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 sunny at 62 degrees in Townsend this morning.  It looks and feels like Spring.  We will see low temperatures in the 50’s tonight and tomorrow night.  Now that is my kind of weather.  Rain will likely return Friday.

The swinging bridge is open again.  It was closed for a few days for repairs.  It’s nice to have that feature back for our enjoyment.

Little River was beautiful this morning.  Flow is currently 348 cubic feet per second or 2.31 feet on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 134 cfs.  The water temperature at 8:00 am is 63.9 degrees.  The water is clear.

What we have right now are Spring-like flows and cool water.  The trout are probably very happy today.  They should be.  Fishermen will be happy today.  Who wouldn’t?

I would start with dry flies.  If that doesn’t work, go to nymphs.  The current is strong so watch where you wade.  You may not see fishing conditions this good for a while. 

We have been blessed with good fishing this summer.  We have had 9.22 inches of rain since June 1st at the Knoxville Airport.  Normal for this period is 8.47 inches.  Rainfall in July is almost exactly normal.

My buddies Jack and Ronnie fished in the high elevations Sunday.  They came by our house Sunday night.  Jack said they caught about 150 trout.  And, they were taking turns.  One would fish until he caught a trout, then the other would fish.  Eventually they raised the catch from one to two, then later to five, before they switched anglers.  Jack said he caught all of his on a Royal Wulff.  He said there wasn’t much left of the fly by the end of their 6 hours of fishing.

I know that sounds like a lot of trout to catch in that period of time.  You have to see these guys in action.  Then you would understand.

It looks like the rain we’ve been getting is raising Cherokee Lake.  That is good news, for anglers fishing in the lake and on the tailwater below.  The lake level at Norris is rising some as well.  Douglas is still at full pool, which it has been all summer.  Fort Loudoun and Tellico are at full pool, which would be expected.  The same is true of Melton Hill.

I attended a Tourism Workshop yesterday.  It was a great meeting.  I talked to Greg McClain for a few minutes.  He is the Maryville City Manager.  I’ve known Greg a long time and he does an excellent job running the town. 

We discussed the lake that is located in the downtown area.  This lake was drained and dredged, a very expensive project that included oversight and funding by the U.S. Corps of Engineers.  It took 10 years and several million dollars to make this huge improvement.  I think that little lake is beautiful. 

We talked about stocking fish.  Evidently, that could not be done until all the Corps of Engineers work was complete. 

Yesterday, I sent an e-mail to Joe, one of my buddies on the City Council and to Bart Carter, our TWRA Region Fisheries Chief. Bart has been waiting to hear from the City before they stock the lake.  Joe contacted Greg and the lady who handled the Corps grants and permits.  Hopefully, the lake will be stocked soon. 

I also mentioned the possibility of a winter trout stocking for put and take.  TWRA does that in some cases.  That would be great for kids living in the cities of Maryville and Alcoa.  Maybe some new young folks could be introduced to fishing.

Jen, the new director of the Great Smoky Mountains Institute was at the meeting along with Mark who is the director of development.  They plan to work with the Little River Chapter of Trout Unlimited on some Trout in the Classroom projects.  They will also continue to provide accommodations and adult supervision for the Trout Unlimited Kids Trout Camp, which has been a huge success. 

At the Tourism Workshop, we broke into small groups.  I chose the website development and web content committee.  The two women, who handle marketing for Blackberry Farm, were in the small group with me and others.  Those ladies know their marketing. 

Sarah ran the meeting.  I told Sarah, when the meeting was over, “You are awesome”.  And they are.  They also have a lot on their plate.  There is a lot going on a Blackberry Farm.  And, they have a professional in-house marketing department.  I’m glad they are willing to lend their expertise to help our community.

I know a lot of the people at Blackberry.  All of them are nice and helpful.  A culture of giving back to the community and the land seems to be engrained in the people there.  Fly fishing is one of the outstanding activities at the farm.  Fly fishing is part of the Blackberry DNA and has been for a long time.     

CHECK OUT THEIR WEBSITE HERE.  It is very well done.  I was looking at it early this morning and found one idea I’m going to steal.

Well, I’m off tomorrow and I am going to relax and tie flies all day. 

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

Byron Begley
July 29, 2014

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