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 cloudy and 68 degrees in Townsend this morning.  We had a little rain earlier and the radar indicated heavier showers in the Great Smoky Mountians.

Little River looks awesome.  It has not looked this good in a while.  Flow is currently 230 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.00 feet on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 124 cfs.  The water temperature at 7:45 am is 64 degrees.

We are open today, as usual, on Sunday.  And, I’m expecting some fly fishermen to take advantage of these nice flows and cool water temperatures.  Fishing should be good today.

We do have a chance for thunderstorms this afternoon.  The chance is 40%.

If you go fishing, I would start with nymphs.  You may do well in the lower elevations today due to the cooler water.  And, with above average flows for this time of year, the trout will be more dispersed and active.  It is going to be cloudy today.  That is another good conditions for fishermen.  The trout won’t see you as well.

Do be on the lookout for rising water.  Yesterday, the gauge height in Little River jumped from 1.5 feet to over 3 feet in a short period of time.  At 3 feet, the current is strong.  The river is back down to a respectable level for now.  Showers in the mountains earlier may cause the streams to rise again.  So far, there is no indication of that.

We have a chance for rain every day this week.  That is typical in July.  We get a lot of afternoon scattered storms.

The Townsend Fire Department and Water Rescue Team were busy yesterday.  So were the Park Service and Blount County Rescue teams.  The river rose and tubers got into trouble.  People were stranded on the wrong side of the river or in the river and had to be plucked from the water.  More tubers, floating by, became tangled in the rescue ropes.  It sounded like a mess out there.  You can read the story in the DAILY TIMES BY CLICKING HERE.

I had warnings on the fishing report about possible high water.  After all, we had 1.75 inches of rain, night before last.

Why do people go tubing when there is a good chance for high water?

Fishermen see the water rising and get out of the river.  Some tubers ignore the rising water and proceed without caution.  The final outcome is, our rescue teams pull people out of the river, who should not have been there in the first place.  Additionally, people are injured and end up in the hospital. A lot of tubers get banged up by rocks.

Maybe I am too cautious!

I’m really looking forward to this week.  We will probably have decent flows and cooler temperatures.  Summer can be a great time to fly fish in the mountains if the conditions are good.  Last year, the water was high in early July but after that, fishing was awesome.

I’m hoping to see that again from now through Fall.  Of course, Fall can offer some excellent fly fishing here, on the tailwaters and the lakes.  If we have good flows, the lowland rivers may be fishing well too. 

August and September are quiet around here, especially on weekdays.  Right now, young families with children are vacationing in Townsend.  The tourism business is good.  There are a lot of people camping.  When the kids go back to school, an older crowd comes to the mountains.  The tourism dynamic changes here from month to month.  We are starting our 20th year in this business.  We pretty much know what to expect.

I plan to attend a Tourism Workshop to be held on Monday July 28th.  I have been interviewed by a market research firm in preparation for the meeting. They spent an hour asking me questions.

The theme for the workshop is to build a consensus on how we should market our town, this valley and our County.  The Blount Partnership planned this.  A professional facilitator will be in charge.  I’m glad to see it happen.

The Blount Partnership is made up of the Smoky Mountain Tourism Authority, The Blount Chamber of Commerce and the Industrial Development Board.  I’ve been very active in the first two for many years.

We have new leadership and new ideas.  We still have old people like me with old ideas.  It should be an interesting mix.  I bet we get a lot accomplished.

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

Byron Begley
July 20, 2014  

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