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, humid and 75 degrees at 8:05 am.  The high today is supposed to be 91 degrees.  It appears the tourists are back.  Traffic was fairly heavy this morning.  I came in later than usual so that could have skewed my perspective.   

Little River is flowing at 107 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 126 cfs.  The water temperature was 70.1 degrees earlier.  We have a very good chance for rain starting tomorrow and lasting until Friday.  It will probably happen.  It is going to cool off some by the weekend too. 

Fishing is good in the Smokies.  Trout are taking dries and nymphs, take your pick or try both at the same time.  We had a couple of anglers yesterday who told us fishing was slow.  Maybe they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.  But overall, fishing in our area is good. Early and late will be best if there is not cloud cover.

I heard two stories yesterday from two unrelated people who caught a large smallmouth bass in the Park.  By large I’m referring to 15” or so.  That is not really a large smallmouth but in a small stream, that is pretty impressive.  One was in the Middle Prong and the other in the West Prong of Little River.  I have caught them in the Middle but never in the West.     

Business picked up yesterday.  Last week was awful for Townsend businesses including us.  Our entrance to the Park was closed for several days due to downed trees caused by the storm on July 5th.  One business manager told me yesterday he was down 30% last week.  I’m afraid to look at our numbers.  I saw the total for this year.  It was awful.  I didn’t compare it to the same week last year, at least not yet.

You know, 12 years ago that would not have happened.  Most visitors would probably not know the Park was closed.  It’s the same for fly fishermen.  I remember back in the day when I would drive over here to fish, only to find out the streams were flooded.  That’s all changed.  It’s the internet.  We know more than we used to know.  Life was simpler when we knew less.  Times have changed.

Yesterday I talked to a nice young man who was in here with his father.  First, he had really long, curly thick hair.  I commented that I wish I had his hair.  It turns out he is a guitar player.  And his whole family goes to some great concerts.  They even saw U2 perform recently.  They went to the last Eagles concert tour.  We did too.

I used to play guitar.  I was even in a band.  During our conversation it occurred to me that today, these young musicians have technology on their side.  Every Mac comes with Garage Band, an unbelievable program that turns your computer into a multi-track recorder.  I wish I had that when I was 16 years old.  You can download music recorded by anyone, then play songs in digital quality and pause when you want to.  You can move the track back and play something again over and over.  You can do that on any computer.

That would make learning guitar licks and songs so much easier than it was in the 60’s.

My advice to him was, download Pink Floyd’s song, "Comfortably Numb" and learn the chords.  There are more chords in that song than any song I ever played.  Maybe that is why Comfortably Numb is my all time favorite song. 

Memorize that song.  Then, learn to play the lead guitar exactly like David Gilmour does it.  Ha!  (I couldn’t do it). If you can do that, you can play anything!  I thought that was pretty good advice from a 61 year old to a 15 year old.

Then we talked about something more doable, like catching trout on a fly in the Smoky Mountains.

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

Byron Begley
July 17, 2012 

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