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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is 5:20 am, dark and 63 degrees this morning.  The wind has been blowing like crazy.  I’m looking at the weather radar.  A large band of rain and possibly thunderstorms are going to be here in a few minutes.  Hold on!

Little River is flowing at 81 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 68 cfs.  The water temperature was 55 degrees at 5:05 am.  I expect the flow to be quite a bit higher soon.  There is not doubt in my mind, this rain is not going to miss us.

Fly fishing has been very good in the Park, lowland rivers and the tailwaters for trout and smallmouth bass.  The conditions have been great for fishing.  Trout in the Park have been taking dry flies and nymphs.  I have been recommending stimulators, caddis and beetles for a dry.  Green Weenies are still working as an attractor nymph. 

I can’t say that you should not go fishing today because I am going.  This is a good day to fish for me, only because I can.  This is my day off this week. 

Mike and I were going smallmouth fishing on the Little Tennessee River today.  Unfortunately, we would be fishing out of a boat on one of the impoundments and the wind is supposed to be gusting to 25 miles per hour.  Sustained wind is expected to be 10 to 15 miles per hour.  Wind is your enemy on a lake in a boat.  Not only would the fishing be tough, wind on the Little Tennessee can be much stronger than the weather service predicts. So it could be worse than we think.  

We decided to fish the lower Little River and wade instead.  We are also expecting rain and maybe thunderstorms this morning.  We’ll be close to my truck so that’s not a big deal.  It should be cloudy so that will be favorable to us.  We can wait out storms in the truck.

There are many places downstream from Townsend, where you can get into the river and be in prime smallmouth water.  Big smallies are even caught in town.  We may even begin our day fishing in Townsend.  I don’t know until we start driving.

We will be using 6 weight rods and 3X leaders.  We’ll probably start out with top water flies like Knuckleheads, Stealth Bombers and foam poppers.  If that doesn’t work we’ll try Wooly Buggers and other streamers.  I’m not expecting much, just some time off with a buddy.  The way things look right now, we may not be fishing at all.  But, we’ll meet at the shop early and at least make an attempt.

As a precaution, I just e-mailed this report and all the tiff files related to this report to myself.  If the power goes out here, I can finish this report at the store.  The rain has just started.  I don’t hold out much hope for fishing today.

Tomorrow is going to be windy with gusts as high as 35 miles per hour.  I don’t think you need to be in the forest tomorrow.  The weekend looks great with highs in the 70’s and lows in the low 40’s.  This rain will add more water to the streams.  I bet the fishing will be excellent this weekend.

Today, the much awaited and talked about auction will be held at Laurel Valley.  The golf course, clubhouse, restaurant and swimming pool will be auctioned.  The future of the Laurel Valley Resort has been on my mind for a while.  One reason is, two of the partners are my friends.  They reserve the right to decline the highest bid. 

Also, a lot of my friends live in the beautiful Laurel Valley Community.  I am interested in the tourism business and prosperity in our valley.  This is our only golf course. Though I don’t play, many of my friends do.  Tourists play at the course.  The restaurant is great.  This is a tremendous asset to our community.  I hope it all turns out well for everyone.

Many of the courses, like this one, are a centerpiece of a golfing community.  People buy homes on golf courses and pay a premium because they want a nice view with lots of turf in their back yard.  I have read that only 25% of people who live in a golfing community actually play the game. 

There are many vacation rental homes in Laurel Valley.  I suspect, many of those homes are rented to tourists because of the proximity to that golf course.  That’s not the only draw to this resort.  The views of the mountains from Laurel Valley are spectacular.  The lake I am in charge of re-building would be the gateway to Laurel Valley. 

Though this course is public, you can become a member.  Paula and I talked about joining for only one reason, to support the resort.  If more people join, we probably will too.

Well, I better dig out my rain gear and get ready to meet Mike.

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

Byron Begley
October 18, 2012

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