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, foggy and 67 degrees in Townsend this morning.  It feels great outside.  I can’t see any mountains yet from my office.  They are obscured by fog.  Traffic was light but I did see one person running and two on bicycles.  Toss in a few vehicles and that’s all I saw on the morning commute except for those buzzards.  Last night when I got home there were three buzzards on our road right in front of our house.  This morning at 7:45 am I drove out.  There was one buzzard in the road.  I pulled over to see what they were so interested in.  It was a snake and a big one at that.  One of our neighbors or Paula must have run over it yesterday. 

I had to drive to Maryville yesterday afternoon.  When I left here it was raining hard.  When I drove through Walland the storm was awful.  Wind was blowing the water on the road creating waves.  A tree fell in front of me.  I barely missed it.  Hail was pounding the body of the truck.  I drove 35 miles per hour and there were only two vehicles that passed me. 

There is more rain expected today.  The Park got some rain but nothing like what I saw yesterday.  Our gauge here had .70” of water.  The Airport reported 2.24”, which was a record for the date. 

Little River is flowing at 156 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 114 cfs.  I stopped at the swinging bridge earlier and walked out over the river.  The water is stained but not really muddy, just off color.  The water temperature was 68.2 degrees.  I noticed the water temperature has been added to the USGS flow gauge on their Cataloochee website page.  The water temperature there is 61.3 degrees.  I’m going to e-mail Terry at the Knoxville USGS office to see if the water temperature can be displayed on the Little River Townsend page.  I think he told me it could be done.  At this point I check the temperature on a separate USGS page.

This cold front that is following the storms is going to bring down the water temperature in the Smokies, the lowland rivers and the lakes.  It is happening already.  Unless the Park streams get blown out today or tonight by heavy rain, this weekend is going to be one of the best opportunities you have had in a long time.   It is going to be comfortable and fishing should be excellent.

If the water is clear where you are fishing, dry flies will work.  Try beetles, ants and yellow stonefly imitations.  If the water is turbid, fish with nymphs.  Prince, Bead Head Pheasant Tail or Green Weenies are what I would use. 

If you are planning to fish the lower reaches of the Little Pigeon or Little River I am almost positive you are going to encounter muddy water.  Fishing and wading will be tough and possibly dangerous.  I would opt out of that activity.  Maybe they will clear this weekend. 

The Spring Creek that runs through our property behind the house is muddy.  And, that creek runs into Little River at the Back Porch Restaurant in Townsend.  For some reason the springs come out of the ground very turbid after heavy rainfalls.  I’ve owned that property for 25 years.  The creek has always been that way after heavy rains, according to local folks.  Normally the water in Short Creek is crystal clear and about 58 degrees year round.

I sat next to Art Swann, our State Representative at a meeting last night.  Art has been extremely helpful in our Laurel Lake re-building project.  Last night he said, “I want to be fishing in that lake in a year”. 

Iva Butler was there.  She is a reporter for the Daily Times.  She turned around and asked me if I knew about the mechanical gold mining that is going on in Little River.  I have heard about it.    I have been copied on lots of e-mails during the past week from several agencies, organizations and concerned citizens.  I even got an e-mail on the subject from my friend Milt in Hawaii.  Hey Milt!

This morning I found an article in the Daily Times concerning this.  You can read it by CLICKING HERE.

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

Byron Begley
August 10, 2012

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