Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is sunny and warm this morning.  Townsend looked busy earlier.  Tourist season is upon us.  Hopefully we have a good one.  Little River is flowing through town at a normal pace.  Small, isolated thunderstorms in the mountains have kept the levels where they should be.  It has not rained here at the shop for a couple of days but workers on Lynn Camp Prong were rained out Tuesday and Wednesday.  There is more rain in the forecast over the next few days.  It is going to be hot during the day and warm at night for the next 7 days.  Nighttime temperatures in the valley will be in the mid to high 60’s. 

Fishing is good.  There are not many anglers in the Park.  Ron Becker was here last night sitting around my office with me and Jack.  He fished for a short time on Little River above the Sinks.  He said he caught about 30 trout on nymphs.  Ron is a good fisherman.  He will usually catch more fish than most people, including me. 

After talking to Ron, I would use nymphs during mid-day like he did.  He didn’t tell me what patterns he used but it doesn’t matter that much.  Bead Head Pheasant Tails, Tellico Nymphs and Green Weenies will work.  I would use Yellow Stimulators (#16) or Light Cahills for dry flies.  Beetles and other terrestrial patterns will work as well. 

Here is a short report from Sean McKay.  His website can be reached by CLICKING HERE.  He has a great site. Daniel designed it. Sean is a guide who works in the Park and on our local tailwaters. He is a friend of mine and I appreciate his expert advice and report. Thanks Buddy.

"I just thought I would send you a little fishing report for the past few days.  Fishing has been okay with most fish being caught early in the day!  I have noticed each day that after the 3 pm storms hit the fishing has slowed dramatically.  Yellow Sallies, Parachute Adams and a variety of terrestrials will all produce fish.  The most important factor to catching fish now is presentation.  I  cannot stress to anglers enough to make your cast's count and pick your casts, aim for a target and drift the fly over the run with little to no fly line on the water at all!  High sticking is essential!  That can be a hard concept for some anglers to grasp!  Smallmouth has honestly been were most of my spare time is being spent.  The bass fishing has been fantastic on the river systems in east Tennessee.  Poppers, Buggers and large dragonfly damsel fly nymphs and dry fly patterns are catching large fish!  I am running out the door to bass fish now!  See you on the water.  Sean"

Crews are busy capturing, documenting and releasing trout on Lynn Camp Prong.  Park Service Fishery personnel and volunteers are assisting.  For the past two day they have been shocking the lower sections and will continue this week.  Next week they will move up higher and camp.  Results are showing few brook trout in the lower section of the stream.  We all hope they find a higher concentration in the smaller, higher elevation water.  Only 1,200 brook trout were stocked last Fall so that is not many for a stream that is over 8 miles long.  A few young of the year brookies were captured.  I tried to reach biologist Steve Moore this morning.  He was not in his office.  He’s probably at Lynn Camp Prong.  So, I have no official news to give you, only reports from TU volunteers.

We formed the Little River Chapter of Trout Unlimited beginning in 1992 and the Chapter was chartered in 1993.  Until then there was no TU involvement with Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  I was the first President and served for 2 ½ years.  Our chapter was founded to work directly and exclusively with the Park.  But, from the beginning members from other Chapters got involved.  At first it was the membership from the Great Smoky Mountains Chapter of Trout Unlimited.  That large chapter has been working on projects since 1993.  Now many more TU volunteers from other chapters are involved.  For instance, there was assistance from the Clinch River Chapter, Great Smoky Mountains Chapter and Little River Chapter on the Lynn Camp Prong project.  Member from the East Tennessee Fly Fishers are working on the project.  There are probably others that I don’t know about.  Some people may be un-affiliated with any organizations.  It doesn’t matter.  Volunteers are volunteers.  We are all one.  We all care.

The same held true with Troutfest.  I mentioned that we needed volunteers for the event on this fishing report and on the Troutfest website.  Guess what?  We got some great help from people who live in other states.  They came from Florida, Texas, Alabama, Mississippi and other states.  People came to help from North Carolina and Middle Tennessee. These are good people who love the Smokies and want to help raise money for huge projects like Lynn Camp Prong.  Many of them have already volunteered for duty next year. And we have new volunteers signed up a year in advance.  Thanks to all of you.

Troutfest and our efforts to support our Park Fisheries Department has become very global.  That is the way it should be.  And this year, Troutfest was the largest ever, we made more money to donate to the Park, and we had a lot more help due to reaching out beyond one TU Chapter and asking for volunteers in other parts of the Country.  I don’t know the final volunteer count.  It was over 100.

Every volunteer was asked for their T-shirt size and each received or will receive a special Troutfest Volunteer T.  People wore them like a badge of honor and that’s what they were.  At one point we decided that keeping up with t-shirt sizes was too much of a burden and we would not do it next year.  Well, after our small meeting last night with Jack, Ron and I, Ron said he was going to have t-shirts again next year.  Ron is the Volunteer Coordinator for Troutfest.  Good for him.  He saw the volunteer spirit first hand and those T-shirts meant a lot to those who worked so hard.  I got one too.  I’ll wear it on special occasions.  

I’m off today.  I am taking our boat to Blevins Paint Center in Maryville.  Steve Best is going to match and mix some non-slip deck paint for me.  I’ll put a coat on the floors, seats and platforms so we don’t slip and fall out. 

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

Byron Begley
June 3, 2010 


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