Townsend, Tennessee - Fly Fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, East Tennessee and Western North Carolina

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Welcome to the Fishing Report from the Great Smoky Mountains.  The sky is clear and the temperature is 26 degrees in Townsend this morning.  The high today is supposed to be 57 degrees.  Wow!  It will feel like spring.

Little River is flowing at 211 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.86 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 305 cfs.  The water temperature is below 32 degrees. 

We have had a dry month in the Great Smoky Mountains and it shows in the stream levels.  Precipitation is down over an inch for the month of January.  We got a little snow a couple of times and some rain, but not as much as usual.  Last week, we had a few wildfires in our County.  People were trying to burn and the ground was dry.

Our conditions will change for the better starting tomorrow.  Rain is expected Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Tuesday night. We welcome that change. 

Warmer weather is in our future as well.  For instance, Tuesday nights low is expected to be 49 degrees.

Fishing will improve in the Smokies.  I don’t know how much but anything is better than what we have now.  Fishing slows down when the water is cold and the water is definitely cold.  The outlook for the first week of February does not indicate a significant improvement in fly fishing here. Temperatures will probably be about normal.

Give it a try this weekend or next week.  Tie on a nymph or two and dredge deep.  As the water temperatures rise, the trout will become more active.  Watch for surface action.  Winter hatches might lead to some dry fly fishing at times. Hopefully we won’t get too much rain and blow the streams out.

We have a great lineup today for you at the shop.  Alex Quick and Rocky Cox will be here.  These guys are professional guides.  Alex does most of his work in the Smokies but also guides on our area tailwaters.  He runs the fly fishing program at Blackberry Farm.

Rocky specializes in fly fishing for trout on the tailwaters.  He is an expert oarsman and guide.  Rocky likes the Hiwassee River.  While watching him tie and visiting with Rocky, you will learn more about that beautiful river and the great fishing to be found there.

They will be here between 10 am and 2 pm.  It’s Free.  All you have to do is show up.  No reservation is necessary.  Register to win a $100 Gift Card.  The winner will be drawn at 2:00 pm.  You will enjoy your day at Little River Outfitters.  We just got in some fly tying material shipments that have been delayed due to the weather.  So, the tying department is stocked pretty well again.

Our tying business for the last 3 months is up 28% over from the same period a year ago.  We are still adjusting.  What makes things tough is, we stock a few thousand different items in the department. You would think we could do some accurate forecasting using our point of sale (POS) data.  Sounds simple enough.

One problem is, trends change.  As an example, the best selling tungsten bead in 2011 was the 3/32” copper.  In 2012 it was the 7/64 copper by a wide margin.  The 7/64” copper bead was top of the list again in 2013.  In January 2014, the 3/32” copper was on top.

One thing you can conclude is, copper beads sell best by a high margin.  So, stock more copper, especially 3/32” and 7/64”. 

Then, we have a slow selling item.  We think about discontinuing that item or color.  Then, somebody buys them all at once.  This is probably their favorite material, they can’t find it somewhere else so they stock up.  The fly tying department is my favorite.  After we get through today and tomorrow, I will order again.

Can you believe this?  An 81 year old Forida woman is sitting in jail for allegedly feeding black bears.  It’s true.  CLICK HERE to read the story.  Most of us who live in bear country know not to do this.  The bears become humanized and dangerous.  The outcome is usually, death for the bear. 

We live with bears at our house.  We don’t have bird feeders or put garbage outside.  We learned our lesson 20 years ago when a bear tore down our bird feeder.  I had a sow and cub try to break into our house to get an artificial apple that was sitting on a window sill.  Luckily, I was home and ran the bears off before they got in.  I moved the apples too. 

It is a bad idea to feed bears or leave food, including artificial apples, near a window.  We don’t leave food in our cars either.  Walter had a bear take some steaks off of his grill one night as he watched.  I always stay near the outside grill when I’m cooking. We don’t have to worry about that right now, the bears are hibernating. 

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

Byron Begley
February 1, 2014

Respond to: byron@littleriveroutfitters.com


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