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 and 71 degrees in Dry Valley near Townsend this morning.  I’m at home.  I’m finally getting a day off and slept until 7:00 am which is about 2 hours later than usual.  I imagine traffic is light in town.  It was yesterday.  In fact, traffic was light in Knoxville yesterday. 

Little River is flowing at 51 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 98 cfs.  The water temperature was 72.75 degrees at 8:15 am.  I’m sure the water is clear.  51 cfs sounds low compared to median flow.  The river’s flow has been quite a bit lower this year.

Some streams are running at a relatively higher flow.  Oconaluftee is one of them.  At Birdtown, downstream from Cherokee, the flow is 234 cfs compared to median flow of 249 cfs.  That does not necessarily mean the section of that river in the Great Smoky Mountains is flowing well, but maybe it is.  Tellico River is flowing at 89 cfs compared to median flow of 90 cfs.  Davidson River is flowing at 72 cfs.  Median flow there for this date is 53 cfs.  I don’t know about the Little Pigeon as that gauge is not reporting due to lack of sponsorship. 

There is a good chance for more rain Friday evening and Saturday.  Then, the temperatures are going to drop to the mid and low 50’s at night, starting Saturday.  Now that is going to feel like Fall.  We are all ready for that.  The forecast for Sunday is “Mostly sunny with a high of 78 F”.  Gotta love that!  The long term forecast indicates we’ll experience highs in the low 80’s and lows in the 50’s through September 15.  After the weekend the prediction includes mostly dry sunny conditions.

Until tomorrow or Saturday, the sun may be shining on the rivers during mid-day.  If it is, choose rivers or streams that are shady.  Or, fish early and late.  Fish the choppy water in the riffles or deep runs below riffles. 

Dry flies should work fairly well wherever you go in the Southern Appalachians.  Nymphs with some weight fished deep in the runs will produce.  Pattern is not as important as presentation and getting a good drift.  Staying hidden from the trout is very important.

A lady who is a regular customer asked me last night about closing time if it was time for the orange caddis.  The orange caddis or October Caddis pattern works well in the Fall.  It seems reasonable that the pattern will work, Tennessee is playing football again.  Maybe it is a tradition around here or maybe orange really does work well in the Fall.  She knows about that fly and most people do not.

I called a meeting next week at Mayor Ed Mitchell’s office.  Ed is our County Mayor.  Our Laurel Lake Concept Plan committee will meet with him.  We have some decisions to make.  I want to take the plan to public meetings, probably two held in our County.  But, some new information I learned about recently may delay that for a month or so.

I also plan to form a committee of three to work on the permits, lake and dam design and grants.  We’ll have a lot of agency people involved in that.  One will be the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.  We have met with people from that agency three times so far.  The U.S. Corps of Engineers will be very much involved.  We have been in contact with them twice.  Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency will be involved.  I’ve talked to them.  They also have oversight of the Appalachian Bear Rescue located on the property.  They will also be involved in stocking the lake if we are able to build it back.  We will also be working with U.S. Fish and Wildlife. 

I believe this lake could be a environmental enhancement project, not just a lake where we can fish and paddle a canoe.  Water quality can be enhanced through wetland mitigation and improvement. 

After I finish this report I’m going to the shop to service our outboard engine.  It’s time to start fishing the lakes again for me and Paula.  Completely servicing the engine is something I do 2 or 3 times each year.  The Mercury warranty just expired last month.  It is 3 years old. 

I tried to service the engine 9 days ago on my last day off.  A bottle of fuel additive had turned over in my parts box that I keep in the truck.  I think the heat popped the seal on the lid.  The additive partially filled the box about ¼” and I think it soaked into my two spare oil filters just barely.  I wasn’t going to take any chances.  I called Tri County Marine in Morristown and ordered two more filters, an extra fuel filter and a new bottle of additive.  They arrived the next day.  I’m ready to go again.  It feels good having new oil, a new oil filter, fuel filter, lubricant in the lower unit and fresh spark plugs in an outboard.

Cooling off and the coming of Fall make me want to go fishing.  Paula and I are taking a week off starting next Saturday and that’s what we’ll be doing every day.  I can’t wait.

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

Byron Begley
September 6, 2012 

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