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

Welcome to the Fly Fishing Report.  It is overcast and 59 degrees in Townsend this morning.  I heard a turkey “Gobbling his head off” just behind our house in the woods while walking to my truck.  He was close.  That animal just went on and on. 

I drove by Little River and checked it out.  The water is up some and a little off color.  I’m still going to call it clear.  Flow is 397 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 268 cfs.  The water temperature was 56 degrees at 8:05 am.  Most people would consider the river high.  Actually it is not.  We allow beginner students to wade at this level though it is close to what we would call off.  Just be careful.  We got 1/3” of rain at the shop.  The airport reported ½”.  I bet the mountains got more, especially south of us. 

Fishing today will be excellent.  The higher water will give the big brown trout more confidence.  They will be out.  It is going to be overcast much of the day and that is important for stalking larger fish.  The water in town looked great for smallmouth fishing too.  I’m sure the stocked trout population in town will be eager and active. 

In the Park I would use nymphs early.  This is a nymphing kind of day.  But, you should do fine using dry flies too, especially in the afternoon.  It is going to be warm today and even warmer tomorrow.  The high temperature tomorrow is supposed to be 82 degrees. 

For dry flies I would choose a Yellow Stimulator, Light Cahill, Parachute Adams, Elk Hair Caddis or any Yellow Sally stonefly patterns.  For nymphs, just use the usual; Hare’s Ear, Bead Head Pheasant Tail, Copper John, Tellico or Prince Nymph.  You might want to try a Girdle Bug.

I was off yesterday and could not fish due to the wind.  Doug and I put our trip off until Monday.  So, I tied Knuckleheads in Yellow and Chartreuse.  They will be sold in the shop.  I tied about two dozen.

The tailwaters should be fishing fine.  The lowland Rivers should be fishing well for smallmouth bass.  The smallies may be a little deep in the lakes.  I bet they will be hitting on top or near the surface by Monday.  I will be using Wooly Buggers first then switch to Knuckleheads later.

A winery, the oldest in Tennessee wants to open a production and retail sales facility in Townsend.  You can read the article in the DAILY TIMES HERE.  I am glad I’m not on the planning commission any more.  I resigned just in time.  We have laws prohibiting the making of spirits in our town.  We don’t have package stores. 

I would be for changing the law and getting this winery open as soon as possible.  I tend to want our town to be more progressive and improve prosperity.  Some people don’t want that.  It was a constant battle for me and I’m glad that is out of my life.

One of my good friends owns a motel and restaurant here.  There is an additional 20 acres of property joining the motel/restaurant complex.  I suggested that he pursue opening a micro-brewery.  I bet he is thinking about that right now. After all, he likes making wine and beer.  Who would have thought a winery would be considering opening in Townsend.

A company in Gatlinburg, Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine obtained a permit to ferment and distill spirits from corn.  They have been hugely successful.  Not only do the sell shine in their store, they sell in several other states through a distributor/retailer network. This is a family owned business.  A good friend if mine is one of their suppliers.  His business is booming.  So is theirs. 

I don’t want Townsend to be another Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge.  We have ordinances that prohibit that.  Of course, they could be changed.  I just don’t see how a small winery or brewery would be a problem.   

What I care about is having good places for fly fishermen to stay when they visit Townsend or the surrounding area.  I want to see good restaurants.  Some shopping for non-angling spouses is always good for the mix.  We are getting there with that.  Some of our restaurants are staying open all year.  I remember when it was almost impossible to get a meal from November through March.  That is changing.  We still need a pharmacy.  Someone please open one of those.  Visitors complain because we don’t have a liquor/wine store.  We hear that complaint often, more often than any other complaints.

Actually, we don’t hear many complaints about our town except for the lack of a package store.  We live and work in a good place. 

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

Byron Begley
April 27, 2012

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