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 is just now daybreak.  I can barely see the fog hiding the mountains from our front porch.  The temperature is 32 degrees out there.  This is my day off this week.

Little River is flowing at 490 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.39 feet on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 274 cfs.  The water temperature is 41.2 degrees.

Today will be sunny with a high of around 55 degrees.  The big chill begins Thursday night with a low predicted to be 16 degrees.  It will be worse Saturday night.  Expect a low in single digits.  Expect more cold weather next week.

This is not the good fishing news we’ve been waiting for.  Right now, it appears Spring fishing will not arrive until at least after February 20th.  Maybe it will be later, in March.  It could be a month from now.  Warm water and good fishing won’t come soon enough for me.

I’ve seen one sign of Spring.  A flock of robins landed in the field by our home a few days ago.  Maybe I need to look at our leader and tippet supply at home.  We don’t need flies.  We do need fishing licenses soon.  That’s about it.

I do the bookkeeping at the shop and see every mail order.  One thing I’ve noticed lately is, a remarkable number of Fishpond Nomad landing nets we’ve been selling.  We don’t know why but we are not complaining.  These are excellent nets, ranging in sizes from those that are perfect for small streams to larger models to be used in boats.

The Nomad nets are made from carbon fiber and fiberglass.  They are light.  They are good looking.  They are loaded with features.  You may visit our Fishpond dedicated website, at to see these nets by CLICKING HERE

That page, according to Google Analytics, moved up to the #2 most viewd page behind the website's home page. It happened recently. That may indicate why we are selling more Nomad nets. is totally different from our main website. We own it and I designed it. It is all about Fishpond products and the company.

Check them out, maybe you are in the market for one.  Maybe you just want to see what they look like.  They look great.  Right now, they are selling very well.

Bill Boyd Sr. and Bill Boyd Jr, the father/son fly tying team from Dayton, Tennessee will be tying at the shop Saturday.  They are known for their humor and innovative tying methods.  The Boyd’s will be at the shop between 10 am and 2 pm.  Their demonstration is free.  Just come by and stick around the shop.  It’s not going to be a great fishing day.  The high temperature is supposed to be 39 degrees.

The Free Fly Tying Demonstration on Saturday, February 21st will feature Walter Babb. Walter is someone you don’t want to miss.  I know people who pay to take his fly tying classes, just to spend the day with him.  He is so interesting an knowledgeable.     

Then, our last scheduled demonstration will be held on Saturday February 28th.  Mike Bone will be the featured tyer that day.  Mike has been guiding fly fishing clients in our area longer than anyone I know.  He specializes on the tailwaters, including the Clinch and Holston Rivers.  

Then, hopefully, we will be fishing, and not even thinking about fly tying or spending the day in a fly shop, talking to expert fishermen and fly tyers.  Maybe we will be out there catching fish.

Paula and I have become serious birders this winter.  It may have gotten a little out of hand but who cares.  For instance, I have 4 bird feeders, in various stages of completion, in the woodworking shop.  They are squirrel proof.  We have three bird feeders behind the house.  One holds thistle, another is for sunflower seeds only and the third is for a bird seed mixture.  I cleaned a trail back into the woods behind our house.  There, I throw out a mixture of bird seed and sunflower seeds every day.  At times we see up to 100 birds behind our house at one time.

If you think this may not be an obsession for me, think again.  Today, I’m driving to East Knoxville to pick up some 50 pound bags of white proso millet.  This will be the first time I’ve been to Knoxville in months, maybe close to a year.  It’s not easy finding white proso millet. I don’t like driving, unless I’m going fishing.

Yesterday, Mark came by to talk.  He owns the insurance agency we do business with and have for over 20 years.  We were sitting in what Paula calls the keeping room, and he was facing the double class doors with a view of the main bird feeding area behind our house. 

His concentration was hampered at one point, when 4 huge wild turkey gobblers walked into that area, about 50 feet from the back doors.  They had beards that touched the ground.  He said, “I have friends who would give anything to be sitting here right now”.  We had to stop talking about insurance and just watch those big birds eat millet.  We’ve seen as many as 30 turkeys back there and we spot them almost every day somewhere around our house.  I can’t imagine a bird that large eating something as small as millet. 

You wouldn’t believe how many doves flock to our house.  They are everywhere.  I know a great place for a dove shoot, but it would be illegal.  Shooting a turkey would be easy.  That would also be illegal.  In Tennessee you can’t hunt over bait.  It would not be hunting anyway. Hunting is supposed to be difficult and require skill.  When turkey season opens, we won’t see those birds until the season closes.  They know.

I have never shot an animal or bird on our property.  It just would not feel right.  Other people hunt on our property and adjoining property.  That’s different.

Well, I’m off to buy some millet.

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

Byron Begley
February 11, 2015

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