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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is foggy again and 63 degrees in Townsend this morning.  Traffic is very light.  Traffic has been very light this month, especially on week-days.  That’s August for you. 

One thing I keep hearing is, August has been abnormally cool.  It really has not been abnormally cool according to The Weather Channel website.  So far in August, on only 11 out of 23 days was the high temperature below the normal monthly high of 85 degrees.  And, on only three nights has the temperature fallen below the monthly average of 61 degrees.  Maybe if you combined the temperatures we might have an argument that August temperatures have been close to normal.

It seems cool because of the July conditions we barely lived through.  We started the month of July with a high of 105 degrees.  There were three days in July when the high temperature was below normal.  There were no nights when the low was below normal. 

The next ten days look fairly comfortable after we get through the weekend.  But the evening temperatures will probably be higher than normal every day.

The water is low in the Park.  Little River is flowing at 48 cubic feet per second.  Median flow for this date is 114 cfs.  The water temperature this morning at 8:00 am was 67 degrees.  

Fishing has been good for some anglers.  Those reporting good catches are fishing smaller backcountry streams and brook trout creeks.  Those anglers are willing to take the extra effort to stay low so they won’t be seen by the trout.  Staying low takes more energy.  It makes me tired.  But those who do that are going to catch more trout.

Dry flies are working best in the riffles.  It doesn’t matter as much right now which fly you use as long as it looks like “food” the trout are used to eating.  It could be a terrestrial like a beetle.  It might be a mayfly pattern.  A small yellow stonefly pattern is an excellent choice.  I saw a couple of good fishing reports on our Message Board yesterday.  You can certainly catch trout right now.  You just need to adjust your style of fishing to lower water conditions.  We are going to have plenty of sun over the weekend.  I would plan on fishing early and late.  Or, I would go further into the backcountry and fish the smaller shaded streams.

Smallmouth bass fishing on the lowland rivers will require some low water skills too.  The fish are going to be in the deeper pools and runs. 

Smallmouth fishing on the tailwaters should be good.  I have not heard any reports in about a week.  Back then, fishing was excellent on some days, slower on others.

I attended the Little River Chapter of Trout Unlimited board meeting last night.  It was good to see some friends who I have lost track of during the last month.  I am not on the board. 

Rufus, our Chapter President went over the revenue and profit numbers for Troutfest 2012.  If I remember correctly, the profit from Troutfest this year was about $25,000, maybe a little more or less.  We also got a grant for around $3,500 from Trout Unlimited National.  The Board voted to place $5,000 in the scholarship fund held by Friends of the Great Smoky Mountains.  That fund will now have a balance of about $100,000.  That money is used to sponsor a seasonal employee, a fisheries biology student to work with the fisheries team in the Park during the summer. 

The balance of the money will be given to the Fisheries Department directly for brook trout restoration and other related fisheries activities.  The grant from Trout Unlimited probably has some specific use attached to it.  I don’t know about that.  The board discussed other Troutfest topics.

A nominating committee was appointed to choose officers and 4 board members to run the Chapter in 2013.

Rufus King will be stepping down as President.  He has served for several years and has done an excellent job.  He has also taken on a huge job in Troutfest, overseeing the fundraising part of the event.  Rufus is serving as Chair of the Tennessee Council of Trout Unlimited.  I have the highest regard and utmost respect for Rufus King.   

Rufus will most likely be replaced, as President of the Chapter by Mike Bryant.  Mike has extensive experience as President of a large fly fishing club in Ohio and also running a fly fishing exposition for 10 years.  He handled the vendor activities at Troutfest 2012.  He did a great job at that.  He will be an excellent President. 

Our Chapter is blessed with experienced leadership and those hard working folks were there last night.  It was refreshing to look around that room and for the most part, I saw people with a history of leadership success in Trout Unlimited dating back 20 to 30 years or more.  I also saw future leaders, younger people who are just getting started.  They are our future.  They will learn from the older people.  They are smart and motivated.

I sat next to Wayne Everbach.  Wayne was one of the 14 original charter members when we founded the Little River Chapter in 1992.  We worked during that year to set the organization up.  We were actually chartered in 1993.  Jim Meador mentioned a banquet held years ago in Knoxville.  We shared that banquet with the Great Smoky Mountains Chapter.  It was the most profitable banquet that had ever been held in Tennessee at the time.  I looked at Wayne and said, “You and I were the co-Chairmen weren’t we?”  He said, “Yes, I think we were”.  That was a huge deal almost 20 years ago.  I had forgotten about it.

It was a good night.  I did not stay for the Chapter meeting. I was tired and hungry.  On my way home I thought about how happy I am to have been part of this amazing success story.  And I thought about all of those “team players” I have had the opportunity to plan and work with. 

One is Bill Guinn.  Bill was at the meeting last night too.  He is a member of the Clinch River Chapter of Trout Unlimited.  This year, he was Chairman of Troutfest.  He did an excellent job.  The event ran smoother than ever.  He was Chairman of the Tennessee Council of Trout Unlimited when the Little River Chapter was formed 20 years ago.  He urged us to start our Chapter.  He attended our first Chapter meeting. He supported us during those early years.  What a guy.  What a friend.

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

Byron Begley
August 24, 2012 

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