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 extremely foggy and 50 degrees in Townsend, Tennessee.  It is foggy here almost every morning.  I guess it is because of the river that runs through town.  Maybe it is due to our close proximity to Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  It could be a combination of both.

Little River is flowing at 103 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.63 feet on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 69 cfs.  The water temperature at 7:50 am is 57.3 degrees.

Fishing in the Smokies is good.  A few friends of mine have been fishing in the Park.  They say they are pretty much alone.  A couple of them walked into Metcalf Bottoms.  There are some nice brown trout out in the open right now, preparing to spawn.  They may be spawning already. 

Other customers are fishing in the Tellico River area of the Cherokee National Forest.  Fishing has been great down there.  This is one of the best months of the year to fish in the Southern Appalachians.  This year is especially good due to above average stream flows and cool water temperatures.  The fact that almost nobody is fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains is certainly good for fishing but not so for most fishermen.

Trout are taking dry flies well.  The flows we have now are conducive to great dry fly fishing.

You can enter the Park at the Townsend entrance to fish unless the Park Service has changed their local policy.  As of yesterday, fishing and walking in the Park was allowed.  There is a skeleton crew working there.  They don’t have the person-power to conduct quick search and rescues so be careful.  Don’t get lost and don’t get hurt.  Stay near the roads.

Fishing on the lowland rivers for smallmouth bass is good.  I talked to one customer yesterday who did well and another who did fair on Little River, downstream.

Norris Dam will be off until 9:00 am then TVA plans to turn on one generator for an hour.  After that they will increase the discharge.  TVA indicates Cherokee Dam will be off until 10 am.  Then, they will turn on one generator until 3 pm.  Please check with the TVA website yourself before you go.  Don’t take my word for it.

I decided to stop watching, listening to or reading the news about a week ago.  The news has been depressing lately.  Yesterday, I caved in.  Customers kept mentioning that Fox News was filming at the Townsend entrance to the Park.  I had to see what they were reporting on.

The story was about Ed Mitchell, our County Mayor.  Since the Park’s closure, Ed has been trying to negotiate a re-opening with the Department of the Interior and telling them, our county and private donations would pay for it. It seemed he was getting nowhere.  Now, with national news attention, he could get his way.  Go Eddie! 

According to the Park Twitter page, Great Smoky Mountains National Park has an economic benefit to gateway towns of over $800 million per year.  That is $2.19 million per day.  Townsend is one of those gateways.  1/3 of our county lies within the Park boundaries.  I don’t know what our share of that money is, but it is certainly more than it costs to operate the Park.  I think it costs about $50,000 per day to operate the Park.

October is the second highest month in terms of visitor traffic.  October is considered by many business owners to be the highest in revenue.

Meanwhile, governors from 4 states have been negotiating with the Department of the Interior to open national parks in their states.  Those states are, Utah, Wyoming, Arizona and South Dakota.  Utah struck a deal.  They have wired their money to Washington.  5 National Parks in Utah will be open before tomorrow morning, according to ABC news.

I can’t help but wonder why Tennessee and North Carolina are not listed with those States.

While I was watching Ed’s interview on the Fox News website, our internet went down.  So, I spent much of yesterday working with technicians to fix our problem.  The phones were working and they are part of the package we pay $525 per month for, including the internet service.

Some guys from Greeneville, South Carolina had me doing things on computers I have never done before.  I had to take Daniel’s laptop into our computer room and hook it directly to the firewall device.  First, I’m a Mac guy.  Using a PC is not something I’m good at.  However, our network system is PC based. These guys in Greeneville must have thought I was an idiot.  Hey, I never use a PC except for accounting.

I hooked up the laptop and started running diagnostics getting my instructions from these guys in South Carolina.  Finally, they determined the software in our firewall needed to be upgraded.  They did it from there.  I re-installed the Cat5 wire from the firewall to our LAN network and they could see every computer in our building that was turned on. 

The internet was running again.  An online order from a customer came in.  We were back in business.

I will be glad when everything is back to normal.  There is no normal when you own a business.  Maybe it’s that way for everyone, I don’t know.

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

Byron Begley
October 11, 2013

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