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 70 degrees in Townsend this morning.  Traffic is light.  Frank had a vehicle pulled over for speeding.  The vehicle had bicycles mounted on the back.  I notice, especially on Saturdays, people who are going to Cades Cove to ride bicycles fly by me on my way to work.  They are in a hurry to get there.  Many of them get a speeding ticket.  The Cove Road is closed until 10:00 am on Saturdays so pedestrians and bicyclists can have it to themselves.

The wild turkeys are out in numbers.  Last night when I got home I saw one hen with 6 to 8 poults.  I tried counting the babies but they were running for cover.  They were probably about a foot tall.  Then I drove over the hill and in the field where our barn is located I saw a huge gobbler with a jake.  I’ve been seeing those two a lot lately.  This morning I heard a hen yelping.  When I pulled out of the driveway, she was in our road.

The rivers and streams in the Smokies look awesome.  The water levels are high and the temperatures are fairly low.  David and Ethan fished yesterday.  David said the water was still a little stained.  You know what that means.  The brown trout, the big ones are active.  He said they saw a lot of fish over 20 inches long.  They had a good day of fishing but didn’t catch one over 20”.

Little River is flowing at 173 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 136 cfs.  The water temperature was 68.3 degrees at 7:50 am.

The streams are clearer today.  You should go to your normal water level plan.  Fishing will be best early and late but it may be good during the day depending on cloud cover and where you are.  Dry flies and nymphs will both work fine.  For a dry I would use a Yellow Stimulator, Yellow Neversink Caddis or a black beetle.  For a nymphs I would use a Green Weenie.  A black Chernobyl Ant might score a large fish.

Smallmouth bass fishing in the lowland rivers and tailwaters will be very good.  I have not heard from anyone about lower Little River or  the Little Pigeon both of which grow some nice smallmouth.  I have had good reports from guides who fish the tailwaters for smallies.  That fishing has been excellent.

Starting tomorrow, the chance for rain diminishes to 40% then lower through Wednesday of next week.  But there is a chance every day.  We’ll probably get some more rain. 

There has been an uproar about the Ralph Lauren designed uniforms to be worn by our team in the Olympics starting later this month.  They are made overseas.  The designer company promised to use American made uniforms in future Olympics.  That is good.  They responded to the public outcry.  I talked to a TSA agent yesterday.  He said their uniforms are made in Mexico.

We are using USA made T-shirts in our department now. I’m going to buy everything that is made in America for that department.  They do cost about 10% more.  Our Brook Trout Restoration T sells for $20.95 and a little more for sizes over XL.  I don’t think customers mind the extra cost.  They are certainly buying them. 

I don’t think any wading shoes are made in America.  Maybe that will change too.  One exception may be the Borger boots.  I heard they don’t make those anymore but I have not checked lately.

A man from South Carolina was driving his motorcycle on Interstate 40 last Sunday.  A bear ran in front of him and they collided.  He was released from the hospital.  The bear died in the crash.  You can read the story on the KnoxNews Website HERE.

Around here we see more bears that deer.  And they will run right out in front of you while you are driving.  Paula and I had a huge bear run in front of us last year.  We were pulling our boat on the Foothills Parkway.  If I had been doing the speed limit or going faster than that, we could have hit the animal.  I have come very close to wild boar on the road to the Little T when traveling to the lake before daybreak.  You don’t see them, then all of a sudden there they are.  In Michigan you have to watch for deer.  Here you watch for bears.

People have been asking me if I’ve seen the bear that tried to break into our house last week.  I have not.  The bear and her cub were attempting to enter the house through a window downstairs.  There was a potted plant with artificial apples at the base of the tree.  They saw those apples and wanted them.  I heard the crash of her paw hitting the window and walked out of my office.  There they were at the window.  I removed the apples and they have not been back or at least I have not seen them.

We have ten students today for our Aquatic Entomology For Anglers Class taught by Dr. Brad Cook.  This is a full class.  This is a great class.  When we announce a date it fills up quick.  One person cancelled yesterday.  We filled his spot with someone on the waiting list.  Brad does a great job and he is so enthusiastic about the insects and the fishing.  He is the professor of biology at Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville.  He loves fly fishing in streams and in the salt.

This is going to be the perfect weekend in the Great Smoky Mountains.

Your should be here.

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

Byron Begley
July 14, 2012

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