Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is cloudy and cool in Townsend, Tennessee this morning.  It is absolutely beautiful today, especially if you like cool weather.  I have noticed a lot of campers heading into the mountains dragging travel trailers, pop-ups and driving motor homes.  This is going to be a camper weekend.  There will be some wind today, 18 to 25 miles per hour depending on which weather website you believe.  This will not be a good day on the lakes, at least not in a boat like ours. 

Little River looks perfect.  I saw a couple of guys casting spinners just below the swinging bridge when I took the water temperature.  The water was 62 degrees, probably the warmest it has been early in the morning this year.  That will change.  It is going to be cool for a few days.

Little River is flowing at 374 cubic feet per second (cfs), just the way I like it.  Median flow for this date is 245 cfs. 

Dry fly fishing should be good today between wind gusts.  I hate it when there are aquatic insects practically covering the water with trout rising to them and all of a sudden that mass of chum is blown away.  Hendricksons, March Browns, Caddis, Little Yellow Stones and other bugs will be on the water.  The wind does blow terrestrials into the stream.  If you are not catching trout on top, switch to nymphs and fish them deep.  Try a Prince, Tellico, Hares Ear, Pheasant Tail or Green Weenie.  When conditions are like this the trout are going to take something.  They are hungry and feeling safe in the higher water.

I just remembered this morning to buy Joe Humphreys a Troutfest banquet ticket.  Joe is our guest.  We sponsored him last year and will do the same this year.  What that amounts to is paying his daily fee and expenses.  Joe has been a personal friend of ours for many years.  He loves Townsend or I should say, the people who live in this area.  And they love him. 

Lefty Kreh is another good friend of ours.  He will be at Troutfest all weekend.  He is sponsored by Temple Fork just like last year.  These guys bring people to the event and without them, Troutfest would be much smaller and less attended.  Rick Pope who owns Temple Fork will be here with his wife and some staff folks from Dallas where they are located.  Rick has been a huge supporter of Troutfest.

Bob Clouser, another buddy will be at Troutfest thanks to Chota Outdoor Gear.  Frank Bryant, President of Chota has been another big supporter of the event.  He and Rick Pope both serve on our Steering Committee.

Orvis’ Bill Reed and Robert Bryant step up and help make Troutfest happen in a big way.  Orvis donates cash and lots of prizes.  Bill is Director of Wholesale at the company and serves on our Steering Committee. Robert is our Regional Business Manager.

There are many other organizations and people who make this happen.  A lot of work goes into this.  And, Troutfest is becoming a very well known event.  I found out yesterday that Kathryn Maroun will be here.  She is the Canadian fly fishing super star who also serves as President of Casting For Recovery Canada (CFRC).  She will be here with her film crew doing a show about Stan Bogdan.  It will be interesting having a film crew at the banquet.  It will be nice having her here too.  Stan Bogdan will be here of course.  It is going to be quite a night.  Better get your tickets fast.

Wow, did you see what technology, high-frequency trading and flashing did to the stock markets?  A glitch like that happened once before but I can’t remember exactly when.  On Thursday, the computers took over and there was nothing humans could do about it.  Some stocks fell to pennies a share, then computers started buying them and they went right back up.  The aftermath was not pretty.  They say the autopilots of high-frequency trading actually reduce human errors.  I think back to the days when trades were done with sheets of paper, telephones and people screaming from the pit.  This is a changing world as you know.  Fly fishing helps us get back to normal, or at least it does that for me.

I am going to resist the urge to bring high-frequency technology into my fishing.  Look at our boat.  The batteries run the trolling motor, raise and lower the engine and start it if I don’t want to pull the rope.  Our boat is bare bones and I plan to keep it that way.  I will have to say, our motor is somewhat “High Tech”.  It is a four stroke 20 horsepower Mercury.  I did the Spring maintenance on it and really marveled at the compactness of this little motor.  Four stroke motors used to be big and heavy. 

This thing uses almost no fuel and you don’t have to mix the gas with oil.  It came with a six gallon tank which I soon found out was enough capacity for many trips to the lake.  I bought a three gallon tank to save weight and room.  We can run up and down the lake all day and only use half of that tank of gas, 1.5 gallons. Also the motor does not smoke, stink or spray oil onto the water.  I’ll stick with a high tech motor.  But that’s it.

I am not interested in the least with one of those new, high priced machines that give you a detailed, high resolution picture of the lake bottom including the fish.  The fun thing about fishing to me is “not knowing what’s down there”.  If you look at the lake bottom and don’t see any fish you are disappointed.  But if you are fishing and don’t know there are no fish near you, there is still hope.  Your mind takes over and you believe there are hundreds of monsters just waiting to take your fly.  That’s the fun of it. 

Knowing all the facts ruins it for me.  I would like to know if I’m getting ready to hit a rock though.  We might add some kind of low-tech depth finder just for that purpose.  I’ll get one that doesn’t show the fish so I won’t know they are not there.

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

Byron Begley
May 8, 2010

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