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 5:41 am, the temperature is 41.2 degrees and it is raining. It will be warm today and tomorrow with a good chance for rain both days. A cold front will move into the area Sunday, bringing with it a chance for snow showers.

Little River is flowing at 215 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.90 feet on the flow gauge. Median flow for this date is 314 cfs. The water temperature is 43 degrees this morning.

We will see the water temperature rise for two days, then drop. Fishing will improve somewhat in the Great Smoky Mountains during this two-day warm-up. I don’t know if it will happen, but, if water temperatures rise to 50 degrees, fishing could be quite good. And, the closer that number gets to 50 degrees, the better the fishing will be.

Next week, water temperatures will fall and fishing will slow. It is January, a month when we expect fishing conditions like we will see next week.

Our Free Saturday Fly Tying Demonstration schedule this year is exciting. We have been holding these free events, on Saturdays during the winter, months for at least 15 years, and probably longer.

All you have to do is show up. We usually have two fly tyers performing for you at different locations in the shop. The demonstrators tie and discuss their fishing experiences with you, at tables with chairs for you to relax in. Of course, we serve free coffee. You can watch one person for a while, then move to the next at any time. This is a very casual and fun thing to do on a cold winter Saturday.

You will learn from these talented people, whether you tie flies or not. And, it is fun to mix with other fishermen, longing for spring.

Tomorrow, Buzz Buffington and Dave Harrell will be tying between 10 am and 2 pm. Both Buzz and Dave live in Clinton, Tennessee. I know, they both fish the Clinch River often. That river is their home water. This is an excellent opportunity to learn more about the Clinch River. They are both very active members of the Clinch River Chapter of Trout Unlimited. They have been heavily involved in fly fishing education, which is a high priority of that TU Chapter. They also work with Project Healing Waters and the Trout Camp held at the Great Smoky Mountains Institute for kids.

On Saturday January 16th, our featured fly tyers will be Jack Gregory and Rex Wilson. On this day, you will get a dose of Southern Appalachian fly fishing and fly tying.

Jack is one of my closest friends. He grew up in Walland, just down the road from Townsend. He has spent most of his life, fly fishing the Smoky Mountains. He is known for catching big brown trout. What you may not know is, Jack has traveled all over America fly fishing, and has a passion and lots of experience, fishing for permit in Belize. He and I have traveled and fished together for 20 years. We do a lot of smallmouth bass fly fishing in this area too. We have also fished together in the Gulf, many times, fly fishing for tarpon and anything that swims in the ocean.

Rex Wilson comes from Candler, North Carolina. He ties beautiful Southern Appalachian trout flies. In fact, decades ago, he was a contract fly tyer, supplying flies to stores in East Tennessee and Western North Carolina. When Rex demonstrates at fly fishing events, his table is always packed with fishermen watching him and listening to his trout fly fishing tactics which he is always willing to share.

If you combined Jack and Rex’s days on the stream, the number would be astounding.

On Saturday, January 23rd, the featured fly tyers will be Gary Troutman and Roger Lowe.

Gary is known to be an expert at warm water fly fishing. That is his passion. I can tell you for a fact, his fly creations work extremely well for any warmwater fish. I’ve tied them and I have used them. He gave me my first two Stealth Bombers and I’ve been hooked ever since. I always listen to him, intently, when he talks about fishing the streams and lakes in our area for smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, sunfish, white bass and other fishes.

Roger lives in Western North Carolina. He is a second generation professional guide. His father guided too, in the Great Smoky Mountains. If you are a Smokies fly fisherman, you have probably heard of Roger. His book about Smokies Fly Patterns has been in print, dating back at least 1 years and probably longer. Roger draws crowds to fly fishing shows. I’ve seen him in action. Roger is amazing to watch, but don’t forget to ask questions and listen.

Walter Babb will be tying on Saturday January 30th. He is another friend of mine, and we have traveled together, fly fishing in the East. He is another man, who is a legend, in Southern Appalachian fly fishing circles. I seldom meet a serious Smokies fly fisherman who has not at least heard of Walter. Walter teaches our trout fly tying classes and our beginner fly fishing classes, and has since the early 90’s.

Those who love bamboo rods, know of Walter, or may be lucky enough to own one of his hand-made fly rods. He makes them in his shop in Sweetwater, Tennessee.

We have more tying demonstrations scheduled in February. Today, I will update our website with all of the fly tying demonstrators scheduled this winter. Little River Outfitters is the place to be on Saturdays, during the cold months. 

Our fly fishing school schedule for 2016 will be updated on our website today as well.

We’ve go a lot going on and I’m going to be busy today.

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

Byron Begley
January 8, 2015

Respond to: byron@littleriveroutfitters.com



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