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

Welcome to the Fly Fishing Report.  We are having a nice morning in Townsend.  Light rain is falling and the temperature is 61 degrees.  This would have been a good day to sleep in if I did that sort of thing.  I did sleep until 6:00 am, which is late for me.  I came to work at 7:50 am.  That is late for me too.

The mountains are visible, but those far off are blurred by the rainfall.  It looks very peaceful to the East.  Traffic is light in Townsend.  Not many people shopped here yesterday.  It is the week before Troutfest.  It is also Mothers Day weekend.  The fish are getting a break.

Little River is flowing low and slow at 159 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 223 cfs.  I stopped at the river to have a look on my way to work.  The water is clear.  We have had ¼” of rain since yesterday morning.  More is on the way.  There is a 100% chance for rain today and an 80% chance tomorrow.  The water temperature at 7:55 am was 59 degrees.

Evidently, fishing in the Park picked up yesterday.  That followed about three days of slower fishing.  But those trout were active and they should be feeding well today.  You will find the low water different from what we’ve seen all year.  You will need to pretend it is Summer for a little while. 

The National Weather Service says “showers and a few thunderstorms will continue on Monday…with average rainfall totals around 2 inches possible by Monday night.  Locally heavier rainfall amounts will be possible in a few areas.”   If we get 2” of rain you will see some high water. 

Dry flies, nymphs, wet flies and terrestrials are working in the Smokies.  Take your pick.  Mine would be a Yellow Sally Stonefly pattern, size #16.

Now, all of my friends who fish for smallmouth bass on the lakes of the Little Tennessee River have convinced me that fishing was slow mid week.  So, I guess I wasn’t doing anything wrong.  We caught a few bass and one over 4 pounds but those fish were far and few between.  Paula and I fished Monday and it was great.  Frank and I fished Wednesday and Thursday.  The fishing was slow.  Misery loves company and hearing the same news from my lake fishing buddies made me feel better.

Jack told me yesterday that Frank and I should have been fishing streamers, not poppers.  He is right of course.  I like fishing on top this time of year.  The topwater fishing for smallies in the lakes will taper off soon.  You will be able to catch them using poppers in the lowland rivers and tailwaters throughout the Summer.  

I have been working on the Troutfest website. I got a lot done yesterday afternoon and probably have about 4 or 5 hours worth of pounding the keyboard and clicking the mouse to get finished today. 

Updating the website requires information from other people.  An event like this one changes daily.  Some of that information does not become available until the last minute. So, much of the website work will be done this week and remain on the site for another year.

Donors are still sending stuff to be auctioned.  We are donating $1,000 worth of merchandise.  Rufus picked out what he wanted and we got if for him.  We’ve got more great tackle, fishing trips, Walter’s bamboo rod that he made specifically for the event, a guided fishing trip with Lefty Kreh a week from tomorrow and all kinds of art.  We have a night’s stay at Dancing Bear Lodge with a ½ day guided fishing trip at Blackberry Farm.  I think there is a Bahamas trip but I’m not sure.  Since I’m not the Chairman anymore, I’m sort of out of the loop on information.  This is going to be a really nice offering at the banquet.

I don’t have all the sponsor information yet.  I’m going to take a stab at that page this morning.  Again, a lot of that information comes in just before the event. What you see on that page now is last year’s list of sponsors.

Banquet ticket sales started very slow but it is picking up.  We have to let the caterers know how many people to expect.  So, call here, go online at or come by and buy yours ASAP or you may miss out.  Our phone number is 877-448-3474.  People will be here in 30 minutes to take your call.  Banquet tickets cost $50 of which $35 is deductible.  Consult with your accountant about that to be sure.  I think you will be OK.

Troutfest is going to be a lot of fun and hopefully we’ll make plenty of money to donate to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Fisheries Department for their fine work.  Our Troutfest committee has done an outstanding job preparing for this great event. 

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

Byron Begley
May 13, 2012

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