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

Welcome to the Fishing Report. We are switching over our digital provider this morning.  I may have to end this report at any moment. 

It is overcast and 45 degrees in Townsend, Tennessee this morning.  It will probably rain today and possibly snow tonight.  The snow is not expected to be heavy.  It should be a windy day.  Though it has snowed in the mountains this fall, we have had none in the valley.  Winter is on its way!

Little River is flowing at 72 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.50 feet on the gauge.  The water temperature at 8:00 am is 45.8 degrees.  Some rain today would be welcome.  The streams in the Park are low.  We need rain.

Fishing is pretty good though.  It is certainly not going to be easy.  The trout are concentrated in areas that provide cover such as riffles, deep runs and in deeper water with cover nearby.  The exception is the brown trout.  If they are still spawning in the area where you fish, they should be visible.  Look in the tails of the pools in shallow water.  Stealth and good presentation are imperative to success right now.  Wear camo if you have it.  I would not fish to a spawning female.  Let her do her thing.  Target the males.

Nymphs are working best but you may catch trout on small dry flies.  You may see adult midges on the surface of the streams.  I would start with nymphs.  I would also use smaller nymphs since the water is low unless I was fishing for a big brown. A small nymph might be perfect for the big fish too. 

If you are just doing some normal fishing and hoping for more trout, go to a light tippet, maybe 6X if you can stand it.  The water is very clear.

I have not talked to anyone who is fishing the lowland rivers for smallmouth bass.  I haven’t been fishing in two weeks.  The lake fishing may be good depending on the water temperature.  Today is not a good one to be on a lake.  The wind might be a problem.  I would not go.

We have a beginner fly fishing class scheduled for Saturday.  There are still some openings, which is surprising to us.  Call the shop at 865-448-9459 if you are interested.  You can read more about our fly tying classes by CLICKING HERE.

Rex Wilson will be our guest tyer on Saturday’s Free Fly Tying Demonstration.  Rex is awesome.  He lives in North Carolina and specializes in Smoky Mountains trout flies.  He will be tying between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm.  Just show up.  It’s free.  While you are here watching Rex, sign up to win a free $100 gift certificate.  You can fill out the form for a drawing before 2:00 pm, then we will pull out the winner’s name.  That adds a little excitement to the event.

The store remodel is going pretty well.  Our big holdup is lighting.  We require special bulbs that have a high color rendering index (CRI).  Our older fixtures are burning out.  The new bulbs and ballasts were shipped to Oak Ridge yesterday from Middle Tennessee.  We hope to get them by the weekend.  It is getting dark in here.  The light fixture components should have been here over a week ago.  These light fixtures are 10 years old and they are burning 361 days a year.  We only close 4 days each year.  That problem will be taken care of soon.

Business was awful in October due to the government shutdown and the closure of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  So far, November is up from last year. We are all glad to see some positive growth again.  We had a good summer and early fall.  Spring was very slow due to persistent rain and high water.

I spent 4 days in Kentucky last week.  The event was our annual fall deer hunt.  There were six of us staying in Frank’s cabin at his hunting camp.  We had a great time.  Only three of the six guys hunted Saturday and Sunday.  I stayed at camp and tended the woodstove.  This hunt is less about killing a deer and more about being with longtime friends.  Frank and I started the 1st grade together in 1957.  Mouse and Wayne go back nearly that far.  I’ve known Ron and Roger who are from here, about 18 years.

Roger shot an 8 point buck.  He was excited.  We were all excited.  Frank and Ron saw some deer but none were does or bucks that were large enough to harvest.  Frank has some size restrictions on the bucks.  He and Ron have both killed 10 pointers there in the past.  Those four days flew by.  We ate well and laughed constantly.  Most conversations started with “remember when?”          

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

Byron Begley
November 12, 2013

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