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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is partly cloudy and 73 degrees in Townsend this morning.  That is the warmest morning number I’ve seen in a while.  Nature was active earlier. 

First, our boat was hooked up to the Suburban in our front drive that is deep in the forest.  Lots of small acorns have fallen.  There were probably 20 acorns in the boat.  These nuts are small and green.  I don’t know if that means they are falling early or if squirrels are trying to eat those on the trees and dropping them.  The bears should be happy.  The ground is speckled with food.

Nine wild turkeys were grazing in our neighbor’s garden when I drove by.  Most of them looked to be young of the year.  I think they were eating insects.

Traffic was very light.  Everyone I talk to in the tourism business which is by far our largest employer say that business is very slow.  We are doing pretty well. Many of our customers are heading west.

Little River is low.  Flow is currently 41 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 94 cfs.  Our rainfall is still ahead of normal by over 2 1/2” for the year.  It just has not rained lately.  The water temperature was 71.5 degrees at 8:10 am.

Fishing is best in the smaller streams.  Fishing in the backcountry is a good idea.  If you decide to fish in the larger river for bigger fish, go early and late.  The low water is forcing the trout to seek cover near the faster water in the riffles and deep runs.  Be prepared with dry flies and nymphs.  We do have a chance for rain every day until September 6, though it odds are not great.  We will probably get some rain and that will improve the fishing.

Try a Yellow Stimulator, Yellow Neversink Caddis, Yellow Elk Hair Caddis, Foam Beetle or Parachute Adams.  I would use sizes #14 to #16.  For fishing below the surface choose a Green Weenie, Bead Head Pheasant Tail, Prince Nymph, Tellico Nymph or a Hare’s Ear.

Hurricane Isaac is pounding the Gulf Coast.  I’m sorry for that.  But the storm is expected to move North into the Mid-West.  That will improve the awful drought while providing water for the Mississippi River which is needed for shipping.

Unfortunately, unless things change, Isaac will miss us.  The storm is expected to drop rain in Kentucky which may help some of our river and lake levels.

Today I plan to order about 200 t-shirts decorated with our 3rd new design.  It will be the Townsend T.  On that shirt will be the well known phrase “The Peaceful Side of the Smokies”.  That phrase is a trademark owned by the Smoky Mountains Tourism Authority.  Most people around here don’t know that.  I got permission to use it of course. 

Our second design should be ready to sell this week.  Those shirts are having our logo embroidered on them in Maryville.  I hope Kathy calls today and tells me they are ready.  She has had them about two weeks.  Those are the shirts I took to another embroidery company on a Wednesday and the business was foreclosed on the following day.  I had to prove to the liquidators they were my shirts and not the property of the business that had closed.  I had no trouble doing that and the person handling the foreclosure helped me load them in my truck.  I found another company to do the embroidery.  This whole mess has taken a long time.  I think I pulled the trigger on those shirts 6 weeks ago.  That design is our Smokies Streams T. 

It is also time to start working with our artist on design #4.  That will be a re-design of a brown trout t-shirt.  Design #5 will most likely have a Cades Cove theme.  The Brook Trout Restoration T is selling extremely well.  We have printed 300 of those over the past 3 months.

If you watch the lake levels like I do, think about this.  Full Pool is the target level for Summer recreation.  After Labor Day, they begin to lower all the lakes.  The full pool reading is not necessarily the average level at a specific time.  I’m watching Dale Hollow because Paula and I will be fishing there next month.  Today, the lake level is 644.10 feet above sea level.  Full pool is 651 feet above sea level.  Now, I would think that the lake is down 7 feet from normal.  That is not the case.  Average August pool level is 647 feet.  So really, the lake is only down 3 feet from normal.  When you read the charts and compare the lakes to full pool you might be misled.  Compare the current level to the average for the month and you may see a completely different picture. 

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

Byron Begley
August 29, 2012 

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