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 foggy and 62 degrees in Townsend this Sunday morning.  Traffic and human activity is light.  There were a lot of people in town yesterday.  Maybe they are sleeping in.  We will be open for business in a while, which is usual for a Sunday.

Little River is flowing at 103 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.56 feet on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 118 cfs.  The water temperature is 66 degrees at 8:05 am.

Fishing is good for August.  Until today, flows have been running above normal for the past few days.  Cool temperatures have kept the water in the streams cold.  There is not much of a chance for rain over the next few days.  We may see the stream levels drop fairly low.  You never know around here in the mountains.  Heavy showers show up when they are not expected.  Last night, the Airport got ¼” of rain.  We didn’t get a drop here that I know of.

Dry flies and nymphs are working.  Sometimes the trout want a dry.  At other times they will smack a nymph.  I would use a dry fly that mimics a Yellow Sally Stonefly or a beetle.  For a nymph I would use a Green Weenie. 

You might want to venture into the backcountry a bit to get away from people today.  Along the roads you will most likely encounter swimmers, tubers and rock skippers.

Jack and Ronnie are fishing in the Park today.  I bet they go up high.  Last Sunday they fished for 6 hours and caught over 150 trout.

Mouse and Frank are fishing with Josh Pfeiffer tomorrow for smallmouth bass.  I bet they have an awesome day.  I’m not sure where they are going.  It will most likely be the French Broad or Holston rivers.

Mike Bryant told me yesterday he hooked a huge smallmouth in Little River way down stream.  He was fishing with a light fly rod, not expecting to hook such a fish.  It either got off, or broke off. I’m not sure.  He held his hands out, something I’ve seen done thousands of times showing me the length.  It must have been 20” long or better.

I wonder how many times I’ve seen someone hold out their hands, to show me how long a fish is?  I bet it happens several thousand times per year.  Before smart phones, it happened a lot more.  Now, people pull out their phone and show me a picture.  We are in our 20th year in this business.  I couldn’t come close to knowing how many times I’ve seen that done.

Last week, a man came in the shop to show us a rainbow trout he caught in Little River.  He caught it somewhere in town.  I didn’t see it.  Daniel measured the fish.  It was 26” long.  Daniel also said it was fat.  Now, what’s a trout doing in Little River in late July when temperatures this year have exceeded 75 degrees?  You would think this fish would migrate into the Park to find cooler water.  Maybe he found a spring and hunkered down for the Summer. 

TWRA stops stocking here during the warm months.  They will start stocking again, with large brood fish this Fall.  This trout must have been stocked last Fall and eluded fishermen for several months before finally meeting his demise.  He had to be eating fish, not bugs.  And he lived his last year pestered by a continuous line of tubers during the past couple of months.  It’s not often someone comes in with a dead fish here.  It happens maybe a couple of times a year.  We all release trout so it seems odd to us. 

August is starting out a little unusual.  For one thing, we are very busy at the store.  July’s sales were up over 20% from last year and last year was good.  The only think I can think of that is driving this is the economy and the fact that more people are taking up fishing, including fly fishing.  Our schools have been doing better than they have in years pertaining to enrollment.

Chuck and Rob and doing a private instruction for 6 students Wednesday.  Chuck had two yesterday.  We close our beginner fly fishing classes in August because over the years we found that there was little interest in learning to fly fish in August.  The classes will resume in September and run through October.  Then, our fly tying classes will crank up.

We are holding an intermediate fly tying class on August 23rd.  You can call the shop to reserve your spot.

I stopped at the new Ace Hardware to buy some charcoal last night and got the lowdown.  I heard about it when I was having my teeth cleaned the other day.  Evidently, they caught a woman shoplifting and during the encounter, she bumped someone working there with her car.

What I heard last night was really interesting.  Jackie, the police chief’s wife who works there filled me in.  The woman bought an inflatable bed and stuck a pump in a bag that she brought in.  They have all of that on video.  She paid for the bed and tried to leave with the pump without paying for it.  Kenny approached her and she walked to her car.  Kenny got in front of the car and she bumped him several times trying to leave the parking lot. 

I have known Kenny for a long time.  He is the manager of the store.  Don’t mess with Kenny. She was charged with aggravated assault.  She was not charged with shoplifting. 

It kind of reminds me of the time I tried to open a shoplifter’s car door while he was leaving the store.  He said, “What are you doing?”  I said, “I’m trying to keep you here until the police arrive.”  He got away from me for minute by backing straight out of our lot and into the street, fast.  Two police cars blocked him in.  We had him arrested.  When he got to jail, he was searched again and some narcotics were found in his pocket.  That guy got into a lot more trouble then he would have for misdemeanor shoplifting.  Our law enforcement folks frown on trying to bring drugs into the jail.    

Today is bookkeeping day for me.  I’ll make yesterday’s deposit, run payroll, pay payroll taxes and payables.  I hardly ever look forward to Sunday for that reason.  The store will be open in 7 minutes.  Daniel and Paul will show up any second.   

I hope you have a great day and thank you for being here with us.

Byron Begley
August 3, 2014

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