Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is overcast, we’ve had a little rain and it is warm.  It is 65 degrees right now at 8:00 am.  It feels like Summer.  Traffic was very light on my way to work.  At the swinging bridge I found piles of leaves in the eddies, from the surface to the bottom of the river.  The main channel is clear of leaves for now.  The wind is picking up so expect more to fall if there are any left. 

Flow is currently 117 cubic feet per second compared to median flow of 142 cfs for this date.  The median flow today is higher than previous days.  Historically, yesterday and last night get some rain events.  There have been no major floods on this date during the last 46 years since our gauge was installed.  The highest flow on this date was 553 cfs last year.

Fishing is excellent in the Park.  The water temperature this morning was 55 degrees at the bridge.  Anglers are catching trout on dries and nymphs.  Some large trout have been caught. 

One of my best friends caught his largest brown ever in the Park on Sunday.  He has been fishing here on a very regular basis for 45 years.  His record Park brown was 28” to 29” before Sunday.  This fish he caught was quite a bit larger.  He caught a 22” trout earlier in the day.  He told me the rainbows are feeding very well on dry flies. 

Try a Parachute Adams or Blue Wing Olive.  For nymphs use a Prince, Tellico, Hare’s Ear, Pheasant Tail or any rubber legged stonefly imitations.  Another friend of mine fished up there yesterday.  I don’t know how well he did.  I suspect he scored a big trout.  He is known for doing that.

Smallmouth bass fishing in the river has been extremely slow.  They appear to have shut down for the winter.  I saw one exception on our message board a few days ago.  The warmer water may bring them back to feeding again temporarily.  I may try later this week.

This has been a awesome past few days for anglers.  The water is going to chill some later this week.  And we are going to get some rain today through Wednesday night.  Well, I just heard it and now I’m looking outside.  It is raining, fairly hard.

I’m attending a City Council Meeting tonight.  I am not on the agenda but I’m hoping to hear some comments from the business community.  Several of us are going to show up and back a proposal that Chad and I made last month.  We suggested the City and businesses work closer together and we listed several very important projects that need to be addressed. 

One of those projects is the Covered Bridge.  An old concrete one-lane bridge was replaced just upstream by a new one.  We worked for years to get funding to build a timber frame structure over the old bridge for pedestrian and bicycle use.  The State of Tennessee awarded a Department of Transportation grant to help cover the costs.  I think that grant amounted to $170,000.  The Blount County Commission authorized $40,000 to be used for that project.  The engineering and design have been done.  Everything was coming together.  The new bridge was finished last year.  Then the Department of Transportation pulled their funding.  We don’t know why.

Richard Maples came to see me yesterday.  He is planning to take this project on.  If anyone can get it done, it is Richard.

Our valley is going to see changes that will affect our future and we need to be sure those changes are positive.  One big one is the Foothills Parkway.  The new leg, that will have the views of our valley is back on track and expected to be finished in 2016.  It will be a large tourism draw.   

It might route traffic around our town.  What will it be?  We can decide and be pro-active to make sure it doesn’t hurt our fragile tourism business.

If you visit our town in July or October you may think we have more tourists than we know what to do with.  If you visit here during other months you will have a different view, the same view we see all too often.  We have many slow times during the year, just like we are having now.  Fishing in the Park is excellent right now.  But there are almost no fishermen in the Park.  That is kind of strange.

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

Byron Begley
November 15, 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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