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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  The sky is blue and it is 25 degrees in Townsend this morning.  It is a little foggy in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  That will burn off soon along with the thick frost covering almost all surfaces in our valley.  It is a beautiful morning.

Little River’s level is dropping slowly back to normal.  Flow right now is 272 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 222 cfs.  The water temperature is 41.3 degrees, which is surprising to me.  I expected it to be colder.

I made an error in the fishing report yesterday.  I mentioned that Joe caught a 27” brown a few days ago.  I knew he was fishing on New Years Day when the story about this fish was recounted to me.  I assumed, wrongly that he caught that fish then.  He actually caught it a few weeks ago.  I think Ross caught a 22” brown on New Years Day while fishing with Joe but I could be wrong about that too.  I’m sorry.

Fishing will be slow this morning.  The water is cold.  If you go, drag some weighted nymphs along the bottom.  I would wait until later.  The high today is supposed to be 52 degrees.  The sun will be shining all day.  The water will warm some.

Has anyone looked at the weather forecast for later this week?  You should and take note of the high and low temperatures.  It is going to be unseasonably warm.  I mean it is going to really be warm.  Depending on which weather website you believe, we may see a high temperature of 69 degrees on Saturday.  And, leading up to that, we’ll have warm nights and rain on the way.  The warm nights begin Wednesday with a predicted low of 45 degrees.  They say the low Thursday will be 47 degrees. Another website pegs that number at 54 degrees.  We should see high temperatures in the 60’s from Thursday through Sunday.

If this really happens, and it most likely will, fishing is going to be good this weekend and maybe before that.  The streams will warm and the trout will become active or at least a lot more active then they have been. 

I would seriously consider visiting Townsend this weekend for some fly fishing.

The only thing that might get us is the rain.  One website predicts a fairly low chance, 30% to 40% starting Wednesday through Friday.  The National Weather Service tells a different story.  They believe the chance for rain will be 50% on Thursday, 60% chance that night and 60% on Friday.  So, if you decide to come, make your reservations but keep an eye on this report, the weather forecast and the river levels.  You might end up canceling if we have high water. 

This is exciting news that requires some preparation on our part.  I’ll check after finishing this report . We may need to stock up on some leaders and tippet before the weekend.  We can get that done.  I ordered a bunch of Gink yesterday.  I think we are OK on flies but we’ll look at that too.  We can have flies here in 3 days when we order from one of our suppliers in Pennsylvania. 

I spent all day yesterday re-ordering for the fly tying department which was decimated during the holidays.  I ordered from Wapsi, Umpqua and Whiting Farms.  They were all large orders.  I’ll order from the Metz side of Umpqua today.  We should be stocked by the weekend since the some orders went in on a Sunday via e-mail and that will put us close to first in line this morning when these companies open.  When I order from Wapsi on Sundays it is always several hundred items.  They usually have them here on Thursday.  It takes me a day to receive them into our computer system and get them on the walls.

Saturday is going to be another big fly tying day here and you should come.  It’s Free too.  Walter Babb will be tying.  Walter has been fly fishing in the Southern Appalachian Mountains for close to 60 years.  He knows as much about flies, fly fishing and tying as anyone I know.  Watching him tie flies is like watching a machine.  He tied flies commercially for many years.  He is incredible.  Just show up Saturday morning and sit down with Walter.  He will be demonstrating between 10:00 and 2:00 pm.

On the other side of the store, Josh Pfeiffer will be tying.  Josh is a guide who takes clients into the Park to fish for trout, floats them down the rivers for trout and has also become a smallmouth bass fanatic.  He uses his drift boat on the tailwaters for smallies.  Or, if you want to fish the smaller rivers, he has a raft for that.  I’ve fished with Josh for these bass and I can tell you he knows his stuff.  He will be tying between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm just like Walter.

Josh’s bass flies are incredible.  When he pops open a huge fly box you can’t help but think, WOW! 

So, we fly anglers are going to have a very exciting week.  I would say that fly shops will have a very exciting week.  I’m already excited and it’s 25 degrees out there.  What a difference 44 degrees will make.

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

Byron Begley
January 7, 2013

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