Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is very foggy in the Great Smoky Mountains this morning.  I can’t see them right now.  Imagine what it’s like trying to drive over Newfound Gap?  The Parkway Grocery had a few local guys eating breakfast earlier.  I talked to them all, all at once.  The redbuds are blooming.  You know what that means, fishing is going to be good on the lakes.  That is one of Eddy George’s theories.  He did a lot of his fly fishing on the lakes later in his life. 

Little River looks good.  The flow is higher than yesterday and at about normal.  We got .33” of rain last night and there appears to be more on the way over the next few days. Flow is currently 319 cubic feet per second.  Median flow for this date is 333 cfs. 

Fishing was good yesterday.  Everyone I talked to, returning from the Park did well.  There was one exception.  A couple of guys drove over to Ocoluftee and they got skunked.  I don’t know why.  There are a lot of bugs on the water, all kinds too.  The trout are taking dry flies but not necessarily anything special.  Evidently there are so many different species of aquatic insects on the water, the trout are not selective.  One guy I talked to said he and his buddy caught about 40 on the Middle Prong of the Little River.  Another father and son combo tore them up at Elkmont.  They caught some nice browns too.  One guy caught three but he didn’t spend much time on the water.  Fishing is very good and it is only going to get better.  Cooler temperatures might slow things down a bit late next week.  The moon is no longer a factor.  The clouds are covering the nighttime light.  It’s very dark out there at night. 

It looks like we’ll see a warming trend starting next weekend.  That should get the smallmouth bass on the lakes moving closer to the banks.

If you go fishing today take some tried and true dry fly patterns.  Dark mayflies should work.  Elk Hair Caddis are producing.  If the trout are not taking dry flies try a weighted nymph.  They should take the dries.

I saw the almost-final Troutfest Journal yesterday.  Neil Smith brought it by.  It is going to print tomorrow.  We should have them in a week or two.  Neil has done an excellent job.  This is his baby.  He is a graphic designer and a darned good one.  He has also worked very hard on this.  The articles are great, the layout is great and the ads look great.  This is our first Troutfest Journal.  Two thousand will be printed in full color.  It contains 32 pages.  Advertisers paid all the expenses and then some.  I think the cost to produce it is around $8,000.  We are hoping to make at least $8,000 profit.  I bet we beat that.  I’m putting together a sales team to work the crowds at Troutfest.  They will have to make this successful.  If we sell 1,500 at $5 each we add $7,500 to our bottom line.

I would expect the Journal to double in profit next year.  Now, we will have copies to show prospective advertisers and sponsors.  Troutfest cleared about $37,000 last year if my memory serves me correctly.  That, with a grant from TU and some cash the Little River Chapter had on hand from last year’s event allowed for a $45,000 donation to Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s fisheries department and the Friends of the Smokies Fisheries Scholarship Fund.  That fund pays for seasonal jobs in the Park for college students majoring in fisheries biology.  The fund is growing too.  At some point it will become an endowment.  I think Stan Smartt said there is about $90,000 in the fund. I could be wrong, I hear lots of numbers every day pertaining to the volunteer work I do.

Get out and go fishing today or get ready for some great basketball games.  I’ll get home just in time to see Kentucky play North Carolina.  I have not watched a college basketball game in a while, probably a few years.  I’ll be in the great room watching it on the big screen.  That means I can’t tie flies during the game.  That is a shame because I only have enough flies tied to last the rest of my life.  I need more for some reason.  I do like looking at them. And then there is also some new idea I got from somebody else or even occasionally on my own.

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

Byron Begley
March 27, 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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