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 Mountains.  It is partly cloudy and 66 degrees in Townsend this morning.  I hope this nice weather continues.  We do have a chance for rain today but a higher chance tomorrow. 

I saw the man and his dog this morning.  They drove by when I was turning on the street to the shop.  We waved.  That good-looking dog was just gazing at the countryside and enjoying the cool air.  He has a lot of thick hair.

The Park streams are in great shape.  Flow in Little River is right at normal, 139 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.70 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 132 cfs.  The water temperature at 8:00 am is 63.5 degrees.

Fishing in the Smokies is good.  It is about what you would expect during a normal summer.  The water temperature have been lower than normal because the air is cooler.  We should see the temps get back to normal.  Night lows will be in the mid to low 60’s, up from the mid 50’s we have seen lately.  Highs will be in the mid 80’s.

Trout are taking dries or nymphs or both.  Most anglers who do well fishing with a tandem rig, a dry fly with a nymph attached and following the dry.  The nymphs could also be a wet fly or one that does not sink deep.  They are lighter.  They don’t pull the dry fly under as much.  A Green Weenie is a good fly to use as a dropper without weight.  It will follow the dry just a few inches under the surface and that distance depends on how much tippet is attached and the speed of the flow.

Townsend is a little quiet during the week now.  It is August.  Family dynamics change, especially young families with children.  It’s about time to go back to school.  What we will see here is elevated activity on weekends and low visitation on weekdays.  If you can go fishing on weekdays, you will see less people.  When October arrives, the people will come.

I was tying flies Wednesday, which was my day off.  Paula was sitting on one of the front porches.  She walked in the man cave and told me what she just saw.  It must have been amazing.

A red-tailed hawk, flew through the woods and grabbed a squirrel out of a tree, right in front of Paula, just a few feet away.  The squirrel was screaming as it was carried away.

It is probably the same hawk that was nesting this Spring behind the house.  Jack noticed the nest and heard the young.  I have noticed a decline in our squirrel population.  I blamed it on the pair bobcats that moved in a couple of years ago.  What puzzled me is, the rabbit population seems to be on the rise.  Why are the bobcats not getting the rabbits?  Maybe it is been that hawk all along.

While tying flies early this morning, I stopped to wait for some glue to dry.  I was searching the internet for fly tying information.  I came across Tradd Little’s website.  I am amazed.  I’ve always been amazed at Tradd’s tying skills.  VISIT HIS WEBSITE HERE. I didn’t know he had one.   

Tradd is an eleven year old boy living in South Carolina.  I met him in our shop in October 2013.  I asked if he needed help and he started asking questions about fly tying.  I did my best to answer his questions.  We spent a lot of time together.  I met his mom and dad.  Before he left, I gave him a book that a customer gave me.  It is one of the most comprehensive fly tying books I have seen.  I had another copy.

Tradd’s parents brought him on a fly tying shopping trip to our area back then.  They shopped at Bass Pro Shops in Kodak, the Orvis Store in Sevierville and then found us.

A couple of weeks after the day we met, I got a box of flies in the mail from Tradd.  His flies were amazing.  I started tying flies when I was his age.  He was already better than me and I’m 62 years old.  So, I contacted his dad and asked if Tradd might want to do a fly tying demonstration at our store.  He tied here on December 7th, 2013.  That was his first of many tying demonstrations that would follow.

Since then, he has demonstrated at the Fly Fishing Show in Winston-Salem, The Sowbug Roundup in Mountain Home, Arkansas and the Cabelas grand opening in Greenville, South Carolina.  Then, he demonstrated at the Virginia Fly Fishing Vestival in Waynesboro, Va, the Orvis Store at their Orvis Days Kickoff Event in Ashevelle, NC, again at another Cabelas event, Luthi’s Outfitters Grand Opening in Greenville, the Federation of Fly Fisher’s Southeastern Fly Fishing Festival in Cullowhee, NC and two events at a school and Children’s Museum.

Tradd is a very well known and active demonstrator and it all happened over a period of just a few months. 

Tradd will be tying at Fly Tyer’s Weekend here on November 8th and 9th.  He will also make other appearances, including the International Fly Tying Symposium in Somerset, NJ, the Southern Council of the Federation of Fly Fishers Festival in Mountain Home and the Sowbug Roundup again in 2015.

Check out his website.  You will be truly amazed, just as I am.

I am lining up demonstrators for Fly Tyer’s weekend.  I hope to have a new web page describing the event in a few days.  I need to meet with the Tremont Lodge and Resort owner one more time before I do that.  We need to work out some details.

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

Byron Begley
August 1, 2014

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