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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is foggy and 62 degrees in Townsend this morning.  Have you noticed?  It is almost always foggy in Townsend every morning.  Last night Paula rode home with me.  Her Jeep is in the shop.  Our neighbor’s field was full of wild turkeys.  This morning they were not there.  Our field was full of wild turkeys this morning.  I see wild turkeys at our house more than any other bird.  I remember when I was a kid, I never saw a wild turkey.  What a comeback they have made thanks to the efforts of the Wild Turkey Federation and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.  Good job folks.

The rivers are getting low but we will probably see rain tomorrow and Saturday.  The chance for rain is high.  The fishing has been very good despite the drop in water levels.  The cooler water is helping.  Brown trout and brook trout are in the pre-spawn mode.  Though the water is fairly low right now, the streams were in great shape last week.  Fishing is usually good in the Fall, especially this year.  Temperatures have been near normal or below normal for a few weeks.

Jack came by yesterday.  He was going into the park to watch the browns.  Jack won’t fish to a spawning male or female.  He will target a male if there are several hanging around the lady.  Mostly he just likes watching them or at least that’s the way it’s been during the past few years.  He is afraid of hurting a spawning brown trout.  So he leaves them basically alone until after the spawn.

Roger Lowe came by yesterday.  He is a very well known guide from Waynesville, North Carolina and a third generation Smokies fly fisherman.  His Father was a guide too, I think.  Roger said the streams over there are full of small browns.  Evidently, the flood last fall during the brown trout spawn didn’t wipe out all the redds.  The spawn was successful.

Everyone is saying, or those who would know, that the brown trout population is in an up cycle and there are more big fish than there have been in years.  Jack used his leg to describe one he saw recently. 

Fish with dry flies or nymphs depending on where you are and what is working.  Be prepared to switch back and forth.  Fly pattern is not as important as presentation and stealth.  Until we get some rain and higher water, stealth is of utmost importance.  I think the rain will come tomorrow.  This might be a stellar weekend to fish in the Smokies.  It should be overcast.  Trout should be very active.

There will be crowds or hopefully for the tourism industry there will be.  Old Times Day will be held at Cades Cove.  There will be a line of cars stretching several miles Saturday morning.  People wait all year to be in the Cove on Old Timers Day.  We will have several other events in Townsend too, starting tomorrow.  So, expect crowds unless the rain reduces the visitors to below normal.  I hope for the sake of tourism businesses the rain holds off.

I was reading Trip Advisor this morning searching for comments on our Townsend restaurants.  We have some excellent restaurants in Townsend, mostly family owned.  I think I know every restaurant owner in town.  I have noticed over the past few years that the restaurants have improved and there are more choices.  Restaurants are essential to a prosperous tourism business.  If you have bad restaurants in your tourist town, the accommodation businesses won’t do as well.  People like to eat when they go on vacation.  I know because I’m one of them.

I read some bad reviews that I don’t believe.  And I read some bad reviews that could have been true because the eateries were over crowded or just having an off day due to being understaffed.  Most of our businesses including restaurants are small and have a limited amount of staff  working there on a given day.  If someone can’t work or they are on vacation, it can throw the whole business into turmoil.  That happens.

I also read a ton of great reviews, and I would agree with those writers.  Townsend is such a friendly town, I know those who write the good reviews did so from the heart.  They were compelled by how friendly the staff is and how hard the people here are trying to please visitors.  After all, I heard that 90% of our income is derived from tourism in Townsend. 

I consider us all part of a team.  The restaurants, services and retail stores support the campgrounds, motels, rental cabins and lodges.  On the other hand, the accommodation people support us.  If one component fails, it hurts us all. If a component excels we all benefit. 

Tourism is going to pick up this weekend and continue through early November.  Hopefully everyone is ready at their establishments to handle the peak of tourism in the Smokies. The time is now.

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

Byron Begley
September 27, 2012 

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