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.  It’s unbelievable outdoors this morning.  The temperature is 59 degrees.  It will not stay that warm long.  Rain will arrive this morning and the temperature will drop.  The low tonight will be 33 degrees.

Little River is flowing at 352 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.10 feet on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 283 cfs.  The water temperature at 6:26 am is 45.7 degrees. 

I know it is Monday morning.  Many of you are working today. Those who are not should consider fishing in the Smoky Mountains.  Fishing might be good.  It will be much better than it has been lately.  The trout will be active and you might even see some bugs hatching on the water. 

It will be mostly cool this week with a low temperature dipping into the high teens Thursday night.  But, the high Wednesday is predicted to be 60 degrees.  The 10-day weather forecast calls for cold temperatures through February 18th.  Spring has not sprung and won’t for a few days.  

You may want to try fishing on a tailwater for trout.  Anglers are catching trout on those rivers from what they are telling me.  I don’t think fishing is great anywhere in our area just yet.  The tailwaters are a better option now.

You should be getting ready.  The weather could break soon.  As we creep closer to March, the odds of that happening increase dramatically.  Fly fishing for trout around here generally gets pretty good in March, even early in the month.  Everything depends on the water temperature.

If you have never tried fly fishing, or know someone who wants to learn, you or they can get your start here.  We have been teaching fly fishing since the mid-1990’s.  We started by learning a method.  We learned that method from Joan Wulff.  Paula, Walter, Chuck and I all traveled to New York, to take her intense instructors class.  We offer one and two day classes for beginner fly fishing.  They begin in March and run through October every year.

Additionally, we also offer private instruction for one to three students.  Chuck teaches those.

We hold Aquatic Entomology classes so you can learn about the insects that live in the streams.  We have a Nymphing Tactics Class.  We hold fly tying classes, usually during the winter months, but now you can take one in August. 

When we moved into our second location in the mid-90’s, we rented extra space for a classroom.  We built our own building 11 years ago and it has a larger classroom.  We take teaching the sport seriously and put our money where our mouth is.  Our business model is shaped by fly fishing education.

We also offer free seminars and demonstrations.  Experts in many different areas of fly fishing are special guest speakers and demonstrators.  We keep the information coming, to you, all year.  It’s what we do.

You can learn more about our beginner fly fishing school by CLICKING HERE.  Click on the schedule too from that page or the menu above.  If you see something you are interested in attending, give us a call and reserve your space.

We go through phases in this sport.  I know I have.  I got my first fly rod in 1962, on my 11th birthday.  Back then, I fly fished in ponds for warmwater species on the family farm in Kentucky. 

I moved to Nashville in 1973 to open a business.  Later in that decade, a fly shop opened in town.  That shop got me interested in trout.  I signed up for and went on a shop trip to Yellowstone for the first time with Frank and some other guys.  I was obsessed with fly fishing for trout.  I joined Trout Unlimited and became active in the Chapter there as well as Middle Tennessee Fly Fishers.

In the early 90’s after selling the businesses in Nashville, I moved to Townsend.  Trout fishing brought me here.  The plan that eventually brought me here started in the 80’s when I was in my 30’s.  I bought some land near Townsend. 

Paula and I married after I moved here.  She loves fly fishing like I do.  Paula and I somehow switched to targeting saltwater fish on a fly.  While we still fished for trout, we made several trips to the Southern States and even Mexico to fish for bonefish, tarpon, permit, redfish, speckled trout and just about everything that swims in the ocean.  That phase still persists.

Then, early in this decade or before, we became more interested in warmwater fly fishing, especially smallmouth bass.  We bought a fishing boat and started going to our lakes in the area.  We fish for smallmouth in the rivers too.  On the lakes we also enjoy fishing for largemouth bass and panfish. 

This year, we plan to use our fishing kayaks more on the lakes and rivers.  The boat is the most comfortable way to spend the day on the water.  But, kayaks allow you to sneak up on fish, due to the low profile of the boat and the fact that you are sitting low and near the water.  It’s the same in the ocean.  Those low profile boats allow you to get close to fish without spooking them.

I talked to a customer yesterday about kayaks and standing up while fishing in those boats.  To me, that defeats the purpose.  If you stand up, you can’t get as close to the fish.  They are more likely to see you.  Also, I don’t like falling out of a boat.  I’ve done it and don’t recommend it.

I guess the next phase will be a combination of all the above.  We are all looking forward to this Spring.  I don’t know when I’ve been so excited about the coming of Spring fishing.  I’m hearing that from most people I talk to.  It won’t be long.

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

Byron Begley
February 9, 2015 

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