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

Welcome to the Fishing Report from the Great Smoky Mountains.  It is currently partly cloudy and 63 degrees in Townsend.  We had a small thunderstorm roll over this morning.  The rain appears to be over for now.  There is more to come.

Little River is flowing at 211 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.86 feet on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 250 cfs.  The water temperature at 8 am is 60.1 degrees.

Rainfall numbers at the Knoxville Airport indicate a precipitation shortage this year of 3.21 inches.  It has been a little dry this year.  That deficit may soon end.  Storms, including severe thunderstorms are expected tonight through Wednesday.  The National Weather Service states the possibility of 4 to 6 inches of rain during this period.  We are under a flood watch. 

That being the case, if you are planning a fishing trip to the Smokies now, you might want to re-consider.  This may not happen but I think it will.  We will certainly keep you updated this week right here.

If you do go fishing today, you might encounter some sudden thunderstorms.  Those storms may not even be audible or visible from where you are fishing.  But, upstream somewhere, a flash flood could be looming.  It just started raining at the shop, this minute.  These cells are small but forceful.  Be careful out there! 

I saw a video last year of a small flash flood on Little River.  Mike was fishing upstream and saw the water rising.  He drove down river a few miles and set up his video camera, waiting for the inevitable.  The water came and rose quickly, faster than you can imagine.  The river appeared to rise about 2 feet in a couple of minutes.  I would not want to have been standing in the river when this happened. 

You could be closer to the bank on the other side of the river from the road and have to exit there.  You may have a hike of several miles without the benefit of a trail.  Your only way out is finding a bridge.  That could be next to impossible to do. 

When you are fishing here, and the forecast calls for heavy rain and thunderstorms, stay near the bank on the road side of the river.  Be watchful of immediate stained water.  It happens quickly.  If you are in the backcountry you could have to wait for the water to recede before  you can get out.  That can take days, not hours.

I hope I’m wrong but I would prefer to err on the conservative side.

The Troutfest Banquet was a huge success.  We all knew it would be fun.  We knew there were a lot of prizes for the auction and raffles.  We knew the week before there would be at least 100 people attending.

The team running the show were doing a great job.  We knew that.  We expected that.  Joe McGroom was chairman.  Joe worked here when he was in college.  I know what that guy can get done.  Mike Bryant is President of the Little River Chapter.  I worked with him on a Troutfest Festival and Banquet.  I know about all of his management skills.  The other people on the team did an outstanding job.  We saw that happening.

What most of us didn’t expect, is how much money Troutfest would make for Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s Fisheries Department and for youth fisheries education.  Well, estimates are that the banquet made about $20,000.  Additionally, The Little River Chapter received a Trout Unlimited Embrace A Stream Grant in the amount of $5,000.

What this shows us is, there is huge support for the Little River Chapter of TU and Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s Fisheries Department.

This shows us what a handful of smart, hard working volunteers can get done in a short period of time. 

I’ve worked on a lot of fundraisers and festivals.  We’ve never had a failure.  We usually exceed our expectations.  In this case, Troutfest 2014 exceeded our expectations in a huge way. 

I told Mike yesterday, we need to choose a venue and date right away for next year.  That way, I can do a better job on the marketing team.  And, we can hold it on a Saturday night with plenty of notice. Saturday nights are hard to get at a hotel.  

My hat is off to everyone who worked on this event.  Congratulations to all of you.  Job well done!

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

Byron Begley
April 28, 2014 

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