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 dark and 36 degrees this morning.  We have a chance for precipitation.  It could start as sleet, then turn to rain.  Little to no accumulation is expected in the valley.   

Melting snow in the mountains added water to the streams yesterday. Little River is flowing at 639 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.66 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 353 cfs.  The water temperature warmed to 40.6 degrees.

Fishing will still be slow.  40 degrees is warmer than the water has been, but it is still cold and the trout will be sluggish.

I checked online for news releases from Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  As usual, I check every day to see if there is any news about opening Lynn Camp Prong.  That page, I look at every morning, won’t come up.  All I get is a picture of an animal and a statement that says the page can’t be found.  Maybe they are doing some work on the site.

Looking at our message board, there is a lot of fly tying going on.  We are getting ready.  The weather looks better in the long term forecast, though it does not indicate good Spring fishing in the Smokies through March 2nd.  It probably won’t be quite warm enough.  Maybe soon after, that will happen.  Maybe sometime during the 1st week of March it will happen.  We all hope so.

We will move our clocks forward March 8th.  That alone opens up many fishing opportunities, especially after work.  That will be a very positive change in my attitude.  I don’t use an alarm clock.  I don’t wear a watch.  The clock in my truck quit working long ago.  I don’t make appointments unless it is a doctor or a fishing day that involves someone other than Paula. 

I wake up at 5 am every morning and I’m usually working by 6 am.  I can’t remember what happens after the time changes.  I think I adjust, and still wake up at 5 am.  I can still work a 10 hour day, and go fishing after that, for a while.  That change is less than two weeks away.

I do keep a log of flies I tie for the shop.  As of last night, at 10 pm, I have tied 50 dozen or 600 flies since the second week of last month.  That’s 50 dozen in 7 weeks, or 1 dozen per day.  That was my goal.  I’m planning to back off in April, when the fishing is excellent. 

I spread that out over a whole day.  I’ll tie three after finishing this report.  Sometime today I’ll knock out three more.  Tonight I’ll tie 6.  That’s the way it has been for 7 weeks.  Doing it this way makes it more fun and not a drudgery.   

The more you tie a pattern, the better you get and the better they look.  After tying a few hundred of one fly, the process becomes sort of automatic.  Going faster is not the goal here.  The goal is not to tie 8,000 flies this year.  My goal is to make them look good and be durable.  Since I don’t use a clock or watch, time doesn’t matter to me.

Dan Munger may buy a boat this week and I’m almost as excited as he is, if that is possible.  He’s looking at a Gheenoe.  Those are great boats and the company has been in business for a long time.  I see them everywhere in Florida.  The are stable, good looking and practical. Stability and practicality are important virtues in a water craft.  Gheenoe has plenty of both.

He and I talked about accessories for his boat.  Unless you own a boat, you would not believe how many accessories a boat requires.  We have a boat house.  Inside are two trailers, one with a fishing boat and the other with two kayaks.  All the walls, are used for hanging accessories.  The canoe is in the barn right now.  We’ll hang it from the ceiling in the boat house at some point. 

We were also talking about canoes yesterday.  All we need is another boat, but if we needed another, it would be a Wenonah graphite or Kevlar touring canoe.  I have several friends who own them.  One close friend owns three. One model, the Escapade Ultra-light is 16’ 6” long and weighs 42 pounds.  With a boat like that, you would need carbon fiber paddles, another expensive accessory.  We don’t need another boat but they are fun to look at.

It’s time to get serious about fishing and boating.  Soon, we’ll be out there doing what we love most.  I can’t wait.

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

Byron Begley
February 23, 2015

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