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, which is open again.  Thank goodness!  It is foggy and 49 degrees in Townsend, Tennessee this morning.  The leaves have turned.  It is beautiful here.  Everything seems to be back to normal.

Little River is flowing above normal but not by much.  Right now, flow is 98 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.61 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 72 cfs.  The water temperature at 8:05 am is 59.8 degrees.

Fishing is good in the Smoky Mountains but you need to be stealthy.  It would be a good idea to wear camo clothing.  If you don’t have that, wear muted colors, something that will blend in with the forest.  The water is low and clear.  We do not want those trout to see us.

There are plenty of anglers fishing in the Park again.  You just don’t know how good it feels to have fishermen coming in the store.  Those two weeks took a toll on me.  I don’t usually worry about business.  I don’t have a stressful life.  I have been stressed for the past two weeks.  It’s over now.

Dry flies are working well.  We’re still recommending the Summer patterns.  The Yellow Neversink is our #1 choice.  Parachute Adams is another.  Terrestrials are on the water and trout are looking for them. 

Nymphs will work too for all species.  Green Weenies, Barbie Bugs and Pheasant Tails would be a good start.  You probably don’t need to dig any further in your fly box.

Fishermen reported seeing big brown trout yesterday.  They are out and not nearly as mindful of predators.  After they spawn they are going to be very hungry.  At that point, fishermen will target those big fish through January.  It’s time for some big fish action. 

The water level in Little River is making it tough for those fishing for smallmouth bass, especially during the day while wading.  You will probably do best in a canoe or boat fishing the deep pools downstream. 

Smallmouth fishing in the tailwaters is excellent.  Crawfish patterns and streamers are working well.  Poppers were catching fish and may still be doing so.

TVA will be generating all day at Norris and Cherokee Dams unless they change their minds.  Check the TVA website and see if you see what I see.  That’s three “sees” in one sentence. 

Our customer Mark from Michigan and I have become friends over the years.  He came in here a couple of months ago with a stack of fly tying books and videos.  He said “Fly tying is not for me, do something with these books”.  One of the books was that huge volume of information written by Ted Leeson and another author.  I can’t remember the name of the book.  I have a copy and it’s one of the best fly tying books ever written.  It retails for $100.  I held on to Mark’s books to donate them to our TU Chapter.

Yesterday, Tradd from South Carolina came in with his parents.  He had never been here.  He is eleven years old and is deep into fly tying.  I can understand that.  I started tying flies at the same age, 51 years ago.  Tradd kind of looks like I did at that age.  He and his parents had been shopping for materials at Bass Pro Shops in Kodak and at the Orvis Company Store in Sevierville.  People at both stores suggested he come to our store too.  I appreciate that and also return the favor when I can.

Tradd was full of questions.  I answered most of them.  We looked at lots of tying materials for a while.  I never tell anyone I am the owner of the store but Tradd's dad asked if I was.  I said yes.  He told me I probably had other things to do than answer all of these questions.  I told him I did have other stuff to do but I would rather be doing this. 

I have never seen such a young guy that interested in fly tying, not in 19 years in this business.

At some point, I thought about that book Mark gave me.  I walked up to my office, got the book and gave it to Tradd.  His eyes flew wide open.  I told them the story about Mark turning those books in. 

So, Tradd walked out with about $100 worth of fly tying materials and a $100 book for $100.  That’s three “$100” in one sentence.  Am I losing my grasp of the English language?

It’s days like yesterday that make this whole job worthwhile.  I really enjoy working with our staff.  I like them all.  I like working with customers, all of them.  I enjoy talking to our vendors. 

But most of all, I get a kick out of helping young people enjoy our sport more and hopefully I can encourage their interest for life. It will take more than I can do, but I’ll do my part. This fishing report is part of that process.  I know this report is read by a lot of kids and young adults.  I know teachers who encourage their students to read this report for lots of reasons. 

Yesterday was a good day.

The church bells are ringing across the street.  It is 9:00 am.  For all of you English students out there, it took 40 minutes or less to write this.

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

Byron Begley
October 18, 2013

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