Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is overcast and warm in Townsend this morning.  The streets and pedestrian walkways were quiet earlier.  The pending thunderstorms must be keeping people inside.  I did come to work early because I have a meeting with the Heritage Center at 10:00.  There were 21 cows in the field across the road.  That has been rare.  They were all standing.  Fishing must be good but I’m not sure I would be in the woods today.  I would certainly not be on a lake.  Due to the wind and clear air, the mountains are vivid view.  They look closer and bigger. 

Little River is flowing below normal this morning.  That has happened only a few times this year.  Flow is currently 247 cubic feet per second.  Median flow for this date is 268 cfs and the water temperature was 62 degrees at 8:05 am. 

We’ve got some serious weather headed our way from the West.  This is a major storm.  We are expecting heavy rain, high wind, maybe some hail and possibly a tornado.  I can see this ominous band of green, yellow and red on the radar.  Fishing today is not recommended.  When these storms move through the fishing is often slow anyway.  But the wind will be the threat to an angler today.  Heavy rain could cause flooding too.   

Trout are being caught on dry flies and nymphs.  Evenings seem to be best.  Yellow Sally Stoneflies are on the water and that is our major hatch of the year because it lasts most of the Summer.  And those bugs like to make themselves available to the trout late in the day.  You will see some March Browns and Light Cahills too.

Bass fishing on the lakes and rivers has really picked up.  I’m getting calls from my bass fishing buddies.  I don’t think they are hitting on top yet but I’m tying flies like crazy. All of them are floating foam bugs.  The smallmouth bass in the rivers are spawning.  And soon we’ll see bluegill and shellcrackers moving onto the beds.  White bass are congregating in the creek channels.  I guess they are spawning too or maybe that is over.  But they are there and taking flies.

River guides are having a tough time.  I talked to two yesterday. One was in Nashville and the other in Johnson City. The generation schedules on the tailwaters are really messing things up for them and everyone.  A wet Spring and the opportunity for cheap electric power plus flood control are keeping those dams and turbines running.  I am hearing that the trout on the Clinch River are getting fat and powerful.  So, when this rain settles down and the turbines are turned off the fishing is and will be excellent. 

Today we will be interviewing website developers for the Heritage Center.  The companies have been narrowed down to two who will give 1.5-hour presentations to a small group of us at 10:00.  One of the presentations will be conducted online.  I guess we’ll be using Skype or something like that.  The other company is local and they will be there in person. 

The Heritage Center is an interesting place.  It is not just an Appalachian museum.  It is a center with facilities we use for special events too.  And, the National Park Service is building a new archive facility to hold the inventory of collected artifacts from several National Parks.  This multi-million dollar facility is supposed to be built soon.  For all I know it may be under construction now.  Come to think of it, the Park Service has not presented their site plan to the Planning Commission.  They have to do that first and since I serve on the Commission I should know. 

Paula needs 6 volunteers to help with the casting contest at Troutfest.  She needs 3 on Saturday May 14th and three on Sunday.  You would need to work from 11 am til 2 pm, just three hours.  The casting contest is going to be more like a golf course for casters with multiple casting stations.  The volunteers will be score keepers.  If you would like to help please contact her by e-mail by CLICKING HERE or call her at the shop.  Troutfest requires 160 volunteers and each hour is counted as in-kind funding for Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  You time will be leveraged to obtain grant money for the fisheries department.

Troutfest will be held on May 13th through the 15th. This is going to be an incredible event and you should plan to be here. To learn more CLICK HERE to visit the Troutfest website.  To purchase banquet tickets online, CLICK HERE.

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

Byron Begley
April 27, 2011 


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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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