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Welcome to the Fishing Report from Townsend, Tennessee in the Great Smoky Mountains. At 5:46 am, the temperature is 56.8 degrees. Light rain is falling. I went outside to see what was going on, wearing a short sleeve t-shirt. It felt great out there.
Warm days and nights swill continue for several days. It feels like Spring. We should expect high temperatures at about 60 degrees or above through Sunday January 22nd. Lows at night will be in the 40s and 50’s. Rain is predicted several days during that period. I think we’ll have light soaking rains, the kind we like.
Little River is flowing at 127 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.84 feet on the flow gauge. Median flow for this date is 288 cfs. The water temperature is 51.3 degrees.
Fly fishing in the Smokies is good. The warm water is creating a Spring-like set of aquatic activities. The trout are very active of course. Spring aquatic insects are hatching. Anglers reported seeing Blue Quills, Blue Wing Olives, Quill Gordons, small black stoneflies and other insects on the water. Trout are feeding on them.
This is almost unheard of in January. Some years this happens in mid to late February. This year, it is happening a month earlier than I can remember. Jack told me yesterday, he has seen this before in January.
You have a week to take advantage of this and possibly longer. The long term weather forecast indicates colder temperatures beginning on the 23rd. But, it’s not going to be that much colder. We will see what happens. Things can change in a week, including the weather forecast.
Anglers are catching trout. I was at the shop most of the day yesterday, talking to customers and fly tying demonstrators. The store was busy. Fishermen were going fishing and coming back. Mike did that, then went fishing again.
I saw a lot of smiles and enthusiasm yesterday. It’s not over. The weather forecast for next Saturday, the 21st, calls for a high of 67 degrees and a low of 51. Tomorrow is Martin King Day. Many people will not be working. With this news, many will be fishing. The high is expected to be 67 degrees.
Fishermen are seeing bears. One local friend I talked to yesterday, told me a bear tore down the bird feeders on his front porch. I take ours down at night. Every night at about dark, I tell Paula, “I’m going out to take down the feeders and hope I don’t get eaten by a bear”. Of course I’m joking. I don’t worry about that happening. I did hear some bear talk” yesterday, some recounting recent experiences and others not so recent. We all love to talk about bears around here. Sometimes, there isn’t much else to talk about.
Chris was at the shop yesterday. He was once chased around his truck (low speed), by a bear. He kept walking around his truck, and the bear kept following him. It may seem funny to some, but Chris will quickly disagree. It was not funny to him. It would not be funny if it happened to me.
It is hard to believe, one week ago today, the temperature was 3.7 degrees when I started writing this report. It warmed up to 25 degrees later in the day.
We had a great time at the shop yesterday. Jack Gregory and Tradd Little were tying flies and talking to everyone. I saw people I had not seen in months. Walter and Brian were teaching a fly tying class which was full of students. The parking lot was loaded with cars and trucks. Fishermen were coming and going, headed to the stream and meeting their friends at the shop. It seemed like a typical Spring Saturday in January.
If you can, get out there and enjoy this weather and good fishing. The bugs probably won’t be hatching continuously, just becoming active at times. The trout will be feeding. If you don’t get action on the surface, switch to nymphs and go deeper.
I saw Mark Brown at the shop yesterday. Mark is a good friend. He was the sales manager at Chota Outdoor Gear. Now he is the owner. He and Chris, who also works there, bought the company from Frank, Pat and Rick, a few days ago.
I told Mark, what I tell any person who becomes a first time business owner. “When the money is gone, the game is over”. I think that is pretty good advice and I’ve said it many times. When you tell someone that, it sort of “hits home”. I can see the fright in their eyes and on their face. I say that to help them, not to see the sudden intense feeling of fear on their face.
I’ve been a business owner, continuously, since 1973. It has never been “game over” for me, but it has been close many times. Someone asked me once, and I remember it well, “What drives you?” My answer came quickly, without any thought. Ive been thinking about it much of my life.
“I am driven by the fear of failure."
Don't get me wrong. I love business and I love working.
Have a great day and thank you for being here with us.
January 15, 2017
Respond to: Byron@littleriveroutfitters.com