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 overcast and 71 degrees in Townsend this morning.  I saw the man and his dog driving by in the pickup truck.  We pass each other and wave almost every morning.  The big pretty dog sits in the bed of the truck.  This morning, the dog was not there.  That is worrisome.  I’ve got to find out what’s going on.  The problems is, I won’t see them for a few months since I’m going to be working from home.  I hope that dog is OK.

It was supposed to rain yesterday but it didn’t.  So, Little River has receded to 103 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.56 feet on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 136 cfs.  The water temperature at 7:45 am is 69.8 degrees.

We do have a 50% to 60% chance for rain every day and night through Tuesday.  It will rain here during that period. 

If I were you, I would fly fish in the higher elevations of the Great Smoky Mountains. Fishing will be excellent higher up.  I’m talking about fishing above Elkmont or driving up Newfound Gap Road and fish Walker Camp Prong and the many tributaries up there.

The water will be cool.  I don’t think you have to worry about being around too many people.  It is August, a fairly slow tourism month.  The threat of rain will keep people away.  The trout will be active.

Dry flies will work.  Probably any reasonable dry fly will produce.  My choice would be a Yellow Stimulator, Neversink Caddis or Elk Hair Caddis.  Trout in high elevation and backcountry streams are not picky.  It’s the trout in the streams along the roads that can be hard to catch.  They have been pounded by fly fishermen all their life.  The have learned some valuable lessons. 

You may catch larger fish in the lower elevations. 

A black foam beetle or ant will work about anywhere right now.  It is definitely time for terrestrials and it has been for a while.  Green Weenies and Pink Weenies will produce.  You know what?  I would try a Royal Stimulator in those smaller streams.  Jack and Ron caught around 150 trout a couple of weeks ago and Jack caught all of his on a Royal Wulff.  Try that too.  They were fishing way up in the mountains and the trout were eager that day.

I spent some time yesterday working on some new web pages for our site.  What I’m building is a mini website within our main website.  The subject is Fly Tyers Weekend.  You can CLICK HERE and watch the progress.  I’ve got to warn you, none of the pages are finished and there is plenty of editing to do on what I’ve written so far.  Check out the home page then click on the Tremont Lodge page.  I’m using a different kind of slide show on the lodge page.

I got an e-mail from Stack Scoville yesterday.  He is going to be tying at Fly Tyers Weekend.  Stack lives in Nashville and he is known for his skills at the vise, tying full dress salmon flies.  Every event want’s Stack.  I’ve tried to get him here before but we always had time conflicts.  He will be tying all day Saturday and also Sunday morning.  I am pumped about this.

So far, we have 31 fly tyers committed.  I have invited 64.  I think some of them didn’t see my e-mail.  I followed up with another yesterday to all 64 people.

We held Fly Tyers Weekend 2 or 3 years beginning in 2005.  I sent out post cards to our local customer list.  I gave each fly tyer a $100 gift card.  We rented a large tent that was heated.  The event was great. Everyone enjoyed it.  We were busy at the store.  But, it didn’t pay off.  It was a losing proposition.  The event cost $5,000 or more to put on.

Things have changed.  Tremont Lodge is providing the conference center so we can hold Fly Tyers Weekend indoors at no charge.  That eliminates the tent cost which was substantial.

We won’t send out post cards.  Now we have a website that is visited 1.5 million times in a year.  People who don’t visit our website or have not joined our E-Newsletter list may not find out about it.  But, thousands of people will.  That alone will save us about $3,000.

I hope to have the Fly Tyers Weekend mini website finished in a couple of days.  Then, we’ll start sending out e-mail and place ads on this website and others.

I’ve been working with Wilson who owns the new lodge.  He also owns Tremont Outdoor Resort, a campground and cabin rental company.  The campground is the last business on the road before you enter the Park from Townsend.

Wilson and I plan to make this a very large annual event. 
Since I’ve been around that campground, I’ve developed a new interest in camping.  Paula is excited about doing it too.  I wish we could go now.  But, for a few months, I’ll be working probably every day.  I do have one 3-day fishing trip planned.

I talk to a lot of campground owners and managers during the course of my work week.  I run into Samantha at the bank.  She and her husband Mark run the KOA.  They do an excellent job and that property is beautiful.

I see Malcolm and Barbara at the bank.  They own Big Meadow Campground.  They have won numerous awards including national awards for their great service and super customer feedback.

All of our campgrounds are top notch.

There is a new law I’ve heard about that may pass in the County Commission soon.  Basically, the County is setting up strict zones and restrictions on any future campgrounds.  I also heard, RV storage is going to be limited.

I have been told, that no new campgrounds can open downstream from Wear’s Valley Road.

I understand zoning.  Most people don’t want to live next to a campground.  We all want peace and quiet. 

But, Little River and camping go together.  Camping is a very integral part of our economy and it provides jobs. Camping draws in a good crowd of nice visitors.  Camping is essential to our prosperity.

I’m not on either side of this debate but I do have one friend, who has some land on Little River that would make a great campground, and he won’t be able to build it. 

I think the debate is about over and there won’t be many if any new campgrounds in our County.  I am glad we have the ones we’ve got. 

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

Byron Begley
August 10, 2014

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