Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  Clouds hover over Townsend and the temperature is 55 degrees.  It really feels good outside.  Quite a few cars and trucks moved along our streets.  Some are visitors, others live here.  The beautiful weather has brought out the tourists.  I have talked to lots of people who are camping in one of our riverside campgrounds in town or in those in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. 

Little River is what I would call perfect for anglers right now.  I took the temperature at the swinging bridge like I do every morning.  The water was a little cooler than yesterday morning, 52 degrees.  I explained the effects of water temperature and trout fishing success to a guy who was preparing to fish at the bridge.  He seemed very interested.  Evidently he just moved here and is learning the secrets of the river.  I don’t think he has caught a trout yet.  He had some new waders in his trunk that he bought from us.  I told him to keep trying and he will figure it out. 

Flow is perfect in the river, 370 cubic feet per second.  Some people find that to be high.  But, average for this date based on 45 years of data is 363 cfs.  We are right at normal. 

Fishing has been good but not excellent.  Aquatic insects are hatching and on the surface laying eggs, hovering and eventually dying.  But the trout are not pounding them on the surface like I think they should.  Maybe the full moon is making their feeding opportunities at night more productive.  Ethan and one of his buddies went fishing after work yesterday.  He said the fishing was good but they resorted to nymphing to increase their catch rate.  I would probably use a dry fly, maybe a Quill Gordon, Blue Quill or Parachute Adams.  And, I would probably drop a nymph off the dry.  The dropper could be a wet fly.  If the action on top is slow I would weight a nymph and tickle the steam bed with it.

Josh Pheiffer of Frontier Anglers sent this report to Daniel on Thursday.  “Tim Doyle and I were up there with clients yesterday and we caught fish throughout the day, or I should say we stuck fish, but landed quite a few.  The Quill Gordons were everywhere and there were sheets of #18 tan caddis, with big brown stones mixed in.  So far it has bee the most active day I have seen yet for bugs and fish.”

I talked briefly to Gary Troutman yesterday.  I consider him a smallmouth bass expert.  I’ve learned a lot from him.  He is catching some fish in the river but it’s not quite right yet if I understood him correctly.  I found the same thing on the lake Thursday.  I caught some smallies but they were far and few between.  It is just a matter of time and warming of the water just a little. 

We are holding our most important Troutfest Committee meeting today at 2:30.  I’m expecting about 22 committee members.  Each member will report on their job.  There are many areas of responsibility in managing this event.  And it all comes together on May 13th for the kickoff fundraiser banquet. 

Think about everything that happens on Troutfest weekend.  People will be flying into Knoxville on Thursday and Friday.  One travel company will come here from Bozeman, Montana.  Headliners will arrive from Manchester, Vermont, Atlanta, Baltimore, State College, Pennsylvania and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.  The folks from Temple Fork will drive their booth here from Dallas, Texas. Over 300 people are fed Friday night.  Tens of thousands of dollars are raised at the auction.  On Saturday morning at 7:00 am, vendors setup in the large tent that was used for the banquet the night before.  That tent covers an area of 6,000 square feet.  Other tents have been erected and vendors are moving in before opening time at 9:00 am.  Fly tyers, special events and instruction is available from the most notable fly fishermen in the world.  Volunteers, around 160 people will take care of their jobs which are diverse and specialized.

It takes careful planning and that began last summer.  Troutfest requires hard work, long days and short nights.  Thousands of people will show up for the weekend. Motels, rental cabins, lodges, bed and breakfasts and campgrounds will be busy. And then there is that one factor that weighs heavily on our minds, “what about the weather”. 

When it is over, there will be memories of “once in a lifetime encounters”.  Anglers will leave with new knowledge and enthusiasm.  We will all be tired.  I will want to go fishing.  Jack and I plan to go fishing the Thursday after Troutfest.  Troutfest is less than two months away. 

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

Byron Begley
March 20, 2011

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Volunteer for Troutfest


Our fly fishing classes will be offered from March to October 2011.   To sign up just call the shop at 877-448-3474.  You can read more on our website in the Schools Section.  The fly fishing class schedule follows:

Saturday March 26 – Beginner Day One
Saturday April 9 – Beginner Day One
Saturday April 30 – Beginner Day One
Sunday May 1 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday May 7 – Beginner Day One
Saturday May 21 – Beginner Day One
Sunday May 22 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday June 11 – Beginner Day One
Saturday June 25 – Beginner Day One
Sunday June 26 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday July 9 – Beginner Day One
Saturday July 23 – Beginner Day One
Sunday July 24 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday September 10 – Beginner Day One
Saturday September 24 – Beginner Day One
Sunday September 25 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday October 8 – Beginner Day One
Saturday October 22 – Beginner Day One
Sunday October 23 – Beginner Onstream Day Two

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