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 going to be sunny today and the temperature at 8:10 am is already 70 degrees.  High temperatures this weekend are expected to be in the high 80’s.  Lows will be in the 60’s.  We have a chance for afternoon thunderstorms every day.  It’s that time of year.

Little River is flowing low at 77 cubic feet per second or 1.44 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 137 cfs.  The water temperature this morning is 69.8 degrees below the confluence of the three prongs of Little River.

With temperatures starting out this warm, you need to fish the mid to high elevations where the water is cooler.  I would hike into the backcountry and fish a smaller shaded stream.  Thunderhead Prong, Fish Camp Prong and upper East Prong of the Little River would be my choice.  Any streams in the very high elevations should fish pretty good.

You will encounter low water, unless you happen to be where these afternoon thunderstorms drop some rain.  You may see high and stained water if that happens.  By all means, be aware of the water level changes.  When the water is rising and has some color to it, get out.  Something worse may be on the way.  It may be sunny and dry where you are while a torrential downpour may occur a few miles upstream.  You may not know it is happening. 

Dry flies are what I would use.  Anything yellow is working.  Terrestrials will produce too.  Don’t expect the best fishing we have to offer.  The water is too low for that.  You can catch trout and enjoy your day.  What we need is some rain.  The flows we have now are like what we normally see in July or August.

The lowland rivers are fishing OK.  Those streams are low.  Dick fished the Little Pigeon yesterday and caught a few smallmouth bass.  He is a good fisherman.  I would expect him to catch smallies under the worst conditions.  He is fishing a tailwater with Josh today.

Clay Aalders is guiding a Father/Son team of beginners this morning.  They were practicing their casting behind the store when I came to work.  Clay is a good guide and instructor.  Those three guys will have a good day.

We are remodeling our house.  I built the house about 23 years ago.  The contractor is one of my best friends in the world, Jack Gregory.  Jack is also the best fly fisherman I know.  We have traveled together to Yellowstone National Park.  We have tarpon fished together in Florida.  We fish around here.  I have learned more about fly fishing from Jack, than any other person. 

He stayed after working at the house with 6 other guys all day yesterday and had dinner with Paula and I last night.  This morning at 6:30, I heard him talking to Paula in the kitchen.  Not only will I be assured of getting a great remodeling job, I’ll get to be around my good friend every day.

This remodel is going to take several weeks. 

One thing on our bucket list is a perfect place to store boats.  It will be a boatport, similar to a carport with a slightly different name and dimensions.  I’ll be able to pull in with a boat on a perfectly level concrete driveway and push the boat in into the boatport.  Then I can plug in the battery chargers, wash the boats, play with the toys, and have everything stored right on site in a locked locker. 

Paula’s car and my truck will be parked in the carport.  We will be able to walk directly onto a deck and into our house with no steps which will come in handy later in life.  It’s going to be handy right now too.  Paula is getting a new kitchen out of the deal.  We are installing a new metal roof.  Jack and his partner Doug are overseeing the whole project.  All I have to do is write checks.

Daniel and I are meeting with an expert on internet design and e-commerce strategy Monday.  Our highest priority, a job that will take all year, is to completely re-design and build our online store using the best software available.  I am really looking forward to this.  We’ve learned a lot over the past years about online sales.  It is time for a complete overhaul.

We do not store credit card information on any of our computers or servers, not even for a split second.  We use what is called a payment gateway.  When you pay online or over the phone, the actual transaction occurs on the payment gateway, a completely different website.  When we swipe your credit card at the store, the information is triple encrypted.  All of this is done to become PCI Compliant.  It is done to make sure, if we get hacked, there is nothing to steal.   

Yesterday, Paula’s Visa card was declined at a gas pump.  She called to find out why.  I called to discuss it with the credit card company.  Our credit card information was stolen, from another company, probably late last year, along with millions of other people.  Someone has a duplicate of our card and they were trying to use it in Texas, many months later.  We cancelled the card and we’ll get new cards soon. 

We use a credit card, associated with a large fishing and hunting company to earn points.  We use the points to buy stuff for our boat.  I won’t mention their name but I do know they have extremely tight security.  I would highly recommend them. 

If we leave town, we have to call and let them know.  Otherwise, they would think something is suspicious and decline our credit card.  I find the relationship very comforting.  And, when you call them, you talk to a nice American in Nebraska quickly.  I can’t say enough good things about these people and the company they work for.  They are one of our largest competitors. 

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

Byron Begley

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