler temperatures.  Some aquatic insect activity has been apparent on the rivers.  Anglers have seen Blue Quills, Quill Gordons and tiny black stoneflies on the water and rocks.  I have not heard of any surface activity from the trout but that doesn’t mean it has not happened. 

You may encounter some decent fishing today if you can find streams that don’t have heavy flow.  You may do well in streams with high water but be careful wading.  The current is probably going to be strong in most locations.  I would start with nymphs and get them down.  Tellico, Prince, Hare’s Ear or Pheasant Tails would be my choice.  Later today the water will be warmer, lower and fishing may be better.

Fly fishing for rainbows in Townsend was very good until the water rose.  I have not heard any smallmouth bass fishing reports from friends or customers.

We are going to have some cold nights next week.  I hate to hear that.  There is even a slight chance for snow.  I’m sick of that.

Roger Lowe will be here today.  Roger is an old friend of mine who has been guiding on the North Carolina side of the Smokies for as long as I have been in this business.  We opened in 1994.  He is a talented angler and fly tyer.

He will be here to meet you and discuss fly fishing in the Smokies between 10 am and 2 pm.  If you like fishing here, you should be here today.  He is here as part of our Saturday Free Fly Tying Events.  All you have to do is show up.  It’s free.

Roger is one of the best fly tyers I have ever seen.  He has developed many trout patterns for the Smokies and has even written a book on the subject. 

This will also be an opportunity to meet Roger and book a trip with him.  That would be an exceptional learning experience for you.  Come on by.  You can also register to win a $100 LRO Gift Card.  The winner will be drawn at 2 pm.  I hope you can be here.

I’m planning to have water pump impellers replaced in our boat next week.  The motor is four years old.  Evidently, these rubber impellers harden over time and crumble.  I do the routine maintenance on our motor because the dealer is an hour and fifteen minutes away.  Pulling the lower unit and replacing the impellers is probably not that difficult but I think it is beyond my skills. 

When the lakes warm, and the smallmouth bass move into shallow water to spawn, I want to be ready.  I think we all want to be ready for Spring fishing.  This has been an awful winter in the Easter United States and probably elsewhere.

I re-ordered from most of our fly tying vendors this week.  The way it has been, when an order comes in and gets out on the walls, we are re-ordering again, immediately.  For the last four months, our business is up substantially from last year.  The fly tying department is one of the many that are up. 

Our business has been dropping a little bit, every year since 2008.  Finally, things are turning around.  At first I thought this growth might be a fluke.  It is something we are not used to.  But, it seems to be sustained.  I have owned a business continually since 1973.  These past few years are the toughest I can remember.  It sure is a lot more fun growing again.  I hope it keeps up.

I was talking to a local business owner yesterday.  He remarked that my truck is here every time he drives by.  There is a lot to be said for that.  Hard work pays off.  I shed all of my volunteer duties two years ago and concentrated on this business.  It seems to be working.

I also made a habit of working an extra hour per day starting 2 years ago.  I come to work earlier.  In my case, that is 300 hours per year.  You can get a lot done in 300 hours. Over a period of 2 years that is 600 hours.  Ten years equals 3,000 hours.  I will be 63 years old this summer.  I hope to work here at least 10 more years, God willing.

I could retire tomorrow if I made that decision.  I have no desire to do that.  I enjoy working way too much to give it up.  I’ve always enjoyed working and running a business.  What I would miss most is the human interaction and the challenge.  I don’t think I could do without either. 

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

Byron Begley
February 22, 2014

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