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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is sunny and 68 degrees in Townsend this morning.  We got more heavy rain before closing time yesterday and also during the night.  Total precipitation in our gauge since 7:30 am yesterday is 1.4 inches.  That, on top of 3 ½ inches two days ago has left our little part of the world drenched.  The ground is soggy.  There are ponds where there were not ponds early this week.  The Spring Creek behind our house is a raging torrent.  Even Miss Lily’s Restaurant’s front lawn is a pond.  Lots of water is running through the drainage systems in town.

Emergency vehicles and rescue teams were heading toward the Park yesterday over a period of about an hour. Several of them flew by with sirens blazing.  Since there was nothing on the local news websites about a terrible accident, the emergency teams must have been rescuing tubers or possibly whitewater kayakers.  That happens frequently when the water is high, especially during the tourist season.

Some people don’t understand the power of water.  Little River is the most beautiful, pristine piece of water on earth.  When the water is high, it can get you.  I saw people tubing down the river through town after work last night.  I could not believe what I saw. 

Little River is currently muddy and flowing at 664 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.99 feet on the gauge.  That’s not terribly high.  But I would not float down a muddy river moving that fast in a tube with no real maneuverability system you can count on.  You are basically at the whim of the river.  That is nuts!  All you have to do is get caught in a strainer and you may die.

I can’t find many fishing opportunities for you today but there are surely some.  If you want to fish in the Park, it might be worth a chance driving over to the East side of the Park.  Cataloochee looks better than anything I can see online.  There may be some small streams around here you can fish.  Just be careful wading deep.  It looks like the Tellico River drainage in Cherokee National Forest didn’t get the pounding we did here.  Maybe that would be an option.

Some tailwaters are not generating right now but most appear to be scheduled for flushing this afternoon.

You could not drag me onto a lake today.  This is 4th of July Weekend!  There will be a lot of amateurs in power boats and on jet skis out there.  That’s no place for me and Paula.  Actually, we never fish on weekends.  I work Friday, Saturday and Sunday every week. When we go fishing, it is usually on a Wednesday.  Sometimes we fish Tuesday and Wednesday.  We fish in lakes out of our boat.  We don’t see crowds of boats and boaters.  All we see are serious fishermen and they are usually the same ones every week. 

I am so excited!  June has turned out to be one of our best business months in years.  May was excellent too.  The weather has not been favorable to anyone in the fly fishing business across the United States including us.  Go figure.

I am going to keep you in suspense because I have to.  Chota is coming out with two new products that are getting me really excited.  I talked to Mark yesterday.  He is the Sales Manager at Chota.  Since I do their photography, I’m sitting here waiting for product to photograph and there is marketing to do.  I’m going to help design the digital materials too.  I bet I get to shoot some video.

Timing is perfect for these new products.  They will be in the warehouse in Knoxville before the fly fishing show takes place in July. Dealers can order and get them right away.  Sometimes, we have to wait months for products when they are announced. 

New products are kept a secret until the fly fishing dealer show.  I never spill the beans.  Sometimes I see prototypes a year before they are introduced to the world.  You will see these pieces of gear from Chota in a couple of weeks and you will want them.

I’m going to see the new Simms lineup Monday.  That will take place in their huge motor home showroom in a Walmart parking lot in Maryville. To save time, Captain Dave from Simms is getting his dealers to drive a short distance for a two hour showing.  Then, he’s moving on to another Walmart, then another.

This is not the usual time for Captain Dave to be on the road.  And, since his kids are out of school for the Summer, he is bringing his wife and kids with him.  He’s a great guy.  I guess his family will be wandering around Walmart stores all over the Southeast for a few weeks while he is giving his presentations.  His big bus has a generator so it will be air conditioned.  I’m glad about that.  Travis from the Smoky Mountain Angler in Gatlinburg will be sitting in on the show with me.  It will be good to see Travis.  I really like the Smoky Mountain Angler folks, they are only 45 minutes away and we never see each other.  Hey, in this business you have to work!

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

Byron Begley
June 29, 2013

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