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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is sunny right now and 57 degrees in Townsend.  There is plenty of activity today in our town.  Today begins the Fall Festival.  Tomorrow the activities increase and include Old Timers Day, The Railroad Museum events and the Country Fair at the Heritage Center.  Paula is home baking her entries for the Country Fair.  Last year she won one category and came in second in another. 

The chance for rain has been lowered by the National Weather Service to 50% today and tomorrow.  Maybe the events in town will get a break.  I’m sure all participants are talking about the rain chance. 

The Park streams are flowing below normal for now.  Little River is flowing at 48 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 94 cfs.  The water temperature at 8:15 was 62 degrees.

Fishing is good in the Smokies.  The trout are active.  You won’t find many in the slow pools.  The water is too low.  Some pre-spawn brown trout may be seen in the pools but they will be unapproachable.  They can see you. But, they might be distracted.  If they are maybe you could approach them.

Dry flies and nymphs will work and I would be prepared to fish either.  The rainbows will be concentrated in the riffles and runs where the water is choppy.  The browns and brook trout could be anywhere.  Keep an eye on the water and move slow.  Stay low.  We should have cloudy skies later today and tomorrow unless the weather forecast changes.  That would help anglers fishing this clear water.  The rain we were supposed to get this morning is to our North.  It missed us.

Fishing has been very good in the tailwaters too, if you can find an appropriate generation schedule for the way you like to fish.

The lowland rivers are fishing well for smallmouth bass or that’s what I’ve heard.  I don’t know anything about the lakes right now.  I plan on finding out next week.

We are busy ordering the new gear.  Some is available now.  I have to submit our Spring order to Fishpond by Monday.  Much of their offerings are available now and we’ll get that merchandise in about a month.  Other new tackle and wading gear is not available until January, February and up to May 1st of 2013.

We have had three different manufacturers sales representatives in the shop this week.  Robert Bryant from Orvis was first.  Brower Moffitt from Thomas and Thomas came next.  Park Burson from Scientific Anglers and Chota followed them. Since I do the photography for Chota, I saw their new wading boots months ago.  You are going to be impressed. Mark Brown, sales manager at Chota will be here Sunday.  We will be editing a video we shot for one of the new wading boots.  You will be able to watch that on YouTube when we are finished.  This time I’m the model.  Sorry.

I’ve been working on Laurel Lake this week, trying to organize a design team.  I think we’ve got it together.  Yesterday I talked to Matt. He has a Masters Degree in geology and is considered to be a brilliant designer.  Tom has a Masters Degree in Fisheries Biology.  I’ve known Tom for 20 years.  Bruce is a structural engineer.  He has been working with our concept team for a year.  Steve is a landscape architect.  He as also been working on the concept committee for a year.

There is a lot of work to be done.  We thought there were three creeks feeding the old drained lake.  I found another on a USGS map that I loaded down from the internet.  Now there are four blue lines.  TDEC and the EPA indicate all the streams and the branch draining the lake bed are impaired.  The impairment is silt.  To get a permit to re-build this 50 acres lake, we will need to improve or at least not further degrade the water quality.  Our goal is to improve the water quality while building waterfowl habitat. 

We will need to have the lake bed tested using geotechnical methods.  The dam has to be determined to be safe.  Wetlands may need to be mitigated depending on how large we make the lake.  This is going to take time.  I’m not doing any other volunteer work until this project is designed and built.  Well, I am going to help Mike with the Little River Chapter of Trout Unlimited.  But that’s it.

Hey, it is going to be cool starting tomorrow with highs in the 70’s and lows in the 50’s.  That is my kind of weather.  That is fishing weather.

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

Byron Begley
September 28, 2012

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