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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is very foggy and 67 degrees in Townsend this morning.  Traffic was light on the morning commute.  I saw Ronnie our Police Chief setting up the mobile speed trailer.  You’ve seen these things.  They have a large lit monitor telling you how fast your are going and what the speed limit is.  It doesn’t catch you, it warns you.  I honked at Ronnie and he waved back.  I think this piece of equipment was broken and the County gave it to us.  If you give something to someone in Townsend that is broken, it WILL GET FIXED.  We have some talented people living here who are always willing to help out.

There were 3 SUVs in our parking lot when I got here this morning.  Anglers meet their buddies here early and leave the extra vehicle in the parking lot.  We have 50 parking spaces so it’s no big deal.  We are glad people feel free to do that.  By the way, you don’t need to ask.  Just do it.

Little River is flowing at 98 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.61 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 85 cfs.  The water temperature at 8:10 am is 66.3 degrees.

Though we have not had any rain for a few days, the river is not receding quickly as you would expect.  I think, the reason is, the aquifer is full.  Rainfall this year is 18” above normal.  So, the streams can withstand periods of no or little rain without getting extremely low.

I think, from talking to lots of anglers over the past two days that fishing in the Smoky Mountains is slowing down.  Only one week ago, customers and friends were catching a lot of trout.  Some fishermen who fish here often, maybe weekly are still going to catch trout.  They know exactly what to do and where to go.  But, the average fisherman is not going to do as well. 

I’m hearing stories of trout trying to take dry flies unsuccessfully.  I believe, in many cases those trout are actually flame chubs.  Flame chubs can drive you crazy.  They are pretty and certainly have their place in nature.  I just don’t want them bothering my dry fly when I’m trying to catch a trout.  I usually switch to a nymph when the chubs are on the attack.

With the water getting close to normal Summer or Early Fall levels, fishing is going to be tougher in the Smokies.  I would fish early and late.  I would walk into the backcountry and find a nice shaded small stream. 

We are still recommending yellow sally stonefly imitations, Green Weenies, Barbie Bugs and small bead head nymphs.  I would certainly try a foam beetle and a sinking ant as a dropper.

I am hearing more big brown trout sightings.  It’s like October around here.  People are talking about this brown or that brown lying on the bottom of the streams in broad daylight.  Of course, they don’t tell us exactly where they are. If this is post spawn brown trout syndrome, it is early.

I am waking up at 4:00 am tomorrow morning and driving north of Knoxville to do a Chota wader photo shoot.  Daniel will be writing the fishing report tomorrow.  He may be doing it Tuesday and Wednesday as well.  I’m hoping to take those two days off and go fishing.  We’ve got some big things happening here over the next few days so I may not be able to take both days off. 

One project is switching our digital service to another provider.  We have 7 phone lines and our internet service at stake.  I want to be here for that.  When I built our building 10 years ago I had two extra underground conduit pipes installed.  I figured, while the ditch was open, lay in two more just in case.  I thought at the time we might switch over to fiber optic cable at some point.  Our new providers sent an engineer over to inspect my planning made decade ago.  Guess what?  The pipes are too small.  Or, more accurately, the new cables are too large. 

I expected time would decrease the size of wires.  The problems is, our new internet speed is going to be 50 megabytes up and down.  Right now we have 1.5 mb up and down.  At home we have 12 mb up and down.

So, we’re going to dig a new ditch.  The guy came out two days ago to paint the path of our other undergound stuff.  Somehow, he didn’t think about the propane line.  I reminded him and he attached some radio signal generator to the line going into the ground then painted the path to our building.  I’m glad I was here for that.  I would hate to see a ditch witch sever our propane line.  That could be bad.

If The Weather Channel is correct, we are going to have a big cooling off period by next weekend.  The long term forecast indicates the high next Saturday will be 79 degrees with a low of 55 degrees.  Bring it on!  They go on to say the next 4 days will be similar.  I hope they are right.  That is my kind of weather and I’m looking forward to it.

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

Byron Begley
September 8, 2013

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