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 53 degrees in Townsend this morning.  Everybody stayed home.  I saw two vehicles on my way to work.  That was probably a record low.

Little River is flowing at 553 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.82 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 314 cfs.  The water temperature at 7:55 am is 46.3 degrees.  The river looks like coffee with some cream added.  The water is rising.

It’s no wonder.  We have had over an inch of rain so far this morning and there is more coming.  It was very windy earlier.  This Saturday qualifies as a nasty day.

The warmer water is in your favor.  The high stained water is not.  The wind makes the forest a dangerous place to be.  I would not go fishing in the Smoky Mountains today.  This is a good day to visit a fly shop, especially this one.

Tomorrow will be sunny and fairly warm, in the low 50’s.  I’ve got a feeling, especially hearing that rain pounding the roof above my head, the streams will be blown out tomorrow.  It is pouring out there.

You should be here today because we have some great folks you will want to meet and visit with.  This event is free of course.  All you need to do is show up.

Mike Bone will be here tying flies and talking to you about fly fishing for trout on the tailwaters.  He is an expert.  He has been guiding on the big rivers for 20 years.  Mike, like most guides, ties a lot of flies for his clients.  Since clients can lose lots of flies, most guides tie “Guide Flies”.  Guide flies are quick to tie.  They have to be.  I bet he will show you some of those.  Mike also ties more complicated flies.  One think you can be sure of, his flies catch trout or he wouldn’t bother tying them.  Come watch, listen to Mike and ask him questions.  This is all about learning.

Our other guest today is Frank Bryant, President of Chota.  He designs and sells waders, wading boots, Hippies and other fly fishing or paddling related accessories.  He is a great guy to be around.  Frank is smart.  He is a designer.  He pays attention to details.  But, he also loves fly fishing and paddling.  Chota is located in Knoxville.  Frank lives right on Melton Hill Lake.  I have a great time going over there playing with his boats.

Both of these guys will be here from 10 am til 2 pm today.  Just come on buy and enjoy yourself.  I would say you could go fishing too, but that might be a stretch.

Mark Brown and I spent most of the day together yesterday.  Mark is the Sales Manager at Chota.  We are working on short videos to show Chota products on YouTube.  These videos are going to be “quick and clean.” 

I have the video editing software and I know how to use it “sort of”.  I use it so little, I have to re-train myself every time.  Mark sat next to me with a laptop, reading software manuals trying to keep me on track. 

We decided to shoot product using digital SLR cameras instead of video.  These still shots can be imported into the video editor.  We added titles and depicted in still format, a revolving wading boot.  We think these are going to be cool!  All of their dealers can easily imbed them on their own websites.

Frank Bryant doesn’t know about this but he will find out today.  We are hoping he likes the idea.  I can’t wait to show him.  I do a lot of photo and video work for Chota and I’ve done it for years.  I really like working with these guys. We are friends doing fun stuff.

Walter Babb will be here soon.  He is teaching a beginner fly tying class today at the shop.  Walter and I have been friends for around 20 years.  We have worked together, traveled on fishing trips together and attended Joan Wulff’s Fly Fishing Instructors School together.  It is held in New York.  Joan was one of our instructors.

I will never forget his stress level on the third day assignments.  Joan gave each of us a topic to teach in front of her with a beginner fly fishing student.  I can’t remember what we were supposed to teach, but I got an easy one and Walter got the tough one. Mine was a snap and his was impossible.  We talked about his assignment a lot, the night before that fateful day.  We didn’t talk about mine.  Anyone could do it.  Maybe that is why she gave it to me.  I don’t know.  We both did great and the school was an intense three days but a lot of fun.  Walter and I still laugh about that trip and the school.  I will say this.  We learned a lot about teaching fly fishing.  It was an unforgettable experience.  Paula took it first and got to know Joan.  Chuck took the class later.  Ryan took it.  Fly fishing and teaching fly fishing require two entirely different sets of skills. 

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

UPDATE 1:15 PM - LITTLE RIVER JUST REACHED 7.21 FEET ON THE GUAGE OR 5,540 CUBIC FEET PER SECOND. THAT IS OVER TWICE THE HIGHEST FLOW RECORDED ON THIS DATE AND 17 TIMES NORMAL FLOW FOR THIS DATE.

WADING OR FISHING IN LITTLE RIVER AND MOST STREAMS IN GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK IS DANGEROUS. DO NOT GO.

Byron Begley
January 11, 2014

Respond to: byron@littleriveroutfitters.com


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