Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is foggy and overcast in Townsend, Tennessee this morning.  Our streets are active.  It is vacation time.  The tourists finally came.  I noticed last night when I drove home that traffic was unusually heavy for a Sunday evening.  And yesterday, when I looked out at the main road, I saw a lot of campers heading to the Smokies. 

Little River looks really good today.  Canada geese were swimming around honking loudly at the swinging bridge.  I took the water temperature like I do every day.  It was 66 degrees at 8:00 am.

Flow is very good, higher than normal.  We have had over an inch of rain during the past two days and there is more on the way this week on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.  Flow is currently 198 cubic feet per second.  Median flow for this date is 135 cfs.  It is going to be hot today and tomorrow then cool off.  It looks like the high temperatures on Thursday and Friday will only be 84 degrees.

Our country is in a terrible drought.  That’s hard to believe isn’t it?  With all the flooding we had in the Midwest down through the Mississippi valley and high water runoff in the west you would think, on average we our country would be wet.  But the severity of the drought in Texas and some bordering states is huge in terms of square miles.  The drought is moving into other southern states.  We’re in good shape here so far.

Fishing is very good.  Cooler water in the high elevations and decent temperatures in the lower streams coupled with nice flows make for perfect conditions for the fly angler.  The trout and insects are more active early and late.  Evenings seem to be best.  But, you can find good fishing all day if you are willing to drive or hike. 

Best fly selections are Yellow Sally Stonefly imitations and terrestrials.

Smallmouth bass fishing in the rivers and lakes is good too.  Now that there is more water in the rivers around here, floating and fishing for smallies is excellent.  In the lakes the bass have moved out of the shallow water but they are still taking top water flies in the cooler lakes.  The guys who fish for stripers aren’t talking or they are fishing instead of visiting the fly shop.  I’ve got a feeling I know a couple of places where the fish can be found and caught on a big streamer.  I’m tying some huge Puglisi Shad in the evenings.  These things are so big it takes about an hour to tie one.  It only take a few seconds to lose one.  I hate that.

I am meeting with Bill Guinn today for a couple of hours.  He is the new Chairman of Troutfest.  It was Bill’s idea to start the Little River Chapter in 1992.  He was our State Chairman at the time and lived in Greenville, Tennessee.  Yesterday I sent him a list of all Troutfest Committee members and a description of what they do.  There are 25 of us on the committee.  Our strengths and experiences are wide and varied.  I recruited many of them during my 3 years of changing the festival to a fly fishing exposition. He now has the contact information from all of our supporters including Orvis, Temple Fork, Little River Outfitters and Chota.  All of us donate several thousand dollars each to the project.

Bill, Rufus King and I are meeting with the CEO of the Blount County Partnership on Friday.  His name is Bryan Daniels.  The Visitors Center where we hold Troutfest is under the watch of Bryan though it is owned by the County. 

Also on Friday, five of us will meet to develop a strategic plan and concept plan to rebuild Laurel Lake and turn the county owned property into a rustic nature park.  The lake will be about 50 to 80 acres.  The total property amounts to about 130 acres. 

Two of the guys are engineers, one with impoundment experience and the other with good concept and strategy planning skills.  One County Commissioner, me and Herb Handly will round out the small committee.  I’m chairman of the larger committee.  This will take years and probably $1 million or more to make it happen.  Our plan is to raise the money through public fundraising and grants.  Our goal is to not obtain any public money through government except for grants that already exist.

So this is going to be a fun week for me.  I hope to go fishing too.

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

Byron Begley
June 20, 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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