Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is sunny and 61 degrees in Townsend.  I came to work at 7:15 am so needless to say, our town was quiet when I drove through.  I stopped at the Visitors Center and the Troutfest site was void of any activity.  Nobody was there.  The tents are up.  It looks like the circus is in town.  I just talked to Ron Becker on the phone.  He got there at 7:30.

Little River continues to drop for now.  Flow is 133 cubic feet per second.  Median for this date is 225 cfs.  That will probably change soon.  There is rain in the forecast.  Maybe lots of it. 

If the rivers don’t get blown out and I don’t think they will, we should have some excellent fishing this weekend for Troutfest attendees.  It is going to cool off this weekend too.  The high tomorrow should be in the mid 70’s with highs in the high 60’s on Sunday.  Won’t that be nice?

Dry flies and nymphs have been working well in the Park.  I would choose the dry, I Yellow Elk Hair Caddis, Neversink Caddis or Yellow Stimulator.  Before the rain comes your best fishing is going to be in the faster water where the pockets are located behind rocks.  Also, the choppy water where riffles enter a pool always produce well.  Fish the shady water during low flow times like we have now.  After the rain, (if it actually comes) the trout will find new spots to hide and attack food drifting by.

Who’s going to pick up Lefty at the airport?  That was one of the early morning questions that came to my mind.  I was on the phone with Jack at 7:15 am.  Jack is going to pick up Joe Humphreys at 11:45 then Lefty at 1:36.  Will there be volunteers to help vendors set up in the big tent tomorrow morning at 7:00 am.  Yep, Ron told me there were about 10 people lined up.  All the details that go into something like Troutfest have to be covered and re-covered.  We don’t like a lot of malfunctions at Troutfest.  That’s why we are a good team.

I’ve been working 11 to 12 hours a day.  I took one day off in about 20 days.  That’s the way it is this time of year.  There is always some Troutfest thing and there is plenty of work here.  I ordered several thousand dollars worth of fly tying materials.  Processing those order take a lot of time.  The last Wapsi order had over 800 items.  They all have to be picked up, looked at, checked off the invoice and entered into the computer that runs our company.  Then what our computer says the order total is has to agree to the penny with the invoice or it won’t get paid.  It takes about 2 days to process an order like that one.  Whiting Farms got an order from us in April.  It never came.  I called and they said they are weeks behind.  They promised to get some materials to me today.

Due to the women’s hair extension fad, Whiting saddles and saddle hackle are pretty much gone.  I’m hoping they will have some chickens ready for the commercial fly tying orders for 2012.  Saddles may not be available to stores until the Fall of 2012.  So, tyers will switch to necks.  That’s OK.  But, are the supplies of necks going to be depleted by demand?  Of course they will.  I think I’m going to stock up on necks to be ready for the Fall 2011 fly tying rush.  And, maybe have some put back for next year. 

Maybe fly tyers will figure out a way to tie without rooster hackle.  Long after the days of Theodore Gordon and the rooster neck raisers from the Catskills, will fly tyers invent something new to replace the genetically perfect yardbird?  Will synthetic hackle that floats become the inspiration of some guy or gal in the middle of the night and be on the market in 3 months?  Or, will this chicken shortage problem go away.  I bet it goes away and I’ll get stuck with a bunch of necks.

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

Byron Begley
May 13, 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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