Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is a beautiful morning.  The sun is rising over the mountains to the East.  I love this place.  Traffic is heavy this morning but nothing like it was yesterday.  I kept hearing about traffic and people all weekend.  One guy told me it took 6 hours to get from Nashville to their motel in Gatlinburg and they drove through Townsend to get there.  Some of his delays were on the interstate in all fairness to the Park.  But, traffic was backed up in the Park too.  In a couple of weeks, we’ll be back to normal.

Little River looks good.  A couple of guys were bait fishing from the big rocks below the swinging bridge.  They just got there and had not caught any trout yet.  Evidently they knew what I was there to do.  They’ve seen be there before I guess.  I get some strange looks when I walk down to the river every morning to take the water temperature. 

Flow is a little above normal.  Right now it is 79 cubic feet per second.  Median flow is 69 cfs for this date.  There are plenty of leaves in the eddies.  The flowing water is clear and lacking in hindering leaves.  The water temperature was 56 degrees this morning. 

Fishing is good if you can find a place to park.  That should not be too much of a problem during the week.  Next weekend might be a zoo.  Trout are taking nymphs and dry flies.  Choice patterns include Stimulator, Parachute Adams, Blue Wing Olive, Elk Hair Caddis and Neversink Caddis.  Nymphs could be about any dark mayfly or caddis pattern.  Crawfish and hellgrammites are a good food source for larger trout in the Park.  So are sculpins.

Here, a hellgrammite is called a grampus by the local folks.  When I first moved to the Smokies I had no idea what people were talking about.  A cased caddis is also referred to as “stickbait” in the Smokies.  It took me a while to figure that out.  I finally got someone to show me a stickbait.

People here have some great words that I have learned and use.  For instance, ginseng is called “sang”.  People dig ginseng to sell.  A panel truck is parked in town every so often and folks sell their sang to the people who own it.  Those people sell it to exporters I guess.  Evidently it’s a fairly large business. 

I tried to grow ramps near the creek behind our house.  I transplanted them but I guess the conditions were not right.  Ramps are great to eat on a pizza. They are hard to find in the valley.  They are plentiful in the Park if you know where to look and what to look for.  Harvesting sang and ramps is illegal in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  But you can find either nearby.

Moonshine is called “shine”.  I have tasted what is supposed to be the best shine available.  I just don’t like it.  There is something about that corn taste in a cocktail that just doesn’t go down well for me. Evidently there is a legal distillery in Gatlinburg that produces shine and visitors are buying the heck out of it.

It is going to cool off and rain should be here tomorrow.  A little more water in the creeks would not hurt at all.  The water temperature is right.  The sun will be hidden for a few days and that will make for some good fishing.  I’m planning to go Thursday.

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

Byron Begley
October 17, 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 22 – Beginner Day One
Sunday October 23 – Beginner Onstream Day Two

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