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.  It is sunny and 57 degrees in Townsend this morning.  Paula and I sat on our high deck last night, enjoying the treetops.  The trees have finally blocked our view of the Great Smoky Mountains temporarily until late Fall.  It was cool and comfortable out there.  We love that spot.

I’m running late this morning.  It is 8:20 am.  I got on our message board and posted something I thought was important.  Then, time got away from me.  Townsend is very visited right now due to the holiday weekend.  I stopped at the IGA after work last night and couldn’t believe the crowd.  The staff there seemed to be handling everything well.  They are always friendly at the IGA. 

Little River is flowing pretty low right now.  At this point, flow is 142 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.63 feet on the gauge.  The water temperature is 61 degrees. 

You know what I’m going to say.  If you go fishing in the Smokies, stay hidden from the trout.  Don’t wade unless you have to.  Stay low if you can.  You will catch more trout.  Dry flies are working well.  I would use a #16 Yellow Neversink Caddis.  They work.  A Green Weenie or Pheasant Tail dropper is also a good idea if you don’t mind getting tangled occasionally or often depending on the day.  Fish the shaded banks.

We have a slight chance for thunderstorms this afternoon.  The temperatures over the next few days are going to be comfortable.  We could use some rain.

Fishing is excellent almost everywhere you look.  The Park is fishing great.  The tailwaters are fishing great.  Lower Little River may be a little slow due to the lower than normal water.  I don’t know for sure.

Smallmouth bass fishing on the tailwaters is really coming on strong.  I’m hearing that from everyone.  I mentioned yesterday that Dean Campbell caught a 25”, 8 pound smallie on a tailwater.

You know what?  When I hear a story like that I seldom ask where.  Dean may have told me, I don’t remember.  I think I know where he would have been.  I don’t want to blab out a location on the world wide web and have Dean find himself covered up with boats the next time he goes fishing.  Believe me, it happens.  Once you write something and run it up on a website, it is there until you actually go through the process of deleting the files from the remote server.  We hardly ever do that.  We have thousands of pages on our server, open to the public.  A big chunk of them are the archived fishing reports.  Many are the pages on our message board.  I think our online store has about 2,000 pages.  And, thousands of people visit our website every day.  That number is somewhere between 3,000 and 4,000 on a typical day.  The actual page views are about 10 times that many.  And “Hits”, now that is a huge number I see on the reports every day.  I don’t really know what a hit is except in baseball.

I spent two or three hours designing a new web page yesterday.  It is called “Choose a Guide”.  You can CLICK HERE to see it or go to the menu item “Plan Your Trip” and “Choose A Guide”.  It needs to be edited I’m sure and I will today.

On that page are five guys and all of their contact information, including a picture.  They are:  Mike Bone, Michael “Rocky” Cox, Rob Fightmaster, David Knapp and Josh Pfeiffer.  These guys are all close friends of mine, Paula, Daniel and the other folks who work at LRO. 

We are not in the guiding business.  We used to be, but at one point we decided to get out.  So, we started referring our customers to local guides. 

We chose these guys because we know them well, they have been helpful to us over the years, we know they do an excellent job, and we are sure you will have a safe and great day with them.  We don’t take a cut or make any kind of commission from them.  They don’t pay us to be on our website.  We encourage our customers to contact them directly.  If we need help from these guys or information from them, we get it.

Rob Fightmaster and Josh Pfeiffer are fly fishing instructors at our school.  They do an excellent job.  Rob worked here many years ago.  He and I grew up in the same area in Kentucky.  Josh and I have a special friendship due to the fact he started guiding clients for smallmouth bass about the time I started fishing for them. And, he’s just a nice guy to be around.

David worked here one summer while he was still in college.  That was a great summer for me.  Before that, he was and still is a friend.  I’ve known Mike for at least 20 years.  He has helped us in many ways over the past 19 years we have been in business.  His daughter works here part-time while attending college.  I would do anything to help Mike and he does anything to help me.  Rocky is a buddy and someone I really like to talk to.  I spent some time with him last week.  I always learn a lot from Rocky when we are together.  He always helps us out when we need him.  He also guides on the Hiwassee, something that is unique among guides in this area.

There are other good guides.  I know, if you visit the Smoky Mountain Angler in Gatlinburg you will have a positive experience.  Nancy, Harold and Travis are great folks.  I have known many of their guides over the years.  I have never heard anything but good feedback from their customers.  I have sent them many customers over the years.

Orvis Sevierville is a great store.  Kris, David and their staff do an excellent job.  They refer their customers to good guides.  They refer customers to us.  Like us, they are not in the guiding business.  I bet they refer customers to the same five guys we do, and others.

I know all the guides at Blackberry Farm well.  They are a great bunch of folks.  That is one well-managed fly fishing program. I would recommend any of their guides.

We seldom get requests for referrals to the rivers in Upper East Tennessee.  We don’t know those waters well, at least I don’t.  I do send customers to Mike Adams and we do tell people about fly shops in that area.  It doesn’t come up often.

Fly fishing guides are essential to the fly fishing industry.  People need help.  A good guide can flat line your learning curve quickly, saving you days, months and years of frustration and making this sport more enjoyable.  Every place you fish is different.  Every species is different.  Figuring it out is fun.  But, getting some professional help can make it more fun.  Some people hire guides to have a fishing buddy.  I think that’s a great idea. 

I’m fishing with Josh two days next month as a client and I am looking forward to June very much because of that.

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

Byron Begley
May 25, 2014

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