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 cold, 7 degrees at 8:05 am.  Yesterday morning was colder, -1 degrees.  It is even colder in the mountains.  The caretaker at Mount LeConte reported a high on Monday of 3 degrees.  The low Sunday night was -17 degrees.

As of 2 hours ago, many roads are still closed in the Park.  Cades Cove is open.  Little River Road is still closed due to snow and ice.  Newfound Gap Road is still closed.  Tremont Road is closed.  And, Wears Cove Road is closed.  Foothills Parkway West in Walland is closed.

So, if you are visiting Townsend and some of you are, go to Cades Cove and view the beauty.  I bet it is spectacular up there.

Little River is flowing at 388 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.49 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 312 cfs.  The USGS temperature gauge inside the Park is reporting a water temperature of slightly over 32 degrees.  I think that number has bottomed out.  It’s been exactly the same since yesterday morning.  Maybe ice has formed on the probe that runs out into the river.  Maybe the equipment is not capable of reading anything colder than that.  Whatever the reason, the water is cold and you do not want to fall in.

Safe fly fishing is next to impossible right now.  I would not wade out into a river in these conditions unless there was a good chance at catching a 20 pound brown trout.  I can say that, knowing pretty much for sure, there are no 20 pound brown trout living in the Smokies.  There are some big ones.  I doubt if there is one that big.

Several of my friends switch to spinning rods when wading is dangerous.  Joe said he hooked a good brown trout in the 20” range Sunday.  Since he didn’t have waders on, he played the fish with a slack line until it came loose. 

My advice today is to be at work or at home. You might want to visit your local fly shop.

There is not much going on in town.  It’s just too darned cold. I have been visiting some businesses in town, just to see the folks who serve our community and our visitors.  

I saw a lot of activity yesterday at the new Ace Hardware store that is supposed to open this month.  We will continue to patronize the Townsend Shopping Center for much of our hardware needs.  They are friends of ours.  Their prices are fair too.  There are some things that they won’t have.  We’ll go to Ace for that.  Ace is going to have a big RV department, which makes good sense being that Townsend is a camping town.  Kenny, the manager, is a great guy and he will run a top notch store.  I think they will do well.  Ace will be a much needed and very good addition to our town.

Next to Ace Hardware is an excellent car wash and coin laundry.  The car wash has some bays dedicated to washing your RV.  Mike, who owns both businesses, is on the job, and this place is spotless.  I can tell he maintains the equipment to the highest standards.  This business is certainly an asset to a resort town like ours. 

I went to Dollar General yesterday to buy some plastic storage boxes for fly tying materials.  I'm organizing the "man cave". Until this store opened, I had never been in a Dollar General.  Ours is a well managed store and they always have what I’m looking for.  It’s kind of amazing, like, they read my mind.

Our IGA Grocery is doing well.  They have almost no staff turnover, or that’s the way I see it.  Everyone is very friendly.  They have a good stock and great parking.  I always enjoy going there.

The Parkway Grocery is still serving the needs of Townsend in a big way.  They have the best hot dogs I’ve ever eaten.  Their deli sandwiches are great too.  Everyone who works there is friendly.  Steve, the owner is a great guy.  His parents are friends of ours too.  They own the Highland Manor Inn.  When I drive to work, the biggest crowd I see is at the Parkway Grocery Phillips 66.  Their breakfast is excellent and priced right.

We have some great service businesses in Townsend.  I can’t mention them all on this page today.  We even have a good fly shop.

What I have seen, over the past 20 years, is a growth in the service sector.  We needed that.  If we had a doctor and a pharmacy, we wouldn’t have to leave Townsend.  We even have an auto repair shop that I’ve used and been very pleased with.

Townsend has many family owned and operated motels, lodges, cabin rental businesses, bed and breakfasts and restaurants.  We have the finest campgrounds I have ever seen. 

If this sounds like an ad for vacation planning, I guess that is what went through my mind this morning.  It is planning time.  Plan to visit Townsend in 2014.

Also, plan to be at our store Saturday.  We are holding yet another free event between 10 am and 2 pm.  Famous fly fishing guide Mike Bone will be here.  You can watch him tie flies and talk about tailwater fishing for trout.  He knows the subject well.  Frank Bryant will be here too.  Frank owns Chota Outdoor Gear.  You can meet him and I’ll tell you what, it will be a treat.  He is a very smart guy and nice to be around. Just show up. It's free.

We are also holding a beginner fly tying class Saturday. I think we have openings. Call the store at 865-448-9459 to reserve your spot.

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

Byron Begley
January 8, 2014


Respond to:

Home - Contact Us - About Us - Fishing Report - Online Catalog - Message Board - Sitemap