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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is overcast and 71 degrees in Townsend this morning.  When I drove to work traffic was light and there were almost no pedestrians on the bike paths or sidewalks.  I’m sure we have a town full of visitors.  It is a holiday week.  But, everything looked normal this morning. 

We live in a tourist town.  Some people call it a resort town.  But, due to the size of our tourism infrastructure, we don’t have the crowds and traffic associated with a typical National Park Gateway.  We can’t be compared to Gatlinburg or Cherokee.  This really is the Peaceful Side of the Smokies.

“The Peaceful Side of the Smokies” is a trademark owned by the Smoky Mountain Tourism Authority.  It can only be used by written permission.  I just got permission yesterday to print the phrase on a new T-Shirt we have in the design phase right now.  Since we have two other T-shirts in design and production, you probably won’t see the “Peaceful” shirt for a while.  It costs about $2,500 for a new design and first run.  We sold 1/3 of our “Brook Trout Restoration” t-shirts during the first two weeks after introduction.  I’ll be re-printing another gross of those soon.  We are out of one size already. You can buy them on our online store right now except for size XXL.

Fishing is fairly slow in our region right now.  One bright spot is Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Bill and Sheila fished on the Oconoluftee River last weekend.  There was plenty of water there and the water was cool.  Fishing was good.  In the Little River watershed, fishing is fine.  You have to hide from the trout by blending in with your surroundings.  The trout are in the riffles and where riffles enter pools.  The choppy water offers cover for the trout.  They are taking dry flies and nymphs.  I would use a yellow dry fly of some sort.  It could be a Neversink Caddis, Yellow Elk Hair Caddis, Yellow Parachute Adams or a Yellow Stimulator.  A beetle or Green Weenie will work fine too.

You will need to venture into the backcountry and hike a ways to get away from the people.  Higher elevation streams will be cooler and the fishing will be better. 

Little River’s water level rose yesterday to 120 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Right now the flow is 62 cfs.  Median flow for this date is 129 cfs.  The water temperature at 7:50 am this morning was 73 degrees at the “Y”. 

High temperatures are expected during the day, all week.  Expect highs in the low 90’s.  That does not seem hot anymore compared to what we have experienced recently.  This week is going to be about 10 degrees cooler than last week during the day.  There will be higher humidity and thunderstorms forming in the afternoons.  So, we could get ample rain to raise the stream levels.  I hope so.

James sent me some temperature readings that he took on the East Prong of Little River on Saturday and Sunday.  Those temperatures ranged from 64 degrees to 66 degrees in the area near the Fish Camp Prong/East Prong confluence.  If you remember, Saturday and Sunday were very hot.  Records were set both days.  In the higher elevations, where those small streams are shaded, the water is cool and fishing is good.  Thanks for the information James.

Tennessee Valley Authority is trying to keep the lake levels high for the Summer boating season.  That is not happening in most cases.  In fact, TVA has issued warnings to those cruising the lakes in vessels.  Be careful, slow down and watch for rocks and stumps.  CLICK HERE to read an article about this subject on the KnoxNews website.

The warm temperatures have also lowered the dissolved oxygen levels in the streams, rivers, lakes and ponds. One small lake in Knoxville had a fish kill.  You can read about that on the KnoxNews website by CLICKING HERE.

I am staying off the lakes this week.  There will be too many people out there for my taste.  Also, my truck is being restored back to new.  I rented a brand new Nissan Titan pickup but it doesn’t have a trailer hitch.  I like the truck.  Without a hitch it is not something I would like to drive for very long.  I should get my truck back Friday.  Then, I’m going to take it to another specialist to have some suspension work done.  I’m hoping it will look like new and drive like new when I’m done.

Jerry, who owns Frog’s Fanny is back into production again.  We had 144 bottles on order and only received 96 so far.  We are going to order another 96 bottles today.  Jerry runs this business part-time.  Sometimes he can’t keep up with demand.  So, our strategy will be to keep at least 144 bottles in stock.  I may change that to 192 bottles.  Then, if there is a temporary hiccup in the supply chain, we are covered for a couple of weeks or more.  We do have one unexpected problem.  Some customers are buying 4 bottles instead of one to protect their supply. Jerry was not shipping for about a month and nationwide inventory dropped to record lows. This happens from time to time.  Daniel and I will decide what to do today. 

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

Byron Begley
July 3, 2012 

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