Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is sunny and warm this morning, as usual.  I saw people walking and riding bikes all around town when I drove to work.  One guy was picking vegetables from the Miss Lily’s Restaurant’s garden.  They grow their own vegetables right on the main highway.  A man and his son were meeting Rob Fightmaster at the shop to go on a guided trip.  This family had a tan colored border collie.  I have never seen one of those.  The dog was beautiful and friendly like most border collies.  They are smart too.

Little River is low and moving slow.  Flow is currently 68 cubic feet per second.  Median flow for this date is 160 cfs.  The water temperature was 68 degrees (same as the flow) at 7:45 am.  We wil probably get some rain tomorrow and the chance continues all week though Wednesday has the greatest odds at 50%. 

I talked to several people yesterday who are catching plenty of trout.  Some of the National Trout Unlimited board members drove up to the higher elevations of the West Prong Pigeon River and fished the tributaries for brook trout.  They did well.  Another customer and friend of Bill’s spent a week camping at Elkmont.  He did great, even missed a 20” + brown on a dry fly.  He said some evenings he would catch all rainbows.  They were larger than normal too.  Then, other nights he caught mostly browns.  His best fishing was in the evenings on dry flies.  You guessed it, the color is yellow.

Yellow Neversink Caddis is an excellent choice.  We got in 24 dozen of them a week or so ago and we’ll be ordering more in a few days.  They come from Pennsylvania so we get them quick.  My second choice would be a #16 Yellow Stimulator.  Third would be any Yellow Sally Stonefly pattern.  And for fishing under the surface I would use a Green Weenie, the ones with the loop on the tail to give them a swinging action.

I never knew why that pattern has a loop on the tail.  A sourwood worm doesn’t have a loop.  The originator of this particular pattern was George Harvey.  It was George’s best friend, Joe Humphreys who told me about the loop and the action in the water caused by it that makes the pattern so good.  One day Brian Courtney was in the shop tying Green Weenies.  He ties all of them for us.  We average selling about 8 dozen per week during the Summer.  Lefty Kreh came in the shop and started talking to Brian.  Lefty said he considers the Green Weenie to be one of the top ten trout flies.  In fact he wrote an article about it.  He told Brian and I that red was one of his best colors.  It’s funny, after Lefty got home he called and ordered a bunch of different micro chenille colors, including red. 

Steve Moore and I spoke to the National TU board of directors yesterday at Dancing Bear Lodge.  Steve talked about the relationship between the Park and the Little River Chapter of TU that started in 1992.  He mentioned the fact that due to that relationship, donations made to the Park by the Chapter and leveraged grants that occurred due to those donations, has amounted to $2.5 million.  That is over $100,000 per year.  There are many government agencies and non-profits that give money to worthy projects in our Country.  But, they all have to start with one organization going first.  Then, the others start matching the money.  The Little River Chapter is always the first.  Our volunteer labor counts.  Steve even had a count on how many fish we have captured for population studies in the past 19 years that we’ve been helping the Park.  I think it was around 5 or 6 million.  Of course, those fish are released after they have been measured, weighed and counted.

I spoke to the group about Troutfest.  I also gave each of them a Troutfest Journal.

After lunch a large bus arrived at Dancing Bear Lodge to take the board to Lynn Camp Prong.  They hiked up above the cascade.  There, Steve and his crew captured some brook trout to show the board that we now have native Southern Appalachian Brook Trout living in a mid elevation stream. 

It was a great day for all of them and this is the first TU Board meeting held in Tennessee for many years.  I attended one in Knoxville in the early 90’s.

Don’t forget that our Aquatic Entomology Class will be held on Saturday July 16th.  We still have openings.  You can check out the details by CLICKING HERE.

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

Byron Begley
June 14, 2011

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Our fly fishing classes will be offered from March to October 2011.   To sign up just call the shop at 877-448-3474.  You can read more on our website in the Schools Section.  The fly fishing class schedule follows:

Saturday May 21 – Beginner Day One
Sunday May 22 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday June 11 – Beginner Day One
Saturday June 25 – Beginner Day One
Sunday June 26 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday July 9 – Beginner Day One
Saturday July 23 – Beginner Day One
Sunday July 24 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday September 10 – Beginner Day One
Saturday September 24 – Beginner Day One
Sunday September 25 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday October 8 – Beginner Day One
Saturday October 22 – Beginner Day One
Sunday October 23 – Beginner Onstream Day Two

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