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 in Townsend, Tennessee. It is raining at 5:36 am and the temperature is 33.6 degrees. The rain may turn to sleet this afternoon, then to snow. We expect 2 to 4 inches of snow tonight. Light snow will fall tomorrow, maybe accumulating another 1” of new snow.

Little River is flowing at 264 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.04 feet on the flow gauge. Median flow for this date is 289 cfs. The water temperature is 37.8 degrees.

Fishing will be slow due to the cold water. Most roads in Great Smoky Mountains National Park are open right now. Later today and tomorrow, many will likely be closed.

We are under a winter storm warning. It will end Saturday night. Warmer air will move into our area next week.

We missed the bullet here. To our north, the weather is awful. I feel lucky.

We did cancel an Advanced Fly Tying Class today. Students were driving from other states to be here. Dan is working on re-scheduling that class with the students and instructors.

David Perry was to be here tomorrow to tie. He was planning to drive from Middle Tennessee. Dan told him not to come. Gary Troutman was also scheduled to tie tomorrow. I think Dan asked him not to come. However, unless the roads are really slick, Dan Munger will be tying for you tomorrow. I think the shop will be open tomorrow. If the roads are bad, you may want to call before you come.

I was supposed to meet three close friends at Lake Cumberland State Park yesterday. We had a cabin rented and planned to do our own cooking. These guys have been buddies of mine since the 50’s and 60’s. One was driving from Nashville and two from Central Kentucky. We knew we would be snowed in and hoped we would, at least until Sunday or Monday.

As I was loading my truck to leave, Frank got a call from the Park. They were moving us to the lodge from the cabin. And, they had no assurances the restaurant would be open. It turns out, we were the only 4 guests, staying at the Park this weekend. And, we might starve to death.

We reluctantly called the trip off, all because of the chance for a mere 12” of snow. We are all disappointed. Like me, these guys have trucks that are made and equipped to travel well when it snows. We have to. We hunt and fish. Though we are in our 60’s, we still work.

My truck is a 2001, 4-wheel drive Chevy Suburban with almost new, off-road tires. I bought the truck new. A new one costs $30,000 more than I paid for mine. There is no way I would buy a $70,000 truck. So, I am keeping this one. It runs great. It looks pretty bad. I could care less about that. I usually wash and wax it every year. I don’t think I did that last year. I drive, on average, 300 miles per month.

Paula has a fairly new Outback with 18,000 miles on it. We take that on long trips. It is under warranty and Subaru will give us a loaner if it breaks down anywhere. We pull our kayak trailer with the Subaru, when we go to Florida.

I considered buying a new truck if we start taking our larger boat to Florida. Then, I found I can rent a new Tahoe, for a little over $500 per week. To me, that makes more sense than buying a new truck. I can do the math for that, in my head, quickly.

The wind is blowing strong. It is barely daybreak. I can see the Smoky Mountains. There are a few patches of snow on the ground. I suppose the mountains will be white tomorrow.

I plan to sit here for two days and size photos for our new online store.

The birds are eating seed like crazy this week behind our house. They eat fast and furious, because they know, the turkeys will arrive and vacuum up all of their food at some point during the day. I spread 3 gallons of seed on the ground, every morning. The male and female wild turkeys have merged into one flock. Now, we see as many as 37 hens and gobblers together out back, at the same time. They are interesting creatures to watch from 20 to 100 feet away. Yesterday, a gobbler fanned out, like they do when they are mating.

My neighbors have been out of town for two weeks but will be back today. They have been on a golfing trip to Florida. I’ve been feeding their cows every day. They are all pregnant (the cows). They have learned to associate my truck, with food. When I drive to the barn, they see me coming and run there fast, screaming “Byron”. Yesterday, I went to the barn later than usual, and they were waiting for me. Paula was planning to feed them, since I was going to be out of town.

I say, “Hey Girls” and they say “Byron”.  I love feeding the cows. They appreciate me. My neighbors appreciate me feeding their cows so they can go on vacation. It is a win, win, for everyone.

If you look at the long-term weather forecast, through February 5th, there is good news. We’ve got some fishing weather headed our way by the end of the month. We will see warm air, gradually climbing to the mid-60’s in our near future.

After tomorrow, the chance for snow is almost non-existent, through February 5th.

Will this be one of those years, when the Spring hatches begin in February? I hope so. I am ready for Spring. I say this every year. “I’m going to fish more this year, than any year before”. This time I mean it.

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

Byron Begley
January 22, 2016

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