Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report and good morning from a sunny, beautiful Townsend, Tennessee.

This looks to be an absolutely glorious fall day; an excellent day to hit your favorite stream for some autumn fishing for brown trout. With the sunny skies, stealth will be your best friend. That, and shorter casts for a drag free drift.

We talk about this all the time here at the shop, the fact that it is counterintuitive to cast short when you have gin clear water and spooky fish. If you are stealthy (keep a low profile, blend in to the canopy, wade softly), a shorter cast will keep line off of the water, allowing you a better opportunity to have a drag free drift. Fooling the fish into believing your fly is real is the key to successful hookups.

Fish watch the current all day long, as it is what brings them their food. Natural flies float at the same speed as the current. If your fly goes zooming past the fish at the speed of sound, or if your fly is being held back and is floating slower than the current, the fish will be spooked. That represents a big fat lost opportunity.

Also, at this time of the year, with the water temperatures dropping, the fish will tend to hunker down; nymph fishing will be your best opportunity to hook up. That said, we are still experiencing some sporadic hatches of blue winged olives, October caddis and some midges. The chance of seeing a hatch will increase today with the bright sunlight we have, so using a dry and a dropper will give you a chance to take advantage of all of the conditions that may be present.

Large fish are being caught...and these are credible reports, some accompanied with photographic evidence. Every fisherman I have spoken with has brought their fish to hand using large nymphs. Big prince nymphs, tellicos and pheasant tail bead heads are all working well. Give them something big and hairy, or with rubber legs and you should see results.

Walter Babb and Brian Courtney are here teaching a group of folks beginning fly tying. The class sounds like they are having a wonderful time. The giggling and hee hawing has been non-stop since I started writing this report.

Byron is still enjoying his hunting trip in Kentucky. This has afforded me the opportunity to step away from the kitchen and enjoy some time with friends. On Thursday night, I had THE most delightful meal at the Dancing Bear Lodge. Our friends, and fans of this report, Dennis and Rhea Condra invited me to join them. I cannot even begin to tell you how wonderful the food was that night. Instead, I encourage you to give the restaurant there a try. Thank you, Dennis and Rhea, it was an evening to remember!

Tonight it's the tradition, while Byron is away, for me to host a sleepover and Sunday brunch at the house for a group of girlfriends. We've got plenty of fabulous food planned, movies lined up to watch and a stash of adult beverages to consume. Like I said, I do believe this will be a glorious day.

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

Paula Begley
November 12, 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 8 – Beginner Day One
Saturday October 22 – Beginner Day One
Sunday October 23 – Beginner Onstream Day Two

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