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 63 degrees in Townsend this morning.  Traffic was light on the roads when I drove to work.  That was a sharp contrast from what we saw all day yesterday.  Townsend is bustling this weekend.  Paul told me yesterday that he had never seen so much traffic in town.  Our tourism business needs a boost.  Maybe people are traveling more.  I hope so.

Traffic in Great Smoky Mountains National Park was very heavy yesterday.  Chuck said a steady stream of cars were pouring out of Cades Cove and down Laurel Creek Road to the “Y”. 

The Fishing Gauge has dropped from “Excellent” to “Good” based on the guide’s reports yesterday.  Their clients caught trout.  It just was not as good as it has been.  It could be that there was a lot of fishing pressure on the streams yesterday.  When you fish behind someone, you are probably going to catch less.

The streams are flowing slower and lower.  That doesn’t help the fishing either.  The trout are spooky and crammed into good holding areas, trying to hide from predators.

Little River is flowing at 139 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.62 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 192 cfs.  The water temperature at 8:05 am is 60.2 degrees.

Light Cahills are a good choice for a dry fly right now.  Josh had a client catch a 16” brown trout on a Light Cahill dry.  He said there was a good hatch happening and trout were feeding on the dries.  A 16” brown on a dry fly, in lower water conditions, is something to talk about.

Of course, a Yellow Neversink Caddis will work.  I believe the trout think it is a Yellow Sally Stonefly.  All Yellow Sally Stonefly patterns will work right now.  For a nymph I would use a Pheasant Tail or Green Weenie. 

We have a good chance for thunderstorms this week beginning this afternoon.  The chances range from 30% to 50% each day, all week.  Some rain would be nice.  That would improve the fishing and that is likely this week.

Anthony Hipps taught a popper making class Saturday.  I’ll tell you what, those students loved the class.  Anthony lives in North Carolina. His specialty is making poppers.  I met him at an FFF Conclave years ago.

He told me something that made me feel very good about our town.  He checked into his motel.  I’m sure the rates have gone up for the tourist season.  I’m not going to mention the name of the motel.  We do send her a lot of customers but I don’t want to start some discount conversation online without her permission. 

Somehow in the conversation, Anthony mentioned to her that he was teaching a fly tying class at our store.  She gave in a very large discount.  He told her she didn’t need to do that.  Her remark was, “You are here helping the Community”.  “The people at Little River Outfitters are friends of mine”.

Now, this proves a point.  Our business community understands the value of working together to benefit us all.  Our business owners and operators get along very well.  The way I see it, we work as a team.  What is the ultimate goal?  That goal is to provide a very positive visitor experience to Townsend and Walland Tennessee customers. 

You have probably noticed, this is a very friendly place.  I don’t know of a friendlier tourist destination and believe me, I’ve been to plenty.  This is a very small town.  We all know each other.  Most of us are friends.  Actually, right now, I don’t know of any conflicts between business operators.  The motels, campgrounds, restaurants and stores get along.  It’s kind of a way of life here.  I noticed it a long time ago.  People who live here like each other.

We formed a business organization.  It is called the Townsend/Walland Business Alliance (TWBA).  Thanks to some very strong willed people, it got off the ground and we are growing.  We are growing together.  Our last meeting was held at the Cades Cove Cellars Winery.  Now that was a great meeting.  I invited Wilson Reynolds as a guest.  He just bought and is remodeling the Valley View Lodge.  It will be called Tremont Outdoor Resort Lodge.  Wilson also owns Tremont Outdoor Resort, a campground and cabin rental company right at the Park entrance.  Everyone welcomed Wilson even though some could be considered competitors.  Here we are not competitors.  We are team members.

TWBA has a new website.  Visit or CLICK HERE to see it.  The website looks great.  I can see this growing into something large and beneficial.  We’re already beneficial.

Today is Memorial Day.  Today we honor Americans who have died defending our Country and our freedom.  They made the ultimate sacrifice.  They died with honor.  They gave their life for the United States.  They did it for us.

We are open and there are a lot of people out there having fun.  What we need to do today is take a moment and think about all of men and women, who served in the military and who are not with us because of their service to America.

Today we should pray and give thanks that there were Americans who gave it all for their Country and us.

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

Byron Begley
May 26, 2014


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