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.  The sky is clear and the temperature is 19 degrees in Townsend this morning.  Traffic was extremely light on my commute.  I think I only saw 3 vehicles on the roads.

Though we did not get any measurable snow or ice yesterday, they did in the National Park.  As of now, most roads in the Park are closed.  The Park Service is saying, “We are expecting some roads to reopen in the park today.  Do not expect all of them to reopen.”  The best way to get current road conditions in the Park is to visit their Twitter Page by CLICKING HERE.  Every time something changes, they post it there.

Little River is flowing below normal at 269 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.03 feet on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 359 cfs.  The water temperature at 8:00 am is 32 degrees or less.  Readings from the USGS website do not report temperatures below freezing.  Some Trout Unlimited volunteers were out trying to do Acid Deposition Monitoring yesterday.  Many had to abort their mission due to the roads closing.  I talked to one person to took the water temperature using the professional Park Service thermometers.  He said the water was 30 degrees.

It is going to be a nice day today with a high around 50 degrees and plenty of sunshine.  I’m sure there will be some fishermen trying to find an open road and venturing into the Smokies.  Fishing will be slow but people do catch trout in icy water like we have now.  It happens, but not often.  Nymphs will probably work best if they work at all.

You really need to be careful when fishing in cold conditions.  Falling in can cause very negative consequences.

Cold air from the arctic is bearing down on us right now.  The low temperature tomorrow night is predicted to be 9 degrees.  It’s going to be colder than that Tuesday night.  We may get a little snow tomorrow.

Wow, we had a busy day at the shop yesterday.  We had a big event and a lot of customers showed up.  Buzz Buffington, Kent Edmonds, Sarah Weeks and Dave Chouinard were showing people how things are done and chatting.  Everyone had a great time.  The parking lot stayed mostly full.  Our staff parked at the Post Office to allow for more spaces here.  Business was good and I really enjoyed seeing friends.  One of our students in the fly tying class won the $100 Gift Card yesterday.

I can’t wait to hear what the Townsend folks have to say tomorrow.  When you see 40 or more cars in a parking lot in this town, in January, it is remarkable.    

I planned this event and every Saturday event for the winter last year, months ago.  You can’t plan events and expect them to be successful if you don’t get the word out.  We do get the word out.  Join our e-mail newsletter list in the box below and you will know what we have going on.  Of course, you can get up to date information on this fishing report.

Well, it is now a well known fact that Lynn Camp Prong will not re-open this year to fishing.  Matt Kulp, fisheries biologist at Great Smoky Mountains announced it at our TU meeting Thursday night.  Lynn Camp prong has been the subject of a massive native brook trout restoration project.  Rainbow trout were removed from 9+ miles of the stream and it’s tributaries.  Wild Southern Appalachian Brook Trout were stocked.  We were all hoping this beautiful stream would open this year.  It won’t.

The problem is, last fall’s spawn was not good.  The population did not expand in numbers of fish.  High water wiped out nests and young trout.  The population is not to the point where biologists are comfortable allowing fishermen to “have at it”.  Maybe Lynn Camp will open next year.  We need a good year without a drought or flood.

The population will be checked this Summer by biologists and Trout Unlimited volunteers.  Using backpack electroshockers, the trout are temporarily stunned, captured and counted.  This is done in the same sample sites every year and different locations in the stream.  A whole bunch of young of the year brook trout would be a welcome sight this Summer. 

I ordered a ton of fly tying materials last weekend.  They should be arriving tomorrow through mid-week, depending on the supplier.  Some suppliers are quick and some are slower.  I ordered from Umpqua, Wapsi, Hareline Dubbin, Whiting Farms and CCT.  After everything is in and out, I’ll order again. 

We are open today as we are every Sunday.  I hope you can come by.

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

Byron Begley
January 26, 2014

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