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 int the Great Smoky Mountains. At 6:51 am, the temperature is 33.3 degrees. Winter is upon us. It may snow this morning then change to rain later. The high temperature today is predicted to be 39 degrees. We’ll see low temperatures in the teens through Tuesday night. Then it will warm later in the week, with temperatures still below normal.

Snow with light accumulation is expected Friday and Saturday. We’ll get some rain Wednesday and Thursday.

 Little River is flowing at 193 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.83 feet on the flow gauge. Median flow for this date is 259 cfs. The water temperature is 41.9 degrees.

You may catch a trout or two if you go fishing today. Don’t expect better fishing as the week progresses. I don’t think that will happen. The water temperatures are going to drop all week. They will dip into the 30’s. When the water is that cold, you might as well stay home, if catching fish hand over fist is what you desire. You may want to go shopping at a fly shop. If you tie flies, do that.

I stayed home yesterday and sized photographs for our new online store. Jack Gregory and Rex Wilson tied at the shop. Jack came here after he finished tying and talking to customers. He said we had a big crowd at the shop.

Jack stayed for dinner and we talked until midnight. I slept later this morning than I have since Christmas Day.

Jack and I can talk about fly fishing for hours. We recount the times we fished together. Fishing is often very good when I go with Jack. Of course, he always catches more fish than I do. He is a better fisherman. He hardly ever quits fishing. If you go fishing with Jack, plan on a long day.

I don’t think I know anyone who loves to fly fish, more than Jack. We talk about the trips to Yellowstone and tarpon fishing in Florida. We spent a week together in Florida, with other good friends and our wives, in October. We laughed about that trip. When Jack and I are together, we always have fun.

Jack and I also talked about all the people we have met at Little River Outfitters over the past 21 years. Now that, in itself, has been an unbelievable blessing for many of us.

Think about this. I have been fortunate enough, to spend almost every day, for one third of my life, all day long, talking to people, thinking about, actually doing it and working on projects that have something to do with fly fishing. My close friends all fly fish. My wife loves fly fishing. I usually work 6 days a week. I’ve worked 14 days straight since January 2nd. A work day for me is at least 9 to 10 hours. I’ll probably do this for many more years.

Some people may think that is excessive or I am obsessive. From my perspective, I love what I do, I choose to do it, I don’t have to do it, nobody tells me I can’t, so I am happy.

I have always loved fishing, especially fly fishing. I’m not sure why. There are many reasons why.

One compelling reason, probably number one, is “where you are and who you are with”. I love small streams, rivers, ponds, lakes and the ocean. I am fascinated by the aquatic ecosystem, the beauty of the water and the shore, the animals that live therein and the people who love the same thing. I am drawn to these people. We have a mutual passion.

I don’t consider the actual “catching of the fish” the highest priority anymore. To me, that is one small component of the sport. It’s kind of the ultimate goal when you are recounting a day on the water to someone, but still, there is much more to the sport than landing a fish. If hooking and landing the fish, was the only thing you enjoyed about the sport, it would not be that much fun. I have a great time, even if I get skunked.

I very much enjoy the anticipation and the preparation of a fishing day or extended fishing trip. I like tying the flies, rigging, cleaning the boats, talking to friends and my wife about the trip. How could anyone be unhappy, preparing and anticipating a day or week of fishing? I have not met many people at work, during the past 21 years, who were not happy. Our customers are always happy. They are going fishing or they just got back.

We get to see people at their highest level of enjoyment and excitement. Their enthusiasm is contagious. I love it. 

I enjoy hearing other people share their past or future fishing day or trip. I live it with them. We have a shared passion. We make a connection. I want to see the photos.

How many people do you know, who look forward to getting out of bed at 5 am to write a two page report about work? What does that tell you about me? OK, maybe I’m a little crazy, but if that is what I enjoy doing, and I do, I’m happy.

Life is not a rehearsal. This us the real thing. You and I should be happy, 24/7.

I really appreciate all of you giving me the opportunity to do what I do.

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

Byron Begley
January 17, 2016

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