Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is clear and 34 degrees in Townsend this morning.  The Great Smoky Mountains look spectacular.  The only fog in the area is following the path of Little River through town. Traffic is light on the streets.  Even the restaurants were lacking in customers this morning. 

Little River is flowing at 633 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 299 cfs.  With almost double the normal rainfall since the first of the year, this great watershed in East Tennessee is overflowing with water.  So much in fact, that barge traffic has been halted temporarily below Chattanooga on the Tennessee River.  The water is deemed to be too swift and dangerous for barges.  All 9 dams are spilling.  Ft. Loudon dam is churning at a rate of about 53,000 cfs around the clock. 

The Park streams are cooling off.  This morning the water temperature at the swinging bridge was 45 degrees compared to a reading of 52 degrees yesterday morning.  Fishing has been very good in the Park.  Compared to a normal January it has been excellent due to the warm water. 

That will change for now.  Lows in the 20’s and 30’s at night will keep the water temperature closer to normal.  We’ll see high temperatures in the 50’s and 60’s for the next ten days.  We have avoided snowstorms and extremely cold temperatures this year.  It has been a mild winter so far.  And it looks like it will continue on that trend through the first week in February.

Fishing in the Park is best using nymphs with a lot of weight.  The rivers and streams are moving fast.  Water levels are high.  Care should be taken when wading.  Just tie on a nymph or two, add some split shot and “high stick” with your flies near or tickling the streambed.  The water temperature will drop to around 40 in the valley by Sunday then start warming up again.  Fishing will improve once more though not like it has been lately.  When the water temperature is 50 degrees the trout become more active.  At 40 degrees they are not so active. 

Dave Chouinard who handles the business end of things for Simms and Waterworks Lamson will arrive here this afternoon.  We have some business to tend to.  Tonight Paula and I are taking him out to dinner.  Dave has extensive experience in the fly fishing industry.  He is one of only two people we work with who actually owned a fly shop.  One is Robert Bryant from Orvis and then there is Dave.  Dave’s store was in New Jersey.  Now he lives in Tampa, Florida.  He has a 6 pack captains license and he does some guiding down there for the fun of it. 

Dave is a great salesman, a natural.  He can spill out more information in 30 minutes than anyone I know.  I have to write fast when I’m with him. 

Of all the folks we work with on a regular basis, Dave knows more about the internet, than any.  He will be amazed at the traffic our site gets.  Most experts are.  Yesterday, 65,057 pages were opened on our site.  Average is about 59,000.  Visitors yesterday were 4,942 different people or IP addresses.  All the experts say that is a lot of visitors.  And that is about average for a day.

Web commerce is changing fast and we are trying to keep up.  The future looks to be more technically challenging.  I am already looking at add-on modules for our online catalog that do things I never thought of.  I’m overhauling the site right now.  I have not counted but I know we have over 1,000 pages.  Re-designing a page takes anywhere between an hour and 3 hours depending on how much photography I have to do. 

Dave will be here for you tomorrow.  He has all the new Simms gear in his big motorhome/showroom.  Just come by, meet Dave, look at the gear and ask questions.  He knows everything about every piece of gear he sells and there is plenty of it.

Ethan McGroom and Josh Pfeiffer will be tying today between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm.  Come on by, it’s free.  No reservations necessary.  You will like these young guys.  They are enthusiastic about our sport, as enthusiastic as one can be.  They will be tying warmwater patterns.  That part of our sport has been gaining popularity over the past few years and we are staying on top of it.  You will enjoy all of our activities this weekend.

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

Byron Begley
January 28, 2012

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