Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It was 74 degrees when I drove to work this morning.  We’re not used to that.  There was quite a bit of traffic on the streets.  Hopefully our tourism business is prospering right now.  It seems to be.  Most of the people who own motels, cabin rental companies, campgrounds and lodges are friends of mine.  I want them to have a good year.  Through April, things are looking up.  We don’t have the May hotel/motel tax numbers yet.  I’m looking forward to seeing those.

Ron Ellis will be here today signing the new book of Harry Middleton stories.  I think some of them are un-published and most will be new to most Middleton fans.  He will be here at 1:00.  Just come on by.  We’ll have books for sale of course.  You will like Ron.  He knew Harry Middleton and has been an admirer of his work.  Ron has written some other books too.

It is going to be hot for a couple of days then cool off.  The forecast is predicting lows at 61 degrees on Wednesday and Thursday with highs in the mid-80’s.  That’s what we’ve been waiting for.  We have a chance for rain starting Monday.

Little River is flowing at about half normal.  Today the flow is 74 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 121 cfs.  This hot, dry spell has taken a toll on our streams.  It has taken it’s toll on us too.  Maybe it will end soon.

If I were going fishing in the Park today I would pack a lunch, some bottles of water and hike up to a shaded, high elevation stream and enjoy the comfort.  You can find willing trout right now if you are in the right place.  The trout are going to be hiding in the shade and riffles.  Small yellow dry flies will work.  And, this would be a good day for some “stream watching”, one of my favorite things to do.  The rivers down low and on the roads will be infested with people swimming, skipping rocks and tubing.  That’s OK.  We as anglers will get the larger rivers back soon enough, as soon as school starts back.

As I am recovering from surgery my work day has been short.  I have been coming to work at about 8:45 and writing the fishing report.  I’m at the shop now.  In a little while I’ll drive home, turn on my Mac, sit down, take a hydrocodone and surf the web while listening to CNN on the TV. 

Today I am going to research striper fishing in Tennessee.  I’ll start at Mike Anderson’s Message Board,  Mike has a world of information on the subject. This message board is excellent.

I have a lot of friends who fish for stripers almost exclusively.  Dean Campbell is a good example.  He’s got it figured out. 

My striper experience dates back to the early 70’s when we would buy some shiners and drift them deep in Percy Priest Reservoir near Nashville.  We caught some nice fish but never on a fly rod and rarely near the surface.  I didn’t know how.  I want to learn.

In East Tennessee we are blessed with cold or cool water rivers released from deep in the lakes below TVA dams.  During the summer, it’s my understanding that stripers seek out cool water because they require more oxygen.  I want to be able to launch in Tellico Lake on the Little Tennessee arm, where the water is cool, and hopefully the stripers will be taking shad off the surface in every direction I look.

A lot of trout fishermen hate stripers.  They eat trout.  I can’t say as I blame them.  I’m against everything that hurts our trout fisheries.  But those stripers are here and I might as well have fun catching them when the fishing is right for a fly rod and a big streamer.

So, that’s how I’m going to spend my day.  I’ll probably tie some flies too.

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

Byron Begley
June 26, 2010

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