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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  I am off today and at home.  I drove to the river at 7:00 am to check it out, then drove to the shop to take a reading from our rain gauge.  Traffic was very light that early.  There were a lot of people walking and riding bicycles though.  The air temperature was 71 degrees and it felt good outside.

Little River is flowing at 162 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 118 cfs.  We got a brief but heavy downpour yesterday afternoon.  The rainfall amounted to .33 inches.  Due to that, the river was slightly stained in town.  The streams may be off color in the Park depending on where you look.  These afternoon thunderstorms are scattered and small.  They may effect one watershed and not another. 

Fishing is good in the Smokies by all accounts.  There are not many people fishing.  I’m not fishing either and I don’t know why.  Today I’m going to wash and wax the boat.  Trout are taking dry flies or nymphs.  Some days dry flies are working better.  On others, nymphs seem to be best.  Fly patterns don’t seem to matter.  But, you best choice would be a yellow stonefly imitation or terrestrial. Try beetles, a Green Weenie or both.

If you encounter some stained water that would be good.  Use a nymph.  The larger browns may venture out when the water is higher and off color.  That happened last week.  When the water is low and clear, they stay hidden until dark.

Afternoon and evening thunderstorms are very likely today and tomorrow.  The chance for rain diminishes by the weekend. 

One reason I’m not fishing is, we have people in the shop on vacation.  On my day off which is usually Thursday I write this fishing report.  If I were fishing today I would want to be on the lake at daybreak and driving back home by 11:00 am.  That means I would be in here doing this at 4:00 am.  I guess I’d rather be fooling around with the boat and tying flies.  When we start getting some cooler weather, I will be fishing again.

Anglers are getting ready for their trips out west.  Some have already been.  You can count on outfitting people who are going to Yellowstone right now.  People are going to Alaska now.  We have customers going to Utah, Wyoming and Idaho.  It is fun getting them ready.  It is the next best thing to going.

But, overall, people don’t seem to be doing much right now.  I was at a car dealership for three hours this week.  This is a large dealership.  While I was there, not one person came in to look at a car.  I sat around and got to know two salesmen.  It was a lot of fun, these guys were funny and I learned a lot about their business.  They told me things about car dealerships that I have never heard.  I learned how they are compensated these days.  It is different than it used to be.  I found out, like our business, the internet has changed their business too.  If you buy a new car, and the manufacturer sends you a questionnaire, answer it online and give those guys a good report.  They deserve it.  Their income depends on it. 

I learned that their business, like ours has been terrible in July.  Why?  They don’t know and I don’t know.  Most people are blaming the heat and storms.  Everyone blames the economy.

The service department at the dealership was busy.  My truck was one of about 20 that were being serviced at the same time.  I think they had 20 service bays, not including the body shop and each one had a vehicle in it. That place was busy.

So, the service sector is going strong right now or so it seems.  People are taking care of what they have.  It has been a fairly good year for new automobile and boat sales too.  People are buying some big-ticket items in our region, probably what you would expect in a slow recovery. 

Businesses around here seem to be plugging along, not setting the woods on fire but not dying either.  There is less competition.  Those businesses on the edge went away.  I think we are all playing a waiting game.  All it will take is a change in our mindset, how we plan for the future and how we work together as a team.  Motivating our young people to excel in math and science will help.  Americans making products here and selling them to each other will improve our situation.     

I’m going to make the best of it and enjoy every minute.  I know we have better times ahead.   

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

Byron Begley
July 19, 2012

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