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. Driving to work this morning there was a distinct snow line on the mountains. It started a hundred feet up or so. The road, well US 321, was clear sailing. When I checked the Twitter feed for the Smokies earlier Little River Road was closed from the Wye to Sugarlands Visitor Center. Newfound Gap Road was also closed. Checking it again a moment ago they have just re-opened Little River Road but with a caution to watch for snow and ice.
There was just a little bit of precipitation in the rain gauge this morning. I estimated it at about 0.10". Water levels dropped over night. They are down to 2.85 feet or 570 c.f.s. This is better than even yesterday but still on the high side. You will be able to find some places to fish today, you just might have to get creative and careful about access. West Prong of Little River or even Anthony Creek can be good choices when the water is up. Be prepared for small trout though as these are very small streams.
Water temps are still on the cool side. The streamflow gauge is giving a reading of 44F this morning. That really isn't too bad for this time of year. Atleast the gauge is giving a reading this week. Last week it flatlined at 32F.
With the cold water you are going to be best off fishing nymphs. Copper Johns, BH Pheasant Tails and BH Prince are always good choices. You can hedge your bets and put on a big Prince for some weight and run a smaller nymph as a dropper behind. Don't forget about the split shot. With the higher water flows and cold temperatures you are going to need to get those flies down to where the trout are.
There is still some room in the Intermediate Fly Tying Class on January 25th. There is an Advanced Class coming up on February 8th also. These classes are a great way to keep improving your fly tying skills. They are taught by Walter Babb and only cost $75 including lunch.
I think we might have the Advanced Class named wrong. It should really be called Intermediate 201 or even Classic Smokies Flies. You don't have to be an "advanced" fly tyer to take this class. The class is merely an extension of the other classes.
In the Advanced Class you learn how to tie the George Nymph, a great attractor nymph pattern created by local legend Eddy George back in the 1930's. That one is followed by the Blackburn Tellico Nymph. This large variation of the Tellico Nymph is a fantastic stonefly pattern. Over the years many large trout have been caught on this fly or variations of it. Then things get a little harder as you try the Speck. This little wet fly can be a killer in the mountains. The Speck also teaches you how to spin deer hair. All sorts of new possibilities are opened up when you start spinning hair. Spinning looks tough and it is a little scary when you first let go of the deer hair and it whirls around the hook shank but once you get past that you realize it isn't bad, just messy. The Quill Gordon is a perfect fly for the Southern Appalachian Spring. This pattern is a classic Catskill dry fly and teaches you how to do a quill body and upright wings. Finally comes the Blue Wing Olive Parachute. Good thing we have nice magnifiers. This one is a #20. Small flies don't have to be hard. Actually most are super easy to tie as they have less materials and steps. You can read more about it HERE.
Class space is limited so we need you to call and reserve a place. Just give us a call 865-448-9459.
Have a great day and thank you for being here with us. If you head out on the stream today have fun and be careful.
January 15, 2014
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