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 foggy and 35 degrees in Townsend this morning.  Frost covers most horizontal surfaces, including my boat cover.  Frost on your boat cover signals the coming of less boating and more wade fishing.  I hate falling out of a boat during the Winter.  I say that but I don’t think it has happened to me.  I usually park the boat during the Winter months just to be sure.

Little River’s flow rate has dropped to 77 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.51 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 110 cfs.  The water temperature is 48.8 degrees at 7:15 am.  I don’t think I would like falling in the river this morning either.

If you go fishing in the Smoky Mountains today, I think I would wait a while.  It is going to be sunny and probably 63 degrees in the valley today.  The high temperature at Mt. LeConte was in the 40’s yesterday.  It dropped to 22 degrees last night.  The snow has about melted up there.

We should get some rain later this week.  The chances are high.  Another shot of water like we had last week will certainly help the fishing.

Fishing is good but you need to be careful not to spook the trout.  You are going to encounter leaves in the streams and tannin colored water at times.  During the period of heavy leaf fall, the streams change color for a while.

Nymphs are working well for rainbows, brooks trout and browns.  I would use a double nymph rig early.  Dry flies may be the ticket later today.  Watch for tiny midges on the water and dimples in the surface.  Those dimples are probably trout.

The trout are active and hungry.  Though the water is chilly this morning, it has been at a good temperature for fishing the past few days.  After tonight the water will warm some.  After the rain the temperatures will drop again.

There are some interesting generation schedules at Norris and Cherokee dams today.  You might be able to get in some fishing, especially if you fish from a boat.  Check the TVA website to see if flows are to your liking.

Brown trout are very active in tailwaters this time of year and that activity will get even better as time goes by.  December was always my best month when I fished tailwaters for brown trout.  I talked to a fellow yesterday who was preparing to fish the Little Red River in Arkansas. 

I was talking to Joe Humphreys on the phone one day, probably 6 or 8 years ago.  He had just returned from the Little Red.  They were filming a video about night fishing.  Joe hooked and almost landed what would have been a world record brown trout.  I think he said it would have weighed around 50 pounds.  He was sick about it. 

I’ve known Joe a long time and I can say for certain, he is competitive.  He does not want to lose.  He likes winning.  Joe is a retired wrestling coach and fly fishing instructor at Penn State.  He competed on the U.S. Fly Fishing Team.  Joe does everything with enthusiasm and vigor.  He really hated to lose that trout.  He’s a good guy and we will always be friends.  I think we met around 1981.

I’m here early because Jack will be here soon to do some heavy duty remodeling work in the new fly tying department.  I will be his helper.  I think I’m going to carry wood and use the sander. 

The store remodel is moving along well.  It should be finished just in time for the first shipment of the 2014 new Fishpond gear.  Fishpond has a great lineup this year.  The colors are awesome.  There are several new packs, vests and chest packs.  The have some nice new composite landing nets.  Fishpond says the new merchandise will be ready to ship by November 15th.  I started working on the website yesterday.  It usually takes 2 or 3 days to update the Fishpond department on our Online Store.

I better get going.  Jack will be here any minute.

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

Byron Begley
November 4, 2013 

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