Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is warming up already.  Little River looked peaceful this morning.  The flow is slow and the water is low.  I can see the bottom of the river vividly and with complete detail below the swinging bridge.  The water temperature continues to hang around 70 degrees early in the mornings.  I need a longer string on my thermometer.  I had to get down on my hands and knees to take the temperature today. 

There is no relief in sight for the fishing conditions.  Your best bet is to fish early and late.  The moving water, riffles and pockets are your best bet.  A dry fly would be easier to fish in this low water.  Just about any cream colored or yellow dry fly will work.  Pick the shady areas, preferably in the backcountry.  Find the smaller streams with plenty of cover and choppy water.  The higher elevation streams will be cooler and the trout more active.

I talked to Hugh Hartsell this morning.  He was here at a little after 8:00 am waiting for some clients to show up.  Hugh is a very good guide, fly tyer and angler.  He is also a very nice man.  I always enjoy talking to him.  He is always telling me about a recent trip and a client who hooked and sometimes landed a big trout.  You can tell he enjoys what he does for a living. 

Townsend was packed last night for the fireworks show.  It sounds like several thousand people showed up.  Paula and some of our friends set up here at the shop.  She told me, after the show was over, it took 20 minutes to drive one mile.  I stayed home and rested which I’ve been doing a lot of lately. 

Our town is crowded with tourists.  I appears that tourism is good this summer.  I’ll be anxious to see the sales tax numbers for the motels, campgrounds, cabins and lodges. Those numbers tell the real story.  Hospitality people work hard and they have to cram a lot of business into a short period of time.  It’s kind of like the fly shops around Yellowstone.  I don’t know how they do it.  Lucky for us, our business is pretty much the same year round.  January and February are slow, May is huge but every other month is fairly stable. 

I still have not seen this big bear that is hanging around our neighborhood.  They are hard to see around our house because we are situated deep in the woods.  I can see the Great Smoky Mountains from the house, especially in the winter when the leaves are gone.  But, close-by all we see are trees and lots of them.    

I like looking at trees.  I like living in the forest.  I guess that goes back to my tree house days. I was a big fan of tree houses when I was a kid.  I’ve slept in the trees many nights and on the ground in the forest.  Living in a forest has it’s benefits especially right now.  It is always cooler in the forest, a lot cooler. 

We have a brief relief from the heat in the forecast in about one week.  If the forecast holds true, we’ll drop below the 90’s during the day in one week.  It’s still going to be warm at night though.  Also, one week from today the forecast mentions rain, a 60% chance.  I hope that happens.  It is dry and the water is low.

We’ll stick out the heat wave and soon it will be over.  Until then, fish early and late.

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

Byron Begley
July 5, 2010


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