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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is raining “cats and dogs” out there right now.  I mean, it is really coming down.  The same thing happened yesterday morning.  We had 1 ¼ inches in our rain gauge when I left here last night.  This morning there was 1 ½ inches in the gauge.  I emptied it this morning and it is filling again.  Pete, who lives downstream on Little River said he had over 2” in his gauge yesterday morning. 

After the great deluge yesterday, Little River became cloudy and fairly swift.  The water was an odd, whitish color.  Anglers came in the shop and reported what they saw in the Smokies.  The West Prong of Little River was clear.  The Middle and East Prongs were stained.  This particular rain event this morning appears to be staying west of the North Carolina/Tennessee line.  The Appalachian spine seems to be keeping the rain on our side.  I don’t know how long that will last.

The Little River gauge in Maryville is at 8.06 feet.  That’s not that high compared to flows we’ve seen this year at that location.  During the last 120 days the lowest reading was 6 feet and the highest was 13 feet.

The Little Pigeon River at the Sevierville Gauge did not show much of an increase in flow yesterday morning.  The pounding we got missed that watershed which means that drainage in the Smoky Mountains might be a good place to fish right now unless this storm is blowing those streams out.

Right now, Little River in Townsend is flowing at 581 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.85 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 150 cfs.  Low flows this year have been mostly 2 feet to 2.4 feet on the gauge.  The water temperature at 7:30 am is 61.5 degrees.

The weather forecast indicates we will have more rain today and it will end by tomorrow morning.  There is only a slight chance for rain, up to 30% through Sunday.

I don’t know what to recommend to you at this point.  I am inclined to say, fish the Smokies on the North Carolina side of the Park.  I’m looking at the Cataloochee gauge right now and that stream just got a tiny bump in flow yesterday.

I would probably not take a chance driving here to fish our streams today.  I think they are going to be high and off color.

If you are inclined to fish the lowland rivers for smallmouth bass, I would rule out Little River today and maybe for a couple of days, even longer.  The Little Pigeon might be OK but I think this rain today could bring the flow level up and it will probably be muddy.  I just don’t know right now.

I don’t see much of an opportunity on the Holston, Clinch or French Broad rivers today.  They are planning to generate there.  You should check the TVA website yourself.  You never know.

I’m going fishing on a lake tomorrow.  Frank and I are going to be using 6 and 7 weight rods and hopefully catching smallmouth bass, hand over fist.  I always get very optimistic the day before I go fishing.  I just know it’s going to be the best fishing day ever.

I started a new procedure at the store.  I tend to be a little like Willie Robertson at times but not to that extreme.  We have an excellent staff working here.  They are all very friendly and helpful.  I could not ask for a better group of folks to work with.

Sometimes I get e-mails praising them and occasionally those e-mails compliment one or more of our folks individually.  In the past, I would mention the accolades to them but that’s about it.  Sometimes I print out an e-mail and give it to whoever the customer is talking kindly about.

The new procedure is this: I print out the e-mail, show it to the person who is spoken highly of, then I pin it to the wall behind the front counter for a week so everyone can see it.  I got a hand written note from some very nice people who were complimenting Bill Hey a couple of days ago.  I showed it to Bill and put it on the wall.  I told Bill he could keep it in a week or so after all our staff had the opportunity to read it.

I have received two written complaints during the past 19 years since we opened the shop.  I remember both very well and one of them happened this year.  It turns out, I was one of the bad guys in the last complaint.  Of course, I contacted both of those people and apologized.  The basis of both complaints were, we ignored the customer.  Believe me, I showed them to everyone in the shop and took credit for my bad.  I hope that doesn’t happen again.  Once every 9 ½ years is way too often.  What really worries me, and has for the past 40 years that I’ve been a business owner, are the customers who don’t complain when something goes wrong. You can't fix something you don't know is broken.

We all really appreciate you.  We are here to serve and we try hard.  Sure, we make mistakes and when we do, we try everything we can to right the wrong.

Thank you for being here and have a super great day.

Byron Begley
June 18, 2013

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