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 Mountians.  It is sunny and 67 degrees in Townsend this morning.  Traffic is very light on the roads.

Welcome to the Fishing Report from the Great Smoky Mountians.  It is sunny and 70 degrees in Townsend this morning.  Traffic was heavier than normal earlier.  There were the usual Saturday morning cars and trucks with bicycles on board headed to Cades Cove.  The Cove is closed to motor traffic on Saturday mornings and open to pedestrians and bicyclists. 

It is going to be hot this weekend by our standards.  It was hot yesterday.  A couple from Jackson, Mississippi came in and commented about our cool weather.  I make it a point to never go south during the Summer.  It’s those nights in the high 70’s that get me.

Little River is flowing very low at 48 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.26 feet on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 122 cfs.  Last year, on this date, flow was 645 cfs and 2.96 feet on the gauge.  The water temperature this morning is 71.2 degrees.

You can catch trout in the Smokies right now.  It’s not easy like it is when the water is higher but it can be done. Josh took a client to the East Prong of Little River yesterday and she did well.  Josh said she was a good caster.  They hiked upstream from the campground.

He said the Park was packed with people.  To get away from the crowds, do some hiking.  Get off the main roads and you will find solitude.  Terrestrial flies are working well.  Try a black foam beetle and drop a Green Weenie off of that.  Or, just use the beetle.  Or, just use the Green Weenie.

The trout are very active in the higher elevations.  With the expected hot temperatures, I would avoid the lower elevation streams. 

Little River in town looked like a stream of yellow vinyl when I drove to the bank yesterday.  I don’t think I have seen that much tube density in the river.  The water is low and the tubers were packed in like cordwood.  If you want to fish the river, in town, go very early or very late.  You can’t fish in Townsend when those tubers are that active and they are.  The trout are going to be lethargic anyway.  The water is warm.

Little River, through town is available to anglers most of the year.  Tubing season is short.  During tubing season, fishing at this elevation is slow anyway due to the warm water.  TWRA curtails stocking during the hot months.  I don’t see much of a conflict between the two activities.

I just checked the Message Board to see if anyone was writing about tailwater fishing.  There is not much buzz about it. 

I did see a thread concerning my birthday yesterday.  It was nice to read the comments from these fine folks.  Thank you very much.  Yes, I’m older than the Interstate System and rotary phones.  I am older than dirt.  I remember my Father wearing a button that read, “I LIKE IKE”.  I liked Ike too. I became interested in fly fishing when President Eisenhower was in office.  I got my first fiberglass fly rod 7 months after he left office.  I did have a bamboo rod before that but didn’t know how to use it.  It belonged to one of my grandfathers before I got it.

I can draw Social Security anytime I want.  In two years, I’ll be on Medicare.  I’m looking forward to that.  “You talk about freeing up some fishing money.”

I don’t mix politics with business.  I don’t talk about candidates or political parties on the fishing report.  I know, if I do, I’m going to make about half the readers mad.  I don’t allow people who are running for public office put signs on our store property.

I made one exception a few years ago.  Bill Haslam was running for Governor.  I had been around Bill a couple of times and I like him personally.  His campaign manager wanted to hold his Townsend whistle stop at our store.  It made perfect since.  We have a large parking lot.  We are easily seen from the road.  So I said, “Sure, why not?”

Before Bill’s big tour bus arrived, and advanced party came by and placed his campaign signs all around the store.  I wasn’t expecting that.

Bill, Cristy and his kids showed up in that huge motor home and we all had a good time.  They left without removing the signs.  I pondered the situation for two days.  Two days later, I came to work and removed the signs.  I voted for Bill, but I didn’t want to alienate our customers who supported someone else.  It was a good business decision.  Bill is our Governor.

Yesterday, Gordon Wright Jr. came by and asked if he could put a sign on our property.  He is running for County Commission as a write-in candidate.  I told him about my policy and he said he understood.

Well, this is different.  Gordon’s father, also named Gordon was our County Commissioner.  He was running for the office, then passed away a few months ago.  I worked on a lot of projects with Gordon and we became friends.

After Gordon Sr’s death, the Commission appointed Gordon Jr to his seat.  Gordon Jr could not get on the ballot for the upcoming election because it was too late.  So, he is running as a write-in candidate.  I’ve known Gordon Jr and his wife for many years.  He’s a great guy and well liked in our community. 

So, I told him I’m making an exception.  Our store is right next to the Post Office.  We placed his sign so it could be seen by anyone driving to and from the Post Office, and that is a lot of potential voters.  His sign couldn’t have a better location.

It made me feel good, breaking my own rules for a friend.  Sometimes, you have to do that.

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

Byron Begley
July 12, 2014

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