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

Welcome to the Fishing Report from the Great Smoky Mountains.  It is foggy and 61 degrees in Townsend this morning.  I saw something encouraging on my way to work.  The parking lots at the motels I passed were full of cars.  I should not be surprised.  Last night when I drove home I saw a lot of traffic coming into town.  All day yesterday, motor homes and travel trailers passed the store.  There were not going into the Smokies.  They were most likely camping at our campgrounds in town.  This is good news.

Little River is flowing at 128 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.73 feet on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 73 cfs.  The water temperature at 8:05 am is 62.2 degrees.

Fishing in the Smokies is probably very good though we have no official word.  Anglers who are fishing in the Park and not spreading that fact around.  Every day the Park is shut down, the trout are getting dumber.  The longer this goes on the dumber they are going to get.

One thing I did not see this morning were guides waiting in our parking lot for clients.  They are meeting their customers elsewhere and fishing the tailwaters or lowland rivers. 

We do have some great fishing opportunities nearby.  Everywhere you look on a map of this area you will see water in the form of lakes and rivers.  That is why Townsend is a great fishing destination.

One of my good friends is Mike Talley.  He and his family own the Talley Ho Inn.  Mike is the Mayor of Townsend.  He called me yesterday.  He said he was meeting with Ed Mitchell who is the Mayor of our County.

They have asked the National Park Service to re-open the Park.  Funding for personnel would come from our County.  It would be paid for with tax revenues generated by tourism, which is a huge industry for us.  One third of our County lies within the borders of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Cades Cove is in our County.

So, Ed contacted Sally Jewell who is the Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior.  We are waiting to see what happens.

CLICK HERE to read the article in the Daily Times.  Ed is the man with white hair in the suit.  Mike, the Mayor of Townsend, is the dark haired handsome guy standing next to Ed.  I think he is holding the microphone.  To Ed’s right is Tami Vater.  She is in charge of Tourism for our County.

They are not smiling and there is a good reason for that.  This is important stuff.  I can’t think of a better team to be trying to solve our tourism issue right now.  I have been talking to Mike and Tami for a week about our problem.  Why didn’t I think of this?  I hope it works.  I’m sure there will be obstacles.  These folks are serious about getting something done.

Tourism has picked up.  I could tell this morning.  I got an e-mail from Mike’s sister Lynn yesterday.  She said they are getting new bookings and guests showing up at the Talley Ho.  I talked to Chad at Dogwood Cabins yesterday.  He said essentially the same thing.

Remember this, even if the Park is closed, Townsend and Walland are still a great place for your Fall vacation.  Our valley is beautiful.  The mountains will be spectacular in a week or so as the leaves turn to red, orange and yellow.  There is plenty to do here.  You can drive an hour or so and find hiking, fly fishing and views like those in the Great Smoky Mountains.  So, all is not lost.  Look at it as an opportunity to try something different. Explore new territory.  Fish new waters.  Enjoy this beautiful weather.  Help us out.

Still, we need to keep pressure on Washington to solve the problem.  Our leadership here is doing just that.  Heck, we’re even willing to pay our way. I don’t know if this is possible or legal but at this point we should try everything.

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

Byron Begley
October 5, 2013

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