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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is sunny and 55 degrees in Townsend this morning.  It is Memorial Day.  We are open of course.  It seems like we are always open.  We close only 4 days per year.  Townsend is active.  Lot’s of visitors showed up.  They will be heading home today.  Tourists were rewarded with beautiful weather this weekend.  I’m sure they are happy about that. 

Well, I know a couple of guys who are not so happy.  These guys were apparently speeding through town on a pair of racing motorcycles, the ones with the big fat tires.  Our police department was called to duty.  Tony chased them down is his cruiser.  Frank pulled in front of them facing the wrong direction.  The Police Chief even showed up.  After a while and much heated discussion, the guys on the motorcycles left with speeding tickets in hand.  When I drove home last night, Tony was chasing another guy on a motorcycle.  Wow, an exciting day in our town.

Little River is flowing below normal.  That’s right, below normal.  Maybe that has happened this year but I can’t remember when or if it did.  Flow is currently 198 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.97 on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 210 cfs.  One would not be noticeable from the other.  The water temperature was 56.7 degrees at 7:40 am.

Fly fishing is excellent in the Smokies.  I know, it was crowded Saturday and Sunday.  Some folks wandered into the backcountry and got away from the crowds.  If you are willing to do that, you can get away from people, even on Memorial Day weekend.

Trout are hitting dry flies, mostly Yellow Sally stonefly patterns, Light Cahills and of course, the Parachute Adams.  Trout are taking plenty of other dry fly patterns too.  The fish are hungry and active.  Nymphs will work too if you prefer.  Fishing this weekend was best late in the day until dark. 

I’m checking the tailwaters.  TVA will be running 2 or more generators from 9:00 am until midnight today at Cherokee Dam.  They will be doing the same thing between 11:00 am and midnight at Douglas.  They will be running 1 or more generators at Norris starting at 10:00 am.  Please check yourself and maybe the schedules will change. 

Man, fly fishermen in our area need a break.  The problem is high water in the lakes.  Norris is running just slightly above TVA’s Flood Guide.  That does not mean the lake is flooded.  It means that the level is above the top of the expected elevation range for this time of year.  The lake is full.  Cherokee and Douglas Lakes are also full, at the top end of the expected elevation range.

The lowland rivers are fishing well for smallmouth bass and rock bass.  I bet the carp fishing is good too.  Unfortunately, those rivers are crowded mainly because the tailwaters are non-fishable for some anglers who wade and at times for fishermen in boats.   

This is going to be a beautiful week with highs in the mid 80’s and lows in the low 60’s.  The chance for rain is almost nil.  I am looking forward to going fishing on Wednesday.

I was driving home last night and stopped at the swinging bridge to see how the fishermen were doing there. One guy told me the tubers kept going by and disturbing the fish.  They had not caught anything. 

Today we honor our fallen military personnel who made the ultimate sacrifice for the United States.  We pray for them, their families and friends.  And we pray and honor those who are in our military, fighting on our behalf.  We also honor those who were wounded or hurt doing this dangerous job. Their lives changed for us.  Many are enduring pain and loss of limbs or mobility.  We pray for them and that they are being well cared for.  They deserve the best of care.

Over 32,000 Americans have been wounded in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. I know some of them personally.  Over 8,000 Americans have died in those wars.

58,220 Americans died in the Viet Nam War.  303,644 Americans were wounded.  I knew and know some of those people personally. One of those wounded was my Senior Drill Sergeant when I was in basic training at Fort Polk, Louisiana.  I was at the Fort a year after I left and looked him up.  He was gone.  The drill Sergeants who were there told me he went back to Viet Nam and got his legs blown off. I can’t think of his last name right now.  I can remember his face.  He was the man in charge back in 1970.  It was an honor to serve under him for that 8 week period.        

36,574 Americans died in the Korean War.  103,284 were wounded.  I have met several of those who fought in that war.  They trained me when I was in the Army. 

In World War II, 416,800 Americans died.  I don’t know how many Americans were wounded in World War II.  I’m sure that number is astounding.

You know what?  We’ve got a lot of praying and honoring to do today. I started an hour ago.

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

Byron Begley
May 27, 2013 

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