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.  At 7:30 am, the sun is bright and the temperature is 60 degrees in Townsend.  This is going to be a beautiful weekend with highs in the 80’s and lows in the 50’s.  I’m liking those lows. 

We had over 4,000 unique visitors on our website yesterday.  Somebody is thinking about fishing.  So am I.

Little River is flowing at 153 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.67 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 194 cfs.  The water temperature is 63 degrees this morning.

To be successful, fishing in the mountains today, you will need to blend in and wade as little as possible.  The water is fairly low and clear.  The difference between catching a few trout and catching a lot of trout will be dependent on your ability to stalk, hide and achieve good fly presentation.  It is going to be sunny much of the day.  We’ll get some clouds too.  Sunny days and water at this level means it is essential to stay hidden.

Trout are taking dry flies and nymphs.  Fishing is excellent.  If you are not careful though, the number of fish you catch will be few.  If you are careful, you will catch plenty of trout.

My dry fly choice would be, without any hesitation or question, a #16 Yellow Neversink Caddis.  It’s time has come.  It’s all you need.  I would use a Green or Pink Weenie for a subsurface pattern in the Smokies today.  Use these flies, blend in, don’t spook the trout and you will have a great day.  Fishing will be best this evening.  During the day, find shaded streams or hope for cloud cover.

Smallmouth bass fishing is getting really good.  Dean Campbell was in yesterday. He was fishing for stripers below one of the dams.  He hooked and fought a good fish.  It turned out to be a smallmouth, a 25”, 8 pound smallmouth. 

Now, I’m a smallmouth bass fly fisherman.  That’s the main species I target.  I dream about catching a 7 pound fish on a fly.  His was much bigger.  I checked the records.  His fish was certainly a line class world record on a fly.  The 16 pound tippet world record is 6 pounds 4 ounces. 

He is not the only person I know who has caught a line class fly fishing world record smallmouth bass.  I think Alex Quick did it.  Jack Gregory has done it a few times.  Now, Dean has done it.

None of these guys would turn it in.  You don’t have to kill the fish.  You do have to tell the IGFA where it was caught.  And that information would end up on the worldwide web.  Nobody I know would do that just to get their name in a record book. Well, on the other hand, some people have done it or there wouldn’t be records.

17% of our website visitors view our home page.  Some days it is more than that.  I do update some information on that page every morning, mostly stream data and a short fishing report.  Yesterday, I decided to work on that page.  And, I’m going to work on it more today.  If 500 to 700 people per day are going to visit that page, I’m going to make it better. 

I bought the truck below yesterday to make our website better.  I always buy white trucks.  This one is red.  I like it.  It symbolizes our free shipping policy.  I haven’t driven it but I would like to.  This truck was manufactured using Adobe Illustrator.

Red Truck Symbolizing Free Ground Shipping at Little River Outfitters

Back in the 90’s, we started our mail order business.  I had been in the printing business most of my career.  Creating catalogs came easy for me.  We printed and mailed catalogs because the internet had not been invented.

Also back then, big box mail order companies offered free shipping on their premium fly fishing merchandise.  You had to pay for shipping on almost everything else in the catalog except for the higher end brand merchandise like we sold.  We decided to offer free shipping.  We never changed.  It’s always been that way, for 15 or more years.

Of course, we lose money on some orders.  If we package and ship a $5 order it’s a loss.  We still do it.  We make it back on the larger orders.

This 1.25 acre lot where our shop is located was once part of a new shopping center.  The selling price on this lot was $385,000.  It was an out-parcel located next to the post office.  I wanted this lot in the worst way, partly because it is very visible and mostly because it is located next to the post office.  After all, we are in the mail order business. $385,000 was too much.  The numbers would not work.  

Long story short, the shopping center went bankrupt and this lot went back to the original owner.  Paula and I bought it for $212,000.  I think that was in 2002.  Two years later, we had a store next to the Post Office.  Since we don’t charge for shipping, most of our smaller packages are shipped via USPS.  It costs less.  We can walk over there several times a day if needed to ship orders to customers.  This has been a handy place for us to be.  We are here by design.

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

Byron Begley
May 24, 2014 

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