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.  The wind started blowing hard sometime around 3 am.  I got up a 5:30 and the rain began.  It’s nasty out there today.

Little River is flowing at 247 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.97 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 248 cfs.  The water temperature is 62 degrees at 7:50 am.  Right now, the water is clear.

That’s all going to change.  The USGS flow gauge is shooting straight up.  The water is rising.  The National Weather Service says we may get 2 to 4 inches and maybe 5 inches before this storm is over tomorrow night.  So, we are under a flood watch.  This deadly storm touched off tornados in Mississippi, Georgia and Alabama.  Several people died.  This is a tragic storm.

We have a lot of small debris on the roads, mostly limbs.  Since we live in the forest, my truck was covered with tree stuff this morning.   

I would not go fishing anywhere in the Southeast or mid-Atlantic today.  We have the potential for flash floods here, something in the Smokies that can be extremely dangerous.  Don’t go!

If you are planning a fishing trip to the Smokies this weekend, watch this report and the weather.  We’ll let you know if the streams are fishable. I hope they are because this is prime time for fly fishermen here.

I’m doing, what I’ll probably be doing all year, working about 8 hours of the workday on our website.  Between that and the bookkeeping, that’s about all I plan to do this year.

I’ve been working on a new smaller website since February.  I hope to launch it Wednesday or Thursday.  I wrote all the content, which takes the most time.  The photographs have been photoshopped to death.  That takes a lot of time.  I came up with the design while on vacation in Hilton Head. 

When this one is finished, we’ll start building a brand new online store using the newest and best software we can find.  We’ve narrowed it down to a couple right now.  That is going to be a daunting task.  We offer about 2,000 items on our online store.  There will be more.

I can’t think of a more productive way to spend my time right now.  Well there is one other thing, fishing.

I’m going to do more fishing this year than we’ve done in a long time.  Paula and I will spend a couple of weeks in Forida. We have a new kayak trailer and we’re anxious to use that.  We’ll spend many days on the lakes fly fishing for smallmouth bass.  Rufus and I are planning to fish with Josh soon, on a tailwater for smallmouth bass.  We talked yesterday and we’re pumped. 

I have vertigo.  It comes and goes.  Fly fishing in the Smokies makes it come.  I’m OK on larger flat rivers when wading.  I can’t crawl and jump rocks in the Smokies anymore.  I’m worried about the consequences of a bad fall.  I can’t type or fly fish with a broken arm. 

That’s why we fish out of a boat or kayak.  That’s OK with me.  I’ll do what I have to.  I just like being on the water and fly fishing.

I also really enjoy tying flies then using them. That began in 1962 on my 11th birthday.  Last night I went through our saltwater flies to see what needs to be tied.  Unfortunately, we have a ton of the best saltwater patterns we use.  I also looked in our fly and tackle closet at the warm water patterns.  I think we have enough to last 10 years, maybe longer. 

I package individual flies in plastic sleeves then heat seal them shut.  I can pile them in a box and when needed, I have some craft scissors to open the packages on the boat.  Can you believe that?  Most professional psychologists might agree I have a fly problem.  Maybe it is a mental disorder like depletedflyphobia.  I wonder if that causes vertigo?

It doesn’t help, that I have a fly tying department in a store, 5 minutes from home and a key to get in 24/7.  I’m just glad it’s not a liquor store.  

I walk through that fly tying department probably 50 times a day since we moved it upstairs near my office. I’m tempted every time.  I stop and look.  Sure, I spin a fly reel and shake a rod occasionally during my work day. My weakness is flies.  I have more flies than Paula has shoes, by weight!

I don’t plan to do anything about it.  I don’t care.  I like my problem.  I can live with it.

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

Byron Begley
April 29, 2014


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