Townsend, Tennessee - Fly Fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, East Tennessee and Western North Carolina

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is a beautiful morning in Dry Valley.  Yep, I’m finally taking a day off.  I’ve been working on fly shop business or volunteer stuff 7 days a week for several weeks.  My calendar was clear today so I decided to stay home.  Traffic is light.  I have not seen or heard one car.  Since there are only 4 homes in our subdivision, which encompasses 60 acres, we hardly ever see or hear anyone back in this cove.  The temperature outside is 58 degrees.  I stepped out on the front porch to check the temperature and it is chilly out there.  The weather conditions are normal for this time of year. But today, they are lower than normal.

Little River is flowing slowly.  Currently she is flowing at 57 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is twice that, 119 cfs.  The water temperature is 66 degrees right now.  The morning temperature readings continue to drop. 

Fishing is tougher in the Little River watershed due to the low water.  The trout are active and frisky due to the lower water temperatures and abundant dissolved oxygen.  But they are going to be wary and hiding from predators. 

We are telling customers to fish in the riffles or deep runs where the water is choppy.  On a bright day like today, fish the shady areas.  Fish early and late to avoid the sun.  Dry flies and nymphs will work.  I would use a beetle, Elk Hair Caddis (Yellow) or a Neversink Caddis in the same color.  A Yellow Stimulator will work.  Pick a small one, a #16.  Any reasonable nymph will catch trout in the Smokies right now.  My choice would be a Tellico, Pheasant Tail, Prince or Green Weenie.

Though business is better than last year during August, it is still slow.  This is transition time for people.  Anglers are not very active.  One thing positive about that if you are not in the fishing business, you will find solitude on the streams in the Smoky Mountains.  It is going to be comfortable too. 

In yesterday’s report, I mentioned that I would like to drive a boat from Tellico Lake which is only a 35 minute drive from here to the Gulf of Mexico.  I also mentioned that Paula may not be in favor of that.  She read the report and told me last night to count her in.  We may do that some day.  Right now we can’t get away from the store for more than a week.  At 61 years of age, you know I’m thinking about slowing down some in a few years.  That boat trip is now on my “To Do” list.

I love boats, rivers, lakes and the ocean.  I prefer water over dry land.  I like watercraft better than trucks.  I just counted mentally, we have 6 watercraft, all of them 16 feet or less.  Cruising from here to Mobile or New Orleans would require a larger craft.

So I started looking last night online.  What I’m looking for is most likely Boat #8.  By the way, I learned years ago, don’t ever sell a boat.  You might regret it the rest of your life.  I have.  I sold a 13’ Boston Whaler.  I sold a 17’ Boston Whaler.  I wish I had both of them back.  This all happened in the late 60’s and early 70’s. 

Guess what?  Boats cost a lot more now.  A 17’ Boston Whaler rigged like my last one costs $30,000.  The largest Boston Whaler costs a little under $400,000.  Ouch!  Boat #8 would have to be something in between those two.  I’m just dreaming of course.  I’m not going to sell the house and buy a boat.  So, for the next few years I’ll have fun trying to find #8.  I’ve already found #7.

The Mississippi River is closed to boat traffic due to low water.  I read that this morning.  There are about 100 ships and barges waiting for the Corps of Engineers to get the shipping lanes open again.  The Corps has to maintain a 9’ deep channel that is several hundred feet wide in the lower reaches of the mighty Mississippi.  Right now they are sucking sand off the bottom and hope to re-open the river soon.  Or maybe, it will rain in the drought stricken States. 

I looked online to see if the Tombigbee is still open.  I didn’t read anything to the contrary.  That would be our quickest route from the lake to the gulf.  Someday we’ll be able to view the terrain on Google Earth or some other engine in real time or close to real time.  Won’t that be fun and beneficial. 

Well, I’m going to wash the truck, tie some flies and take a nap.

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

Byron Begley
August 21, 2012

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