Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is foggy, I mean really foggy in Townsend this morning.  It is cool too, 54 degrees.  It feels like Fall.  And Little River looks outstanding.  The flow is good, there is a slight bit of color to the water, it looks inviting to this angler.  I didn’t want to leave the river this morning. 

The flow is 94 cubic feet per second (cfs).  That compares to the median flow for this date of 80 cfs.  The water temperature is 64 degrees.  I bet it’s perfect in the Park.  Smoky Mountains fly fishing conditions are excellent right now, today.  You should be here.

I know, it’s a weekday and most people are working, including me.  Dang it. 

If I went fishing in the Park today I would concentrate on deep runs, cover in deep pools and cast to places where large trout would be hiding.  I would do that early.  I would be using a dark streamer or baitfish pattern.  Then, when the sun gets higher I would switch to a dry fly and cast to the choppy water in the shade.  I would have a good fishing day.  I can see it unfolding as we speak.  The dry fly would be a terrestrial of some sorts or an attractor fly like a rubber legged Stimulator.  I might drop a Green Weenie off the dry.  And it that didn’t work, I would fish the Weenie deeper and weighted with a #6 split shot.  All of this would be my plan and as always, subject to change.

Fishing should be good at all elevations but I would pick the stretch of the East Prong of the Little River from Metcalf Bottoms to Elkmont and above. I don’t know why except the trout population density is extremely high there and big browns love that water.  The fish in this area are also much more intelligent than in most streams.  Maybe they will ignore their fears due to the great conditions and feed all day.  Or, maybe they won’t.

I can dream on but the reality is, I have to order embroidered shirts and hats. I have to order flies today. I guess I’ll never know unless some of the anglers I saw in the parking lot earlier comes back to tell me.

I talked about tying Meat Whistle flies on several fishing reports in the past.  Last week I got an e-mail from Scott Rogers.  Scott is one of the best known fly fishermen in our area.  He told me TL, who is the sales manager at Wapsi caught a 31” brown on a Meat Whistle.  Scott said the photo was not good but the fish was a pig.  TL thinks it weighed about 20 pounds.  So, last night I tied 4 more and got two more tied this morning before I came to work.  I’m tying crawfish orange but I’ll switch to black tonight.  A 31”, 20 pound brown.  TL and Wapsi live in Mountain Home, Arkansas.  They have some big fish over there.

I will be ordering more pre-tied Meat Whistles to sell in the store today.  I’m convinced now and I have not even used one yet.  There will probably be 3 or 4 dozen in my box.  Paula and I are fishing all week next week.  I made two dozen black poppers last week.  The are all #8 and they are all identical.

I guess I have a fly tying problem.  I can’t help it.  Preparation is as much fun as the fishing.  Only 1/3 of our customers buy fly tying materials.  I can run the reports anytime I want to and I get the same results.  It’s been that way for years.  I only started knowing for sure in 1998 when we began tracking our sales by individuals in our point of sale computer system. “Tie” is a sales category.  We can run reports by category.  We can change the dates but it’s still the same.  Only 33% of our customers buy from the “Tie” sales category.

So why am I in the minority?  Well, I started tying flies the day I started fly fishing in 1962.  My birthday present was a fly tying kit and a fly rod & reel.  I tied some streamers, ran to a neighbors pond and caught my first bass on a fly.  It was my 11th birthday and a day I will never forget.

I tie so many flies, getting ready to fish and most are stored at our house just waiting for their day.  I tie way more than we could ever use.  I tie at night.  I tie in the morning before work.  I think about tying flies all the time. I have fly tying materials sitting on my desk here, right now to buy sometime today so I can tie something different tonight and tomorrow morning.  It’s a sickness.  Thankfully I get a discount on all this stuff.  I’d go broke if I didn’t.  I drove from here to Bass Pro Shops Saturday, fighting the traffic, on the road for a couple of hours or more, just to buy a pack of hooks that we don’t sell yet.  Does anyone have a problem like this?  Am I the only one?

Oh well, I guess it could be worse. 

Yesterday a customer was looking at some flies I had tied.  He asked if he could buy them.  I don’t sell flies I tie.  That would ruin it for me, it almost did 15 years ago.  But, one of the reasons I tie flies is because:  “They can’t be bought anywhere.”  An angler can’t own these special flies unless they tie them.  You can buy these Meat Whistles.  But you can’t buy some of the flies I tie.  That has to be the reason for my problem.  I show people how to tie them.  I don’t want them all for myself.  But, when there is a certain fly that works and I know it, I want to own a bunch of them.  I guess that explains it. I still have the problem though.   

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

Byron Begley
September 13, 2010 

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