Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is sunny  and very comfortable outside in Townsend this morning.  Evidently, a lot of other people view it the same way.  I saw more people walking and riding their bicycles this morning than I have in a long time.  As a planner for our community I see an image of that very sight in my mind often.  Townsend is like a park.  It is a very safe and friendly park.  The views that surround this park are spectacular.  The pure, beautiful river that runs through this Park is like no other.  And right next to us is another Park, the Great Smoky Mountains.  This is the best place I know of to live and visit.

The river looked really good this morning.  The water temperature remains at 68 degrees at first light.  Later in the day it warms up of course.  Flow is currently 120 cubic feet per second.  Median flow for this date is 101 cfs.  We are in for some warm, dry days.  The next real chance for rain comes Tuesday through Friday of next week.  Thankfully, the water levels in the Park are above normal right now so a dry spell will be fine. 

Fishing is good.  The higher elevations are best because the water is cooler.  If I were going for a day of Park fishing I would pick areas at 2,000 feet above sea level or higher.  That would include the streams above Elkmont of which the East Prong of the Little River is one of them.  I might venture up Thunderhead Prong at the end of Tremont Road.  Abrams Creek near the falls trailhead might be good.  But, if I were going fishing for a short time I would go either to Elkmont or Tremont late in the day and fish until dark. 

Yellow Sally Stonefly patterns are still my choice.  Also, I would use a Green Weenie.  It is definitely Green Weenie time in the Smokies.  But, a good ole Parachute Adams might be just the trick.  You’ve got to stay hidden and blend in with your surroundings.  The trout are going to be in the broken water.  Fish the shady areas.  Have a good time.

Rufus and I are going fishing tomorrow.  We’ll be on Tellico Lake.  We want to figure out how to catch stripers in shallow water on flies.  The timing is good according to all of our customers who are in the know.  These fish should be in the rivers at a depth of 6 feet up to the surface.  I’m rigging big rods with sink tip lines.  On the boat we’ll have 8 and 9 weight rods.  The flies are large Puglisi minnows about 4” long.  We’ll be in the Little Tennessee river section of the lake.  He and I are meeting at 7:00 am at the ramp.  We’ll also have some 6 weight rods in case we decide to fish for trout.  This is going to be a good day.

I have found all the spots on maps.  I downloaded a map the other day that has more detail than my printed version.  Navigation is a problem up there.  Forest land was left alone in TVA’s attempt to back up that lake quickly.  So there are underwater trees to contend with.  Since this was a rocky river, there are rocks.  And, if they are generating at the dam above, we’ll have current, rocks and trees.  That’s not exactly a place to go water skiing.  Motoring around there gives me the creeps.  But, the more you do it the more you will learn.  We will be in our boat.  Rufus took his the last time we fished together.  I can’t wait.

Yesterday afternoon I attended a reception at the Chamber for Herb Handly.  Herb is retiring from his post as head honcho of the Smoky Mountain Convention and Visitors Bureau.  He is my buddy and yesterday his staff gave him an Abel Reel that was made just for him.  It is a trout reel, a TR and the color is pewter.  It is engraved so we had it made without porting on one side. 

The reception was like a homecoming for me.  I saw all my old chamber friends.  I’ve served on the board several times.  Dale and Kevin from the Park were there.  Dale is the Superintendent and Kevin is the Assistant Superintendent.  Dale and I talked about Lynn Camp Prong.  Many of the local and state leaders were there.  I know them all and talked to them all.  In every conversation the first thing they said to me was about re-building Laurel Lake. 

Doug, our State Senator brought it up immediately.  Art, our State Representative talked about it right off the bat.  Ed, our County Mayor walked up, shook my hand and told me he just drafted a letter that needed to be written on behalf of the County for Laurel Lake.  Even Bob, who is a State Representative but does not represent our district told me he would help.  Bob has helped me with projects in the House of Representatives a couple of times.  All of our County Commissioners are in favor of this project.  I have not talked to anyone who is against it.  We are moving along and I’m honored they picked me to be the organizer. 

We will all miss having Herb run our Visitors Bureau.  I can see his office from our shop.  We work about ¼ mile from each other.  But, now we’ll be able to go fishing together.  He has always been off on weekends and I work those days.  Running the Visitors Bureau is what I have always considered “The Dream Job”.  In fact, I was on the search committee that hired him 12 years ago.  Bryan, the CEO of the Blount Partnership has big decisions to make among the other big decisions to be made.  I’m sure he will do the right thing.

Have a great day and thank you for being here with us.  Daniel will be writing the Fishing Report tomorrow.

Byron Begley
June 29, 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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