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 68 degrees in Townsend this morning.  Traffic is light, I mean really light.  I stopped at the Townsend Shopping Center to fill up with gas.  Jerry, the owner came out and talked to me.  He said, “I’m just watching all these cars go by.”  One or two cars drove by.  He was kidding of course.  This is August 1st.  We won’t see many visitors in town during August, especially on weekdays.  This is transition time.

The forest and my truck were wet this morning.  We got some rain during the night.  Our gauge indicated .40 inches fell.  The Airport reported .50 inches.  I stopped by Little River because the USGS web page that reports the water temperature has not been operational for two days.  I dropped my thermometer in the river.  The temperature is 72 degrees.  I checked the website again, the temperature page still is not functional.

Little River is flowing at 153 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 124 cfs.  There must have been some fairly significant rainfall in the Smokies.  The water was not muddy at all.  It is clear.  Yesterday morning, the flow was 63 cfs. 

Fishing should be good in the Little River watershed.  Since the flow has more than doubled since yesterday you should see a remarkable difference in fishing conditions.  Oconaluftee River is flowing higher than normal.  Cataloochee is above normal now and it peaked yesterday at about noon.  They had a big shower early in the day.  The Davidson River did the same thing.  Tellico rose early yesterday but it has dropped to slightly below normal now.  So, it looks like fishing in Great Smoky Mountains National Park is going to be good today.  There is a good chance for more rain starting Friday and continuing through the weekend.  The chance for rain ranges between 40% and 50% according to the National Weather Service.

I talked to a few anglers yesterday who are doing very well.  Most reported they fished in the high elevations, catching rainbow and brook trout. It is going to be hot through Friday.  I think you will do better fishing in the backcountry today and tomorrow on the smaller streams that are covered by canopy.  You won’t see much cloud cover until Friday.  And, go up toward Newfound Gap where the water is cooler.  You should do well up there.  At Elkmont and on the Middle Prong of the Little River you should also do well but in the lower elevations, I would go fishing early in the morning.  As the sun drops behind the mountains the water will cool and the trout will be easier to catch. 

Terrestrials seem to be working best.  Most importantly, get a good drift and stay hidden from the trout. Beetles, ants and Green Weenies would be my choice.  Yesterday, someone said that hoppers were working best.  A Letort Hopper can be a very good Smokies pattern during the summer.  The trout may think it’s a Yellow Sally but who cares as long as they work.  

Anglers will find a sharp decrease in people activity in the Smokies during August.  There will be more people here on weekends but on weekdays, solitude will be easily found.

I’m working on the new Tees and Caps department in our store.  This is a big job.  Our artist has been designing new art.  Shirts have been ordered, I should get another 144 today or tomorrow from California.  I have another 144 being embroidered.  I hope to get them by Friday. 

I visited a T-shirt and embroidery company in Knoxville yesterday.  I was there about 2 hours.  They have t-shirt printing machines with 12 and more color stations that are capable of printing several thousand t-shirts per day according to one person I talked to.  These are silk screen printing machines.  It takes 3 people to run these huge pieces of equipment.  There were three of them running full bore when I was in that department.  The embroidery department had three machines capable of stitching 16 items at once. 

I ordered new slat-wall and shelf brackets.  They are supposed to be here by Friday.  Yesterday I ordered some paint for the slat-wall.  I will pick that up today.  This department will take up 200 square feet in our store.  Jack and Ron are going to remodel the department next week.  By October we should have plenty of new tees and caps with new designs. 

By Spring it will be more like a small store within a store and it may be larger than 200 square feet.  This department will be smaller than the fly tying department, which is our largest in square feet.  But, it will be equal in size to the fly and wader departments our second and third largest departments.  This has been an interesting project and I’m sure there will be much more to learn and plenty of work to do.  I like doing this stuff.

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

Byron Begley
August 1, 2012 


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