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 70 degrees in Townsend this morning.  The rain is probably over for now.  The ground is saturated and soggy due to the rain we got last week.  This was a unique and frankly unbelievable 4th of July holiday weekend. 

Little River is flowing high and swift.  Currently, flow is 1,290 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 3.88 feet on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 121 cfs.  Think about that.  Little River is flowing at 10 times normal discharge for this date.  Little River set high flow records on three consecutive days including today which is another record.  It’s the same all around us.  Cataloochee is flowing at its record for this day along with Ononaluftee River.  Tellico River is close to its record today.

Needless to say, fishing in the Smokies is not good.  I guess you could stand on the bank and do some high stick nymphing or flip out some heavily weighted streamers.  I wouldn’t drive 4 hours to get here and do that.

It will take a few days for water levels to recede back to normal if we don’t get any more rain.  More rain is likely this week.  Who knows what to expect.  Right now, the weather forecast for the coming weekend looks great.  Hopefully we will have some great fishing in the Smokies by then. 

I did notice one fishing opportunity.  It seems TVA will not be generating much today at Norris Dam.  The Clinch River might be an option and a good one.  Check the TVA website to verify this before you go and be aware that the schedule could change.  You might encounter unexpected high flows.  Don’t take my word for it.  Please check yourself.

The lakes in our area are high, exceeding TVA’s Flood Guide on Norris, Cherokee and Douglas.  Fort Loudoun Lake is fairly high.  Watts Bar is very high, almost to the top of the gates.  We’ve got a lot of water.

We didn’t get much rain in Townsend last week though we did have 1.30 inches in our gauge this morning.  That rain fell yesterday afternoon in a short period of time.  There was flooding all around us though.  The heavy rain just barely missed Townsend each day.  The Park got hammered.  West Blount County, Knox County, the Cumberland Plateau and Middle Tennessee had a ton of rain. 

We need to watch and ponder all fly fishing opportunities over the next few days.  Maybe the Smokies will come around by the weekend.  TVA could curtail generation at some of their dams so they don’t flood the Tennessee River.  The lakes will be higher than normal but hopefully they are not muddy and they will be cooler than normal. The lakes may offer good fishing opportunities. We have many lakes in our area.

Many of our customers are preparing for fishing trips to the western states.  Maybe you should plan one of those.

I’ve got a feeling, these swollen rivers feeding the Gulf of Mexico will cause muddy water there.  The Gulf States got plenty of rain too.  I haven’t looked at the Atlantic Coast.  Maybe there is clear water there.

Our fly tying department got wiped out again.  Customers are definitely tying flies.  I started placing orders this weekend.  Those orders are sitting in the in-boxes at Wapsi and Umpqua right now.  We should be in much better shape by the weekend.  I will be placing more orders this week.

Fly shops are busy.  When fishermen can’t fish, fishermen shop.  Preparing is the next best thing to being there.  I tied two flies this morning.  I’m an early riser and usually tie a fly or two every morning. 

I saw some pictures of the new Chota camo hippies and waders.  They look great.  They will be available to you in mid-August.  They are not just for duck hunters.  They are also for fly fishermen, especially Southern Appalachian fly fishermen.  Come to think of it, I have a duck barrel for my Benelli shotgun and I’ve never used it.  Maybe I will take up duck hunting again.

I watched Duck Dynasty re-runs last night with my nephew and Paula.  Our nephew was somewhat interested in the show but was also playing some kind of computer game at the same time.  You know how Phil hates cell phones and computer games.  Phil went through his usual dialog about how kids just sit around getting fat because all they use are their fingers on their computer games.  My nephew said, “I’m not fat”.

I got into a race with two wild turkey jakes this morning.  They were running on our gravel road ahead of me.  I was in my truck going 10 miles per hour.  Instead of dashing into the forest, they stayed on the road for a long time.  Maybe it was a game to them.  I did learn something from the experience.  A turkey can run faster than 10 miles per hour.  I didn’t know that until this morning.  I bet they could do 20 mph if they had to.

At noon I’m meeting with a guy who wants to open a distillery in Townsend.  There will be 3 or 4 local business people and probably the Mayor in the meeting.  Small distilleries are going to be opening at a fast pace in Tennessee.  A new winery is under construction in Townsend right now.  It is scheduled to open this Fall but I know the rain is causing construction delays.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see a new micro brewery here at some point.  I’ve heard rumors about that too.

What we really need is a pharmacy.

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

Byron Begley
July 8, 2013 

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