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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  I had been watching the large storm approaching all afternoon yesterday.  Last night, when we knew it was about to arrive, Paula, Dubbing and I went to the basement.  We watched the radar on our iPads.  We could barely hear thunder and when the red color on our tablets passed us, we went back upstairs.  I looked outside and everything seemed fine.  We have a small mountain called Little Mountain between our house and Townsend.  It looked like the storm was breaking up there, just before it hit our home.

This morning, as usual, I started reading newspaper articles online.  It appears that Townsend and Cades Cove were hit hard.  Two people were reported dead and several injured in the Cades Cove area.  Burgermaster Restaurant served as a gathering point for emergency personnel including a helicopter. 

When I drove to work it was apparent to me that this storm was not what we experienced at home.  First, the Red Cross had set up a shelter at Tuckaleechee Methodist Church about ½ mile from our house.  The roads in town were littered with debris.  I saw trees that had fallen on a boat and a garage.  I ran into Frank, one of our policemen on Old Highway 73.  We stopped to talk.  He said a huge boulder fell in the river at Cedar Bluff.  Witnesses said the water shot 30 feet in the air when the rock hit.  Someone in a tube was only 10’ from the point of impact at the time.

I drove down to the KOA campground.  Channel 10 had a remote broadcast truck there.  I saw mostly small debris everywhere.  There were a few large trees that had blown down.  Some power lines were down.  There is a mobile sign warning people that the Park is closed.  I called the Park to hear the road conditions report.  Highway 441 is open from Gatlinburg to Cherokee.  Little River Road from Elkmont to Townsend is closed.  Laurel Creek Road from Townsend to Cades Cove is closed.  The Cades Cove Loop Road is closed.  And, Foothills Parkway from Walland to Highway 129 is closed.  Apparently, our area got hit the hardest and the storm weakened after it passed Townsend.  We live close to Cades Cove and Townsend.  There was almost no debris on the roads in our valley.

You can read the story by CLICKING HERE and visiting the KnoxNews website.

Our rain gauge indicated we got 1.65” of rain.  The Airport reported only .35”.  Little River is flowing much higher but not anything close to flooding.  Flow right now is 195 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 133 cfs.  The water temperature at 8:15 am was 70.4 degrees.  The air temperature at that time was 67 degrees.  The water is slightly off color.

If you go fishing in the Park today you should plan on entering at Gatlinburg or Cherokee.  The higher elevation streams should be fishing very well.  The water is higher and cooler than it has been.  Be careful.  There is a 50% chance for another storm late this afternoon.  I think both deaths and most injuries last night were due to trees falling on people and vehicles.  I would not be in the backcountry late today.

I expect the roads in the Park near us will be open later today.  The Foothills Parkway is usually a lower priority so it may not open as quickly.  People were trapped in the Cove overnight.  There appeared to be traffic exiting the Park this morning and those people were probably coming from Cades Cove.

We have rain in the forecast today, Sunday and Monday.  Next week it is going to be much cooler.  Lower temperatures and higher water will improve the fishing in our area.

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

Byron Begley
July 6, 2012 

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