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.  It is raining and 35 degrees in Townsend this morning.  Traffic was very light when I drove to work.  We probably have some leftover visitors but otherwise, it is going to be very quiet in our little resort town until Spring.  There is no mention of road closures by Park officials at 8:00 am this morning.  If you are driving in the mountains, watch for ice and snow.  It’s 35 degrees in the valley, it is colder up there.

Little River is flowing at 435 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.59 feet on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 310 cfs.  The water temperature is 41.5 degrees.

If you go fishing today be aware that the temperature will drop later.  We have an 80% chance for snow tonight.  It may start snowing in the Smokies much earlier.  The National Weather Service is saying, “A significant snowfall is possible for late today and tonight across the area with moderate snow accumulations over the mountains of southwest Virginia and the far Eastern Tennessee Mountains, generally above 2,500 feet. 

It is going to be very cold at night.  The low expected here is 17 degrees both tonight and tomorrow night in the valley.  Snow is back in the forecast Sunday night and Monday.  It is going to be frigid early next week.

I’m sure some hardy folks will go fishing today but not many.  Not me.

If you go, be careful wading.  The water is still swift but not as bad as earlier this week.  The water is cold too.  Falling in would not be enjoyable.  It could be dangerous. 

If weather is permitting Saturday, get out and come here for our Free Saturday Fly Tying Demonstrations.  This Saturday we will have John Thurman and Josh Pfeiffer.  John is a trout guy and aquatic biologist.  He ties flies and fishes for all species in fresh and salt water.  His specialty seems to be tying trout tailwater flies, the small and quick patterns.  Everyone always enjoys John.  He knows his bugs. 

Josh guides in the Smokies, on the local tailwaters and the lowland rivers.  He targets trout and smallmouth bass.  If you enjoy smallie fishing or want to learn about it, come spend some time with Josh.

These demonstrations begin at 10 am and last until 2 pm.  They are free.  All you have to do is show up.  We’ll have coffee for you and a chair waiting.  These guys will be tying at the same time in different areas of the store.

I’ve been working on replenishing the fly tying department.  Since we moved the department to it’s own area, upstairs, our business has increased significantly.  Of particular interest to many tyers are the Game Changer Fly components, specifically, the metal spines and body material.  I have been selling fly tying materials for 19 years.  I’ve never seen anything like this.  Over two weeks ago, I got in 40 packs of CCT Body Fur.  It’s gone.  Tuesday, we got in another 60 packs.  I’m wondering how long that will last.  It’s the same with the spines.  I’m expecting 20 packs today in the mail. 

All of a sudden, due to this fly, we are selling a lot of #1 and 1/0 Gamakatsu B10S hooks.  They are perfect for this fly.  I tied a one yesterday that looks like a 4” long largemouth bass.  Big gamefish love to eat tender little largemouth bass. 

I tied it on a 1/0 hook.  If you use this hook, expect to cast it further with a heavy rod.  I use a 9 weight.  The #1 hook allows you to cast with a lighter rod.  I think you could trim these flies down on a #1 and cast them with a 6 weight but I haven’t tried it yet.  I have limited fishing experience with these flies since I started tying them in October.  The first bass I caught on one weighed about 3 pounds.  After catching that fish, we got blown off the lake by wind. We went back a week later and got blown off again.

If you do a Google search for “Game Changer Fly” and click “Images” you can see these flies.  Near the top of the page is a photo I took of an actual Umpqua Feather Merchants pair of samples in July.  I put the photo on the Fishing Report and it ultimately ended up on the report archives.  CLICK HERE to see them and watch the video at the bottom of the page.  You will be amazed.

Well, it is a new year and I am “Bowl Gamed” out.  I’ll get over it today and watch more.

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

Byron Begley
January 2, 2014

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