Townsend, Tennessee - Fly Fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  At 7:25 am, when I left the house it was right at daybreak.  I stopped at the river to take the water temperature and could barely read my thermometer.  I’m going to need a flashlight until the time changes to check the temperature.  Dense fog has filled the valley with darkness and making travel difficult.  It’s early though, the fog will burn off and we will have a beautiful day and week.  It is going to feel like Fall for sure.  The temperature now is 35 degrees.  Traffic on the streets was very light.  I probably saw 10 or less vehicles on my way to work.

Little River is flowing at 120 cubic feet per second.  Median flow for this date is 77 cfs.  The water temperature at 7:30 am was 48 degrees.

Look at the “Fishing Gauge” at the top of this page!  Fishing is excellent and the gauge popped up to that mark yesterday afternoon.  It has not been there in a while, maybe since the “Hatches of Spring”.  Stories about “some of the best fishing I’ve seen” have been pouring in.  There is a reason for that.  The water flow and the water temperature are excellent for trout fishing in the Smokies. Brown trout and brook trout are spawning.  It is that magical time of year, combined with some help from Mother Nature that is causing this exciting time for anglers.  How long will it last?  I have no idea.  Nobody does.  We know the spawn and post spawn feeding will continue for a while.  The other conditions are another matter.  But you should take advantage of this while you can.

Nymphs seem to be working best.  Tom and Bill usually fish with dry flies, mostly Thunderheads.  But on their trip around the Big Horseshoe on Friday they fished mostly with nymphs and they did very well.  I can’t remember if they caught under 50 trout or over 50 trout.  What I do remember is a story that I have never heard.  Bill was fighting a nice rainbow and a river otter grabbed his trout.  He fought both momentarily.  The otter poked his head out of the water and displayed Bill’s trout right in front of his eyes. 

Other anglers came in this weekend with “great fishing” reports.  One guy said he did well using a Tellico Nymph and bought some more.  Fishing in the higher elevations for brook trout provided lots of excitement for fishermen.  This is just one of those great times that don’t happen often. Every possible condition is favorable, even the moon and the barometer.  

The water is cold right now.  It will warm up later today.  You might switch to a dry fly at that point and do well.  Blue wing olives could be hatching early.

There is a very interesting article on the KnoxNews website.  You can read it by CLICKING HERE.  The story is about the battle waged by hog hunters against TWRA, who are responding to changes made in the wild boar hunting rules.  This has turned into a huge issue.  I thought it might.  The future of the Tennessee Wildlife Commission is also at stake or at least appears to be.  The Commission’s demise has been threatened before many times.  Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has endured threats to break it up and turn it over to another agency.  I hope neither will happen.  We don’t need the Legislature deciding how our resource is managed.  Leave that to the experts.  But, these hog hunters are upset and I like to hog hunt myself.  Maybe there is some common ground to be found.  Read this story.  It is interesting.

Paula got involved with a Harry Potter website/message board years ago and made some friends with a common interest across the world.  As a result of that, we have guests at our house right now, whom I had never met and I don’t share their passion for those books and movies.  But they are very cool people and they will be here all week.  One is a young woman from Seattle.  She owned the HP message board.  Since she played in a punk rock band we had a lot to talk about night before last.  I’m trying to understand punk rock and somehow define it or find similarities with the rock music I enjoy.  We both like Tom Petty and Pink Floyd.  She is a computer guru and rides her bike to work in Seattle.

Another is a chap from Birmingham, England.  His name is Richard.  He arrived last night.  He is a nice guy and like the others in the group, has every digital gadget you can think of.  He likes history.  So do I.  I sold a company to a British firm and worked for them as President of one of their subsidiary’s here in the States.  I even flew to Liverpool and spoke at their stockholders meeting in the mid 1980’s.  While there, a young woman took me to all the historical spots in the area during my off time.  The man who was the Chairman of the publicly traded company in the UK and I spent time together. He served the Queen by traveling to countries in Europe and purchasing wine for the Royal Family’s collection.  I sampled some of the best Port known to man at his home. His father was a Knight.  So Richard and I had a lot to talk about.  I reminded him that we won the Revolutionary War.  He reminded me that the war of 1812 was a tie.  I don’t know much about that war because we didn’t win.  I’m not very good at losing.

We have a lady from Finland staying at our house.  I really like her.  I told her last night, “I know nothing about Finland”.  “You guys have kept a low profile all my life”, I told her.  She is very smart and is fluent in 5 languages.  One of them is English.  At times she would get a little mixed up during our conversation because the Italian language would try to take over.  Her husband treks and fly fishes in Finland.  I can’t spell or pronounce her name but I can say I like her very much.

Another woman is arriving today from Boston.

So, it is interesting around the Begley house.

Sometime, during the night we had our 1 millionth visitor to the website since the first of the year.  Several thousand people visit our site frequently to read the fishing report or browse the message board.  You are only counted once during a 24 hour period.  So, we don’t know how many different people visit over a longer period of time.  I do know that around 3,000 unique visitors look at the Message Board during a day.  And we know that 350 to 700 people read this report every day.  But from this point, I have no idea what is going on.  It is probably better that I do not know.  I don’t need anything else to ponder.

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

Byron Begley
October 23, 2011

Respond to:


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

Respond to:

Home - Contact Us - About Us - Fishing Report - Online Catalog - Message Board - Sitemap