Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is very foggy this morning in Townsend, Tennessee.  It is also warmer than it has been early in the mornings.  I didn’t see much traffic on the streets.  There were not fishermen in the river that I could see.  People are not fishing much right now during the week. 

Light rain and scattered showers added water to our rivers.  But today, most of them except for the Davidson in North Carolina are running right at normal.  The Davidson is higher than normal.  Little River is flowing at 79 cubic feet per second.  Median flow for this date is 80 cfs.  The water is clear and 64 degrees in town.  They say the high today will be 81.  So, expect that temperature to rise a little.  In the Park the water will be cooler.  It is going to be much cooler at night starting tomorrow.  The low Saturday night is supposed to be 51 degrees.  That’s pretty close to the 40’s.

Fishing in the Park is pretty good.  It’s not great though.  I was off yesterday and worked on organizing our fishing room at home.  I did take an hour off and drove up to the Middle Prong of Little River.  I can be there in 15 minutes.  The sun popped out just when I got there.  Dang it!  That was a surprise.  I fished the water above the Glory Hole and finally caught one rainbow.  I also missed one.  But that was it.  I was using a Green Weenie, weighted to get it down.  I ran in to Josh.  He was guiding a client who is a good angler.  It was slow for them until they hiked way up Thunderhead Prong.  They caught some trout up there.

I switched to a Neversink Caddis and drove up on the gravel road.  Fishing was slow there too.  Finally, clouds covered the sun.  I caught one more trout. I went home after about an hour.  It was good to be on the steam even though it was not for very long. 

Though the water levels are at normal, the streams are still low.  It’s not easy getting a good drift while staying away from a likely stretch of water.  You need to be fishing the broken water in riffles or where riffles enter a pool.  You can catch trout but you will need to work for them.  Higher elevation streams are cooler and the trout are more active.  Anglers are having very good days in the high mountain streams.

I’m hearing good reports and seeing lots of big trout that have been caught in the Rockies.  There, the fishing started about one month late due to high water.  People are tempting me with photos of 24” and larger browns and rainbows. 

The smallmouth bass fishing seems to be fair on the free flowing river and better than that on the lower tailwaters.  Guides who target that species are keeping me informed.  I’m waiting for the smallmouth fishing to break loose in Little River and on the lakes.  I did talk to a couple of guys who floated about 7 miles of Little River and did pretty well a week ago.  Catching them in the shallow water of Little River is tough right now.  They are spooky and seeking deeper water for safety and food.

I made about 100 Stealth Bomber bodies yesterday.  We are running low and I need to tie more.  One customer bought about 10 yellow Stillwater Stealth Bombers day before yesterday.  That’s great.  I’m not complaining.

Like many of you I buy craft foam at a craft store because it is cheap.  I can’t find yellow or chartreuse where I shop.  Now this may sound like I’m trying to sell foam but that is not my intent.  We make our money selling the hooks.  I have found that the foam we sell floats better than the craft foam I bought that gets waterlogged quickly.  So, I’m switching back to our foam.  There has to be a difference other than the price.  We got a shipment from Wapsi yesterday and I’m going to stock a lot more of their foam because I think you will see a difference.  Maybe some craft foam is exactly what we sell.  But the craft foam I bought recently is not.

I can get 14  Stealth Bomber bodies from a pack of the 2mm foam we sell for $1.39.  That is 10 cents per fly.  I searched the internet for fly foam and tried to find an explanation and characteristics for the different foam sheets available for sale.  I couldn’t find anything.  All I know is, ours is from Wapsi and it’s called Fly Foam.  I may call the Sales Manager at Wapsi and find out what the difference is between Fly Foam and Craft Foam, other than the price.  Wapsi has to package the foam and that is a large part of their operating costs. 

I bet some of you know more about this than I do.  Please share your information with all of us.

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

Byron Begley
September 22, 2011

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Our fly fishing classes will be offered from March to October 2011.   To sign up just call the shop at 877-448-3474.  You can read more on our website in the Schools Section.  The fly fishing class schedule follows:

Saturday September 24 – Beginner Day One
Sunday September 25 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday October 8 – Beginner Day One
Saturday October 22 – Beginner Day One
Sunday October 23 – Beginner Onstream Day Two

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