Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  Townsend is greener than a gourd.  We have had some good soaking rains almost every day.  It appears we are living in a rain forest.  Actually, we do or to be precise, we live on the edge of one.  The streams in the Park are chocked full of clear, clean water.  I can’t say for sure all of them are but the Little River watershed is bubbling and gushing above normal.  Yesterday we had a brief heavy shower during the afternoon then we got some more rain last night.  We had .6” of rain in our gauge this morning.

Little River is flowing at 195 cubic feet per second.  Median flow for this date is 112 cfs.  The water is a little cloudy in town.  I suspect it is clear in the Park.  One witness reported muddy water in the East Prong of the river yesterday morning.  The other two prongs were clear. 

It is still hot and it’s going to be that way for a few days.  You will find more comfortable conditions and better fishing in the higher elevations.  I would hike up the East Prong above Elkmont, maybe all the way to Fish Camp Prong.  I might venture up Thunderhead Prong.  Wherever I chose there would be trees that almost completely cover the streams. 

We are recommending terrestrials.  Ants, beetles and Green Weenies are our top choice right now.  Yellow Sally stonefly patterns are recommended too.  Even with the higher than normal flow, you still need to stay hidden.  Higher than normal in July is still low water.  If the stream is slightly turbid, all the better.  If clouds move in and they may, that’s good too.  Watch out for thunderstorms.  They will be scattered in the area for about three days. 

Drink plenty of fluids.  In fact, I’m going to get some water right now.  Ahh!  I work a lot and usually that does not bother me at all.  But this week I’ve been feeling my age or older.  I crashed at 8:45 last night and slept until 5:30 am this morning.  I don’t have a fever.  So, I’m thinking I might be dehydrated.  Herb and I stayed on the lake most of the day Wednesday and it was hot.  Looking back, I only drank two bottles of water and two beers.  In retrospect, I should probably have consumed more beer.

We are busy here and I’m making a lot of changes in our inventory selection.  If you have not been here in a couple of months you will probably notice a difference. 

A lot of the new gear will be available for 2012 early in the Fall.  The release of new products will be earlier this year than normal.  The fly fishing show will be held in August for the first time that I can remember.  It is usually held in September.  The location is New Orleans.  August in New Orleans, what a pleasant place to be that time of year.  Wish I could be there.  I’ve been to the “Big Easy” many times but never in the middle of the Summer.  I am planning to spend a couple of days in Vermont for a meeting in September.  I bet is going to be hot as heck up there at that time of year.

Some new products will still not become available until January or even later.  It just depends on the manufacturer, the type of product and where it’s made. 

Simms is bringing back felt soles.  I don’t know if they are thinking the spread of Didymo is less dependent on felt or they got too many complaints from people falling in the rivers of the Southern Appalachians.  I do know that dealers repeated what they heard from customers and as a result, felt is going to be attached to some of their offerings for 2012.  We have continued to sell felt soled wading boots from Orvis, Chota and Korkers.  Didymo has not been found in the Smokies and I bet not everyone treats their wading boots.  They should treat them.  Hopefully most people do.

There is an inert and environmentally safe chemical that supposedly kills didymo on contact.  The Park Service is using it.  I talked to a close friend of mine who is a manufacturer in the fly fishing industry.  I think he should buy the chemical in bulk, re-package it and sell it to his dealers under his own brand. 

He said “I will not sell it unless I can eat it”.  Those are the prudent words of someone who wants to avoid future liability.  I agree with him.  I suggested he buy some and start eating the stuff on a daily basis.  As part of the experiment, we would get together more often and go fishing.  My job would be to let him know if he started looking bad.  I have not heard back from him yet.  I guess he’s been busy getting ready for the show in New Orleans.

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

Byron Begley
July 24, 2011

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Our fly fishing classes will be offered from March to October 2011.   To sign up just call the shop at 877-448-3474.  You can read more on our website in the Schools Section.  The fly fishing class schedule follows:

Saturday July 23 – Beginner Day One
Sunday July 24 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday September 10 – Beginner Day One
Saturday September 24 – Beginner Day One
Sunday September 25 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday October 8 – Beginner Day One
Saturday October 22 – Beginner Day One
Sunday October 23 – Beginner Onstream Day Two

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