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 overcast and 72 degrees in Townsend this morning. 

We were drenched by a small storm this morning.  Adding that to the brief downpour yesterday, we had .75” of rain in our gauge during the past 24 hours.

Little River has not risen much at all and the water is clear in town for the time being.  What we don’t know is, what’s coming down from the mountains.  I’m hoping for some higher water. 

Right now, Little River is flowing at 94 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.52 feet on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 163 cfs.  The water temperature at 7:50 am is 67.3 degrees.

Fly fishing in the Smoky Mountains is fine, especially in the smaller shaded creeks.  Fishing will be best early and late.  If the water continues to be low and clear, extra care should be taken to avoid being seen by the trout.  Use light tippets, 5X or 6X. 

I would stick with a Yellow Sally Stonefly dry fly.  A #16 Yellow Neversink Caddis will do.  The trout think it is a stonefly.  Terrestrials will work.  Try a foam beetle.  Give a Green Weenie a shot.  They should all work well.

It is going to be hot this week with highs around 90 degrees.  There is a chance for rain every day though the chance is low until the weekend.  The rain chance increases dramatically next week if the current long term forecast holds true.  Of course, the chance is highest on my day off which would be a fishing day.

Tomorrow, Frank, Josh and I will be floating a tailwater, searching for smallmouth bass.  The sun will be blazing down.  The temperature is supposed to be 91 degrees at the peak.  I don’t know which river we will be fishing.  It will be the Holston or French Broad.  That will be Josh’s call.  He’s the guide and his decision will be based on generation schedules and his gut feeling.  I hope he has an air conditioner in that boat.

TVA has been generating often and in earnest below Douglas Dam on the French Broad.  That lake is full.  Generation has been light on the Holston below Cherokee Dam.  That lake is low.

Norris Lake is low.  However, TVA plans to generate some there today.  Generation should be light and low on the Holston.  They will be cranking water through Douglas Dam this afternoon and into the night.  Check the TVA website before you go.

I have no idea what’s happening on the lakes.  I hope to find out next week.  Our boat has been sitting and waiting for a while.  I do hook a hose to the motor and start it every week. 

I poured the fuel into my truck and filled the boat’s tank with fresh gas last week.  I do that often.  I use 10% ethanol fuel and use three Mercury additives.  Still, I don’t like having that gas stored in the boat for very long.  My truck seems to like the Mercury additives.

One store in town sells 100% gasoline.  The problem for me is, it is high octane.  Our Mercury engine manual strongly suggests we run 87 octane fuel, not the high power stuff.  So, I buy gas with ethanol for the boat.  It runs fine.

It’s a good idea to start your boat engine weekly.  This should be done in the Winter too, even if you are not using it.  My dealer told me, most engine problems occur in our part of the country and north of us, because people don’t run their engines during the Winter. 

I had a problem with our motor’s carburetor last Spring.  I winterized the motor and didn’t start it during the cold months.  The carburetor dried out and had to be rebuilt, which cost $200.  That also cut into our Spring fishing time for over a week.  That won’t happen again, I hope.

We set a new date for Fly Tyers Weekend.  It will be held November 8th and 9th at the new Tremont Lodge and Resort.  The lodge owner and I are working on the plans now.  Basically, we will have a minimum of 32 fly tyers tying in 4 hour shifts.  The event will be free.  We are considering a Exhibitor and attendee cookout and serving food during the event.  

We held Fly Tyers Weekend the last time in 2005.  We stopped doing it because the Fly Fishing Show in Asheville, N.C. held their event at the same time in early November.  Now, they have moved that show to December.  So, we’re going to grab that early November weekend and hold our event again. 

Holding the event at the lodge gives us a better advantage should we have bad weather.  Before, we rented a tent and held it outside.  I think we had about 200 attendees at the last one.  Everyone loved it.

You know what the largest cost was when we held that event years ago?  Direct mail advertising.  That’s right, advertising was the big one.  Things are different now.  For instance, 400 to 800 people visit this page every day.  Close to the same amount visit our home page.  More than that number of people visit our message board and the online store. 

Last year, we had 1,515,640 visitors to the website who viewed 19,215,911 pages. Count the commas.  That’s 19 million page views.  We had over 35 million “Hits”.  I’m not exactly sure what a hit is. I think it’s a click. Surely, we can get the word out for no cost.  This changes the whole game.

I will be off tomorrow floating a river with my friends.  Daniel will write this report.  I’ll be back Wednesday.

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

Byron Begley
June 16, 2014

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