Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  What a beautiful morning it is in Townsend.  The sky is partly cloudy and the temperature is 47 degrees.  The sun is barely rising above the peaks of the Great Smoky Mountains.  My view from here is from the West.  The air is clear and the mountains look sharp and clear.  The week holds for us, lows in the 50’s and highs in the 70’s.  We have rain in the forecast too.  That would be a welcome change.

Little River is low and getting slightly lower by the day.  The flow is 43 cubic feet per second now.  Median flow for this date is 74 cfs.  Anglers are catching trout in these streams despite the low flows.  But they have to know how to fish low water and now is the time to learn.  The water temperature at the swinging bridge was 57 degrees this morning.  That is perfect.  Fishing has been fairly good early, late and even during the middle of the day.

I would use dry flies.  They are easier to see in the swifter water where the trout are hiding right now.  When you can see the fly, you can see the drift and you need to get a good drift or the fish won’t touch your offering.  Detecting the strike is essential to your success.  As you know these fish eat and spit you fly right back out in a split second.  So that is why I’m recommending dry flies. 

I would choose a Elk Hair Caddis, Neversink Caddis, Parachute Adams and a Yellow Parachute Adams.  About anything should work.  A beetle might be the perfect choice. Try dropping a nymph off the dry. You need to stay hidden as much as possible. 

The overcast sky is you friend.  We’ll have some of that today and tomorrow then clouds will dominate overhead for a few days.  And hopefully we’ll get some rain.

This is a holiday weekend.  I didn’t realize that going into our busy three day term.  What I noticed most was parents and kids in the store together.  There were many more families in here this weekend than usual.  Several of my conversations with people did not focus on fly fishing.  The goal was getting a kid to catch a trout by any means.

One such conversation was with a man and his 11 or 12 year old son.  They didn’t fly fish and they were not going to do so.  He just wanted his son to catch a trout.  I sent them to Backcountry, a store in town that sells all kinds of fishing gear.  We send Backcountry a lot of customers who just want to fish.  I tried to describe to the father how to bait fish using corn and worms.  And I knew, if that kid caught a trout it was going on the stringer.  That may not be my preference but I don’t care, the goal was to make this kid happy.  I told them where to go in town to catch stocked trout and away they went.

Well, this morning when I walked down to the river at the swinging bridge there they were standing and casting from the largest boulder.  Another man who lives in town was fishing below them with a spinner.  The man with his son asked if I was the guy he talked to yesterday in the store.  I said I was.  I asked if they were catching anything.  The kid pointed to a trout, on a stringer laying in the shallow water behind the boulder.  He had a huge smile on his face.  He was proud.  His dad said they didn’t catch anything yesterday but his son just caught that rainbow which looked to be about 13 or 14 inches long.  You know what, I was proud too. That trout was the boy’s first, an experience he will probably never forget.

He didn’t catch it on a fly rod.  That will come later as it did with most of us.  He did not release the trout.  That will probably come later too.  But, the important message here is the fact that we now have another person in this world who loves to catch trout.  He has the potential to be a future steward and guardian of the earth.  I think he will be.  I hope so.  We need more kids like him.  That was a nice way to start my day.

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

Byron Begley
October 9, 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 October 8 – Beginner Day One
Saturday October 22 – Beginner Day One
Sunday October 23 – Beginner Onstream Day Two

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