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P.O. Box 505
Townsend, Tennessee 37882
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Beautiful River in the Great Smoky Mountains

The Fishing Report 03/15/18 Great Smoky Mountains National Park and East Tennessee
Time of Readings 6:03 am Eastern Time Zone : CFS=Cubic Feet Per Second
Fishing Gauge Indicating Fishing is Slow

Water Temperature Little River
Stream Flow
Rainfall 2018 YTD Knoxville Apt
Rainfall Normal YTD Knoxville Apt


39.7 Fahrenheit
2.15 Feet 267 CFS

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Townsend, Tennessee - Fly Fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains, East Tennessee and Western North Carolina

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Welcome to the Fishing Report from Townsend, Tennessee in the Great Smoky Mountains. At 6:03 am, the temperature outside is 26.8 degrees.

Very warm air will move into the Smoky Mountains today. Today’s high temperature is predicted to be in the low 60’s with a low tonight in the 40’s. This weather pattern will continue through the weekend. It will be warmer than was predicted yesterday. Highs will be in the low 60’s tomorrow, followed by temps in the upper 60’s Saturday and Sunday. Lows will fall to the upper 40’s at night. It will be windy in the mountains today.

There is a high chance for rain and thunderstorms Friday night and Saturday. Meteorologists are not predicting heavy rainfall at this time. We all hope that doesn’t happen.

Little River is flowing at 267 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.15 feet on the flow gauge. Median flow for this date is 319 cfs. The water temperature is 39.7 degrees this morning.

I believe fishing will be slow today, at least in the early hours, due to the cold water temperatures. The water will warm today through the weekend. It is hard to say how warm the water temps will be. Fishing will definitely improve as the temperatures climb. I believe we’ll have fair to good fishing this weekend. I’m leaning more toward good, and maybe better than that.

We want to see the water temperatures rise above 50 degrees for good fishing and I think that will happen at some point. If the numbers rise into the upper 50’s, fishing could be excellent.

What bugs will you see on the water? That’s hard to say too. The early Spring hatches began at least 2 weeks ago. There may be a transition to the later Spring hatches, at possibly in the lower elevations. Have some Quill Gordons, Blue Quills and Blue Wing Olives in your box. I would also have a couple of Quill Gordon wet flies.

Of course there is a chance you won’t see much adult insect activity. This is the second round of Spring fishing. Spring is starting over. The insects may be inactive. If they are, use nymphs. If the water is as warm as I think it will be, the trout will be actively feeding on something. Try a Bead Head Pheasant Tail, Prince Nymph or about any reasonable nymph pattern, that looks like food for the wild trout.

I would plan on fishing in the Smokies over the next few days if you can.
Paula and I lost a good friend yesterday. Fly fishermen around the world lost the greatest ever fly fishing icon. Lefty Kreh passed away at the age of 93.

CLICK HERE  to read an article on the New York Times website, that describes Lefty’s life well.

I remember Lefty as a man with an incredible mind. He did not jot down notes when we were together, and he told me he would do something later. He always remembered. I remember Lefty as a man with the best insight into the fly fishing business. That is what we talked about when we shared meals together. He gave Paula and I valuable advice, pertaining to the industry. Lefty was a kind and honorable man. He wanted us to do well in our business.

His sense of humor was always in high gear. He was always pulling tricks and telling jokes. He was usually laughing, unless we were talking about something serious, like business.

Paula and I visited with Lefty and his wife Ev at their home in Maryland years ago. We spent a lot of time in his basement, where he tied flies, photographed flies, and tested fishing knots. Lefty and I shared a common interest in fly photography. I learned much of what I know about fly photography, from Lefty. Ev passed away in 2011. She was a very sweet lady.

Lefty visited our store for special events in the early years. When the Little River Chapter of Trout Unlimited decided to expand Troutfest to a larger event, Lefty was one of the instructors, helping everyone learn to cast a fly rod, better. Our friend, Rick Pope, who founded and owns Temple Fork TFO, paid to have Lefty at Troutfest. Of course, Rick and his crew from TFO were there for Troutfest.

Lefty was a prolific writer. I think he has written over 30 books on the subject of fly fishing. I was searching the internet yesterday, looking for stories about Lefty. I clicked on images. There, near the top of the page, I saw a photo I recognized. Heck, I knew I took the photo. I clicked on that and was directed to one of our old Little River Journals, written in 2009. You can see it by CLICKING HERE. Lefty wrote articles for the Journal, while it was published.

Below are some of many photos we have of Lefty. Paula sent me one yesterday, of Lefty and her, that was taken in 1997. Since digital photograph was not used much back then, I think she either scanned a print, or photographed it with her phone.

Daniel sent me a photo yesterday of a framed note from Lefty, two flies that he tied, and one of his hats he left at our store. Both are hanging in the shop for you to enjoy.

Below those is a photo of Lefty and me, taken in 2006.

I could write for days about Lefty. I tried to call him a few months ago, on behalf of Joe Congleton. Joe was the last person to fish with Joe Brooks in the 70’s. Lefty was involved in a new movie about Joe Brooks. Lefty’s land line had been disconnected. So, I sent him an e-mail. It bounced back. Joe Congleton said the same thing happened to him.

A few days later, someone at Temple Fork sent everyone on Lefty’s e-mail contact list, a letter from Lefty. The words were written by Lefty. Paula and I each got one. I bet it went out to hundreds of people, maybe thousands. It was followed up by another from TFO. I’m sure we’ll get another one today.

Fly fishermen around the world will miss Lefty Kreh. The guys at the shop will miss him. Paula and I miss him. He was a great man, who I am honored to have known. He changed our lives in many ways. Lefty always typed or wrote “All The Best” before his signature on correspondence, either written on paper or e-mail.

All the best to you Lefty. Thank you for sharing your time with us. Thank you for your help. You changed our lives in a good way. We will be forever grateful.

Byron Begley
March 15, 2018

Paula Begley and Lefty Kreh

Lefty Kreh's Cap, a note to Byron and Paula Begley, and two flies tied by Lefty

Byron Begley and Lefty Kreh

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