Townsend, Tennessee - Fly Fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, East Tennessee and Western North Carolina

Welcome to the Fishing Report from Townsend, Tennessee in the Great Smoky Mountains. At 5:58 am, the temperature outside is a chilly 24.4 degrees. It will be fairly warm today, slightly over 50 degrees. The, get ready for some cold air, with a high in the 30’s tomorrow and 40’s Tuesday. We will se a warming trend by the weekend, with highs around 60 degrees . Rain is expected Friday.

Little River is flowing at 381 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.32 feet on the flow gauge. Median flow for this date is 341 cfs. The water temperature is 42.4 degrees this morning.

Fishing will be slow today, especially this morning due to the cold water. If you plan to fish in the Smoky Mountains, nymphs will probably work best. I would use a Tellico or Prince nymph, with or without a bead head. I know for sure I would pinch on some split shot, probably more than one, to get the nymph down. Using a double rig of nymphs would be an excellent idea. Most reasonable nymph patterns will work.

You may find some active browns, but most trout will be hunkered down. Drift your nymphs along the stream bottom. Trout will eat under these conditions, just not often or not at all.  Presenting your flies, right in front of their noses, can entice them to strike.

Most trout will be laying on the bottom, in runs or deep pools, avoiding the current.

Looking at the weather forecast through January 17th, it appears temperatures will be about normal, except for later this week. January is our coldest month. February is historically warmer than January.

Paula and I spent the New Year holiday with Frank and Freida in Richmond, Kentucky. We enjoyed one of the best holiday weekends we have had in years. Frank and I started the first grade together in 1957. When Frank’s grandfather passed away, he bought the home from his estate, where they live. It is the oldest home in Madison County. Their daughter Kathryn came by to see us. She is a nurse in Lexington. It was great to see her.

Mouse came over Saturday, and the three of us installed a rudder on Frank’s Jackson Big Rig Kayak. Things went slow at first. But eventually, it came together after we decided to read the instructions later that day. Paula and Freida said they could hear us laughing all afternoon, in the garage.

When you get three guys together, who have been friends over 50 years, there are stories to be told, usually funny stories. In our case, there are many. There is also humor to be found when working on mechanical projects and failing, then finding out why we failed, after reading the instructions. Men like to figure out how to do things on their own, without input from those who have done it before and actually designed the retrofit. That is why we don’t like to read the instructions first. It’s more fun doing it that way.

When we got home yesterday evening, there were the same 26 wild turkeys we see daily, standing in our gravel road. We drove to the house and unloaded the car. Then, I walked behind the house with some corn, sunflower seeds and millet to feed the birds. The turkeys couldn’t wait. As I spread the seed, they were following behind me gobbling it up and looking at me as if to say, “Where the heck have you been?”

John pulled up in his Gator. We jumped in and drove down to his barn to feed the cattle. They were not interested in the hay. They were waiting for the apples. The feed room at the barn is full of 5 gallon buckets of apples, those that are rejected from a company that makes candied apples. Cattle love apples.

It is always good to be home. I will be working today. I’ll get to see Daniel and Paul.

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

Byron Begley
January 3, 2016

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