Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is sunny and warm in Townsend this morning.  It is a beautiful day.  The mountains are fogged in but the fog is lifting now.  Traffic is fairly heavy.  Little River looks great.  There are leaves piled up in the eddies but the main channel only has a few flowing through.  When the cold front moves in tonight along with the rain, we’ll see more trees shedding into the rivers.

Flow is 74 cubic feet right now in Little River.  Median flow for this date is 62 cfs.  The water temperature was 57 degrees at 8:00 am.  It is going to be warm today, near 80.  Then it will cool off for the next few days.

Fishing is fine.  It’s hard to tell what time of day to go.  Lately, the fishing has been good at midday on some streams and better early and late in others.  Maybe it depends on who you are talking to.  I haven’t been fishing in over a week and the last trip was for smallmouth bass. 

We are suggesting dry flies for most anglers.  It seems more new fishermen are coming in lately, asking what flies to use.  After we determine their skill level then we start looking at flies.  Most beginners do better with dry flies right now.  They can see them.  That’s essential to success in the Smokies.  The trout should take about any natural looking food.  I would use a small Stimulator, Elk Hair Caddis or Parachute Adams.  We may have some Blue Wing Olive hatches this week.  They like cloudy, wet weather.  So, have some of those in your box.  If dries are not working switch quickly to nymphs.  Work the faster moving water where the trout are hiding and you are less likely to be seen by them. 

Conditions are great right now in the Park but you will encounter leaves in the water. 

Visitation to the Park was down in September but the numbers indicate differently.  That’s because the traffic counter was not working last year during the month on the Foothills Parkway due to road construction.  It is working now.  Most important to analyze the month is the Park entrance numbers.  Townsend had a 11% decline.  Gatlinburg and Cherokee also had declines.  You can read the story by CLICKING HERE to visit the KnoxNews website. Any way you look at it, Park visitation is trending down.

The fall colors have peaked on the North Carolina side of the Park.  They are expected to peak this week on the Tennessee side.  After peak, they eventually fall to the ground and in the rivers.  The browns are spawning by then.  Watch for them now.  After the leaves turn brown, tourism and Park visitation comes to a halt.  The road traffic will be sparse.  The parking areas will be almost empty.  When that happens, it’s like someone turned off the light switch.  After the leaves fall you can see more.  And at our house, we can see the Smokies again.  For that reason and many others, I like winter here. 

I will be addressing the Townsend City Council tonight at 7:00 pm.  I think our City Government needs to work closer with businesses.  I asked to be placed on the agenda to discuss business and prosperity.  It should be interesting.  I know the press will be there, they always are.  And I know several business people who are coming to hear what I have to say and speak themselves.  I’m not complaining about our City Government.  I am part of the City Government as a planning commissioner.  Last year I volunteered about 300 hours of my time for the City Government and the people.  The people who work for the City are my friends.  I have had a great relationship with the City. I’m looking forward to the meeting. Tonight, I will be Mr. Citizen with some new ideas.

Tomorrow afternoon several business owners will meet with Bryan Daniels, the new CEO of the Blount Partnership.  We are meeting at the Heritage Center at 4:00 pm.  The Partnership includes the Blount Chamber, Smoky Mountain Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Industrial Development Board.  Hopefully we will be looking to the future and not dwelling on the past.  We have a new, young CEO.  I like Bryan very much.  I think he is doing a great job.

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

Byron Begley
October 18, 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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