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 73 degrees in Townsend this morning.  Traffic is extremely light.  Business owners are certainly concerned about tourism with the poor showing we have had in July.  Some of us met last night.  After the storm on July 5th the Townsend Park entrance was closed for a few days.  Visitors couldn’t get to Cades Cove.  The Little River road was closed even longer.  Word got out and tourists changed their plans.  Now that the Park has re-opened, it is still slow around here.

Little River’s level is dropping.  Flow is currently 98 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 137 cfs.  The water temperature is 72.3 degrees at 8:00 am.

Thunderstorms are likely on Friday and there is a slight chance today and tomorrow.  Today the humidity is going to fall.  It will be hot though, 93 degrees.

Fishing is getting tougher in the Smokies.  Your best bet is to go to the higher elevations streams or into the backcountry where the smaller creeks have plenty of cover.  I would be fishing above Elkmont today.  Some anglers will be driving higher up than that. 

Dry flies should work well.  When the water is low, I like to use dries.  Decrease the size of your tippet too.  You might want to use 6X though I would be using 5X.  Stay hidden and fish the riffles or where riffles enter pools but where the water is still choppy.

I would use a yellow Neversink Caddis, a beetle pattern or a Green Weenie. 

You will probably notice that the smallmouth bass downstream will be harder to catch.  They are there and they are feeding, especially a night.  Now that the water is lower, you will need to change your tactics.  Some of the shallow stretches are shallower now than they were a few days ago.  Big bass will avoid those areas during the day.  Fishing will be better early and late.

I won’t get a day off this week or next week.  We are short handed here due to vacations.  So, I won’t be fishing until early August.  I am hoping for some cooler temperatures, especially at night.  More rain will help too.

Mike Bryant and I met with Bryan Daniels and Kathy Delozier yesterday.  We were looking at indoor facilities that could handle a fly fishing exposition, a fundraising banquet or both in Maryville.  We took the tour of Clayton Center for the Arts.  Wow!  This facility is located on the Maryville College campus.  Mike and I are exploring all available options for Troutfest.  We will report to the Little River Chapter of TU board of directors.  We will check out the Airport Hilton next.

You might ask, how could we afford to rent a place like the Clayton Center.  Well, we spend over $7,000 to rent tents, tables and chairs for Troutfest.  We are looking at indoor facilities because in the past, a perfect thunderstorm could spoil the event.  And, it could bankrupt our TU Chapter if that happened.  We’re just looking, not making any decisions. 

This afternoon, five of us will meet to finalize the concept plan for re-building Laurel Lake.  We are meeting at Mayor Ed Mitchell’s office.  The Mayor will be there, our County Commissioner Gordon Wright, architect Steve Fritts and Brent Golden who owns Hart Graphics will attend.  I represent the citizens who want the lake back. It was drained 20 years ago.  At full pool the size of the reservoir was about 50 acres.  People caught huge bass in that lake.  I talked to a fellow the other day who knew someone who caught one over 8 pounds.  I have heard about 10 pound bass that were caught in that lake.  It was the most beautiful lakes I have ever seen.

While I am at the Courthouse, I think I’ll take advantage of the early voting in our local elections. 

It’s opening time.  I better get going.

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

Byron Begley
July 25, 2012

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