Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is overcast and 41 degrees in Dry Valley Tennessee this morning.  I am off today.  Paula and I live in Dry Valley, 5 minutes from the shop in Townsend.  I was surprised when I woke up and looked out the windows upstairs.  The Smoky Mountains were not white.  We were expecting snow last night.  We may get some this morning but only in the mountains.  The temperature is 41 degrees outside.  The weather folks missed this one. 

Little River is flowing at N/A cubic feet per second.  N/A?  Yep, the flow gauge equipment went on the blink yesterday.  And it is still not working.  The gauge and equipment to transmit the data is located in a small building on the river just inside the entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Townsend entrance.  It is maintained by the U.S. Geological Survey office in Knoxville.  Terry takes care of this site.  I’ll send him an e-mail in a few minutes.  The data is transmitted by satellite.  Usually, when there is an interruption, the transmitter is blocked by leaves on the trees or the equipment needs repair.  That happens maybe once a year.  I get in touch with Terry and he fixes it.  The flow is less than yesterday which was 645 cubic feet per second.  I am estimating the water temperature is 44 to 45 degrees in town.  That is going to be close.

Fishing is going to slow down some in the Smokies for a day or so.  The low temperature tonight is predicted to be 26 degrees in the valley and colder in the mountains.  It is going to warm up the rest of the week.  And rain should move in by the weekend.  The low temperature Thursday night is supposed to be 52 degrees.  High temperatures starting Wednesday should be in the mid to high 60’s.

That will improve the fishing in the Smokies.  It is going to be very good.  Aquatic insects will be very active.  So will the trout.  Little River will warm back up to the low 50’s again by Friday.  Expect to see Quill Gordons, Blue Quills, Caddis, Stoneflies and no telling what else on the water later this week.  You may see them now.  I think I would fish with nymphs early today then switch to dry flies at some point.  The high temperature today is going to be about what it is now.  Big streamers might pay off too.  Be careful wading.  The current is still fairly strong.

According to the KnoxNews Fishing Report web page, the lakes are still low and the surface water temperature is varying between 50 and 55 degrees.  Smallmouth bass are on the rocky shores between 5 and 15 feet deep.  They can be caught on a fly at that depth.  I would fish with a weighted black Wooly Bugger using a 7 Weight Fly Rod and 8 pound test tippet.  I would probably use a floating line but there would be a rod rigged with a sinking line in the boat, just in case.

I was working on our Online Store yesterday like I do every day.  Orvis shipped us a few of the new Clearwater fly rods.  More are on the way.  I set up the photo studio for fly rod photography, which is a chore and the equipment includes a tall commercial grade ladder.  The flash units are raised high and I have to be 4 feet off the ground to look through the camera’s view finder.  The camera is mounted to a massive tripod with a boom attached.  You can see the photos and the rod information by CLICKING HERE.

These rods look great.  I have cast a couple of them.  They are impressive.  The trout rods with a tube sell for $198.  The color is a beautiful olive green.  They look a little like a green Helios.  Actually, according to Orvis, these rods use Helios technology and tapers.  The components are not what you will find on the Helios.  And of course, they are made for Orvis in China.  It is hard to find an American made fly rod for $200.  One exception is the St. Croix Imperial.  St. Croix verified to me that they are made in Wisconsin, not Mexico as I thought.  In a day or so there will be a Orvis Clearwater Rod, Reel, Backing and Line Option on our store for this rod which will include the brand new Orvis Clearwater Reel, all for around $300.  This is a killer $79 reel. 

While re-designing our whole website, I started with the Online Store.  It is a huge job.  Daniel reminded me I left off the Scientific Anglers Textured GPX fly line.  How could that happen?  I took care of that yesterday too.  You can tell, a lot of work goes into designing the graphics for a fly line page.  They are all made in Adobe Photoshop, even the specifications tables.  This was a great selling line for us last year.  It has the slickness similar to the Sharkskin without the noise and rough texture.  A GPX fly line is ½ size larger than what is stated on the box.  It loads fast rods easier.  They cast like a rocket.

I have some really important meetings to attend this week.  Both are government related, one local and the other, local and State. One meeting is at the County Mayor’s office, which works out really well for me.  The license tag on my truck expired at the end of February along with my Fishing and Hunting license.  The latter is more important but so is the truck.  The Mayor’s office is 50 feet from the window where I can renew my tag.  I hope I don’t get caught before then.

Last year I let my drivers license expire for two weeks.  I sent the paperwork in too late.  After I got my new license I told the police in a meeting at City Hall what happened.  They said “We wish we had known that”.  “Too late I said, maybe next time”. OK guys, here’s your chance.  Typing this here may prove to be regretful.  Maybe I can get Paula to switch trucks with me this week.

I was talking to one of my best friends a week ago.  He was lamenting the fact that he had some old gasoline in his boat.  I told him to just pump it into his truck.  He said he was going to pump it into his wife’s truck. Maybe that is why we are such good friends.  We think alike.  He also probably saved my life almost two years ago.  He is a doctor.  He told me on the phone to go directly to the emergency room and he had another doctor and staff there waiting for me. It turned out to be an emergency.  I’m fine now. 

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

Byron Begley
March 5, 2012 

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