Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It was very foggy when I left home this morning.  I saw a wild turkey hen walking across the road in front of me.  She slipped into the forest and disappeared.  It is amazing how well they blend into the woods.  In a field they stick out like a sore thumb.  Once they enter the forest, they’re gone. 

I stopped at the swinging bridge to take the water temperature.  There was a lot of activity there.  River Rat Tubing is installing a concrete ramp to make it easy for their customers to exit the river.  This ramp will also make it easier for me to walk down the river to take the water temperature every morning. Shannon who owns the company with his wife who is also named Shannon was there.  I thanked him for being a Troutfest Sponsor.  They furnished the dumpster (which was huge) and all the porta-jons.  They also own a company called Tri-County Portables.  Their largest customer is the National Park Service.  They won the bid to handle all the Park’s trash and portable jon needs.  

Little River is a little higher than yesterday and there was a nice jump in the flow yesterday afternoon.  An isolated thunderstorm moved in and dropped some rain.  We didn’t get hardly any here at the shop.  It looks like rain is likely on Friday through Saturday but more likely on Friday.  We could use it.  Jack and I are going fishing tomorrow.  I’m meeting him here at 6:45 am.  I think we’ll go to Tellico Lake.

Flow on Little River is currently 1.84 feet or 159 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 192 cfs.  The water temperature in town is 63 degrees. 

Well, I told you yesterday the fishing had slowed down.  We got reports from most anglers this weekend that it was slow.  Most people I talked to caught about half the trout they were anticipating.  As a result, the Fishing Gauge at the top of this page dropped to “Good”.  Well, things have changed.  Sean McKay (WEBSITE) was guiding a couple of guys from Indiana yesterday and the fishing was very good.  One fellow told me he caught ten and lost or missed a lot more than that.  This is encouraging.  I got an e-mail from Charlie Barton.  He had a great day.  He was deep in the backcountry.  Then, Chuck came in the morning.  He and a buddy fished yesterday over on the North Carolina side of the Park.  He said they had a great day until the front moved through that brought the rain.  After that, the trout turned off.  So, I can only assume that the fishing this past weekend was slower due to angler pressure.  Or maybe it was the bright sun.  It could be, the anglers I talked to fished close to the roads and didn’t hike far enough to get away from people.  Whatever the reason, fishing is excellent again.

I would use Yellow Sally stonefly patterns, Light Cahills, Beetles, Ants and small Yellow Stimulators for a dry fly.  For nymphs choose Bead Head Pheasant Tail, Tellico Nymph, Copper John or maybe a Hares Ear.

Daniel and I are working frantically to re-stock the store from the big weekend we had during Troutfest.  I’m working on the fly tying department which is a huge job.  We probably had an extra thousand or so anglers in town during that weekend.  Our fly tying department is vast so customers went through that department grabbing with both hands.  I hope to have the store stocked completely with materials by late next week.  Our Wapsi order alone will have at least 1,000 items on it.  And, some of those items will have 3 or 4 of each.  Daniel is ordering the larger stuff.

Alex from Cades Cove Heritage tours sent me an e-mail yesterday.  They have now been authorized to shuttle people to Elkmont to see the fireflies in June.  You can buy your tickets online HERE.  Automobiles are not allowed to visit that area during the firefly exposition.  Shuttles are your only choice.  And now, there are buses leaving from Townsend for the first time.  Great job Alex!  It seems to me you could take a fly rod and wading boots with you and fish depending on what time the shuttle leaves.

Good news!  Rob Fightmaster is joining our instructor staff.  He is a good guy and excellent teacher.  He worked here when he first moved to Blount County.  Then he left and took over the fly fishing program at Blackberry Farm.  Now he guides and gets involved with the community in many ways.  We’re glad to have Rob back.  Check out his website HERE.     

It is supposed to be 86 degrees tomorrow.  Jack and I will probably be on the boat for 11 or 12 hours.  We’ve done that plenty of times.  One day we planned to fish offshore in the gulf near Cedar Key, Florida.  We were going to be in Kayaks and it was going to be hot.  He showed me a trick I never thought of.  We poured a little water out of those smaller water bottles then froze them.  The next morning, we put them in the coolers with a little ice, a little beer and some sandwich meat.  We were using the small Fishpond coolers.  The frozen bottles of water kept everything cold and we drank from the bottles as they thawed.  It is a space saver and the bottled water is ice cold.  Actually I remember removing a water bottle from the cooler and leaving it out in the sun to thaw.  I might try freezing some beer tonight and see what happens.  I’ll let you know about that one.

I’ll be back on Friday.  Have a great day and thank you for being here with us.

Byron Begley
May 26, 2010

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