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.  The sky is clear and the temperature is 72 degrees in Townsend this morning.  I am noticing more traffic in town.  I drove by some weekend 2nd homes on Little River.  Their owners are here for the holiday.  I’ve got a feeling it is going to be busy here for a few days.

Little River is flowing at 136 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.69 feet on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 118 cfs.  The water was clear in town when I drove by earlier.  The water temperature at 8:05 am is 69 degrees.

Though it did not rain at the shop yesterday, it did somewhere in the Little River watershed in the Park last night.  The flow gauge peaked at about 1.75 feet sometime early this morning.

More flow means better fishing.  Mike Bryant said he had a good day yesterday using dry flies.  Before that, he said he did better on nymphs.  What a difference a little water makes.

We are selling Neversink Caddis like crazy.  I hope we don’t run out this week.  If we do, a Yellow Stimulator or Yellow Parachute Adams will work well.  I like a Yellow Elk Hair Caddis this time of year.  A Green or Pink Weenie will produce.  Ant and beetle patterns will catch them. 

We have a slight chance for rain today and a greater chance tomorrow.  Then, the forecast appears to be favorable to humans for the weekend with cooler day and night temperatures. 

We will be open all weekend of course, including Friday July 4th.

Hopefully, TVA will provide some friendly flows on the tailwaters for the holidays. 

I’ll be working all weekend but if I were not, I would not be on the lakes.  I think they will be very crowded.  The marinas will be busy.  They need a good break anyway.  Last year was tough in the marina business.  During the Spring, it rained almost every weekend.  Marina numbers were way down.  This year is better.

I have not talked to Rodney Phillips lately.  He runs Tellico Marina.  I love that place.  I did talk to one of his good friends this week.  He said Rodney is having a good year, thanks to the weather.  If you have not visited Tellico Marina, you should.  Check out their website HERE

Being in a weather dependent business can be tough at times.  We are definitely in a weather dependent business.  We’ve been lucky so far this year.

I love marinas and boat docks.  It’s been that way all my life.  Not long after I was born, my parents bought an aluminum cabin cruiser and kept it at a boat dock in Boonesborough, Kentucky.  I spent most of my childhood and teen years on the Kentucky River. 

I moved to Nashville in 1973 and rented an apartment next to J. Percy Preist Lake.  I kept a boat at the marina, in the water and ready to go.  A tornado made a direct hit on the apartment complex where I lived and at the marina.  After it blew over I drove down to the marina and couldn’t believe what I saw.  Several covered docks were flipped out of the water and upside down on the parking area.  About half the boats were destroyed from what I remember.  Mine sort of sank but the ropes held it near the surface.  I had minor damage that was easily repaired.  Others fared much worse.

I haven’t used live bait in decades but I still like going into bait shops, especially in Florida.  I know it sounds crazy but I love the smell of bait tanks.  Watching shrimp swim around in aerated water brings back childhood memories. 

Even more pleasing to me is being on a boat dock that has a bait shop.  Now that is the ultimate experience.  You don’t see many of those these days.  Now, the Marinas have restaurants.

The ladies at the bank always ask me, “How is everything at the bait shop?”  I make up some story about our night crawler sales, running out of minnows and maggots on busy weekends and telling them how well meal worms are selling.  They know we don’t sell that stuff.  I just like to gross them out.  I always enjoy going to the bank.  They seem to enjoy it too.  I think I really got them with the maggots.

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

Byron Begley
July 1, 2014

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