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

Welcome to the Fishing Report from Townsend, Tennessee in the Great Smoky Mountains.  At 5:14 am, the temperature is 37.9 degrees.  Today will be sunny with a high temperature in the high 50’s.  Tonight and Saturday night, the lows will drop below 30 degrees.  It will be sunny and cooler through Monday.

Little River is flowing at 242 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.98 feet on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 139 cfs. The water temperature is 52.5 degrees this morning.

I believe fishing will be good today in the Smoky Mountains. Fishing will probably be best later today after the water warms.  Tonight, the water temperatures will drop.  I don’t know how far of course. When the temperature drops below 50 degrees, and I think it will, fishing usually slows somewhat. When the temperature drops to 40 degrees, fishing is usually slow.

The post spawn brown trout don’t seem to mind the cold water.  They are hungry and need to consume food.

Water temperature variances raise or lower the trout’s metabolism and the need for food.  When the water is cold, during the Winter, the trout don’t eat much.  That’s how they survive.  When the water is cold, there isn’t much to eat.  When the water is warm, their metabolism cranks up.  They need food.  There is usually more food available. 

Cold water holds dissolved oxygen well.  Warmer water does not contain as much dissolved oxygen.  According to fisheries biologists in the Park, we don’t usually have a dissolved oxygen problem in the Smokies, even during the Summer, unless we have a drought with low water and very hot conditions.

Cold water does not hold suspended solids well.  That is one reason cold streams are clearer.  And, the streams here are even clearer, during the Winter when the water is very cold. Another reason for clear water in rivers, streams and lakes, is due to the lack of nutrients. 

We are going to have 3 cold nights in a row, beginning tonight.  Next week, it will be warm again. We’ll see highs in the 60’s to 70 degrees, with lows in the 40’s and 50’s.  I expect good fishing next week in the Smoky Mountains.  I’m not certain about this weekend.  Maybe, fishing will be fine.  It all depends on water temperature.

I’m going to be off again today.  That is two days in one week, which is rare.  The only work I do, when I’m off, is write this fishing report and check e-mail.  I’ll probably tie a few Knuckleheads too.  Then, I’ll work all weekend and wait until next Thursday to be off again. Maybe it has become a habit, but in this business, you work on weekends.  I have rarely taken a day off on a weekend, during the past 20 years.  I like that schedule, because, I can go fishing on weekdays, when most people are working. 

We have a beginner fly fishing class tomorrow.  I don’t know if it is full.  The last time I checked it was not.  This is an all-day class, and you will get some amazing instruction from Walter Babb and Brian Courtney.  CLICK HERE to read about the class, then call the shop at 865-448-9459 to see if there is an open spot. The flies you see on that page are what you will be learning to tie.  The flies shown in the photos were tied by Walter.  Don’t expect yours to look that good, on your first day.  That doesn’t usually happen.  But, you should be able to use yours and catch fish.  You will tie about 15 flies during the class.  We can only handle 8 students per class.  If we have less than 5 students, Walter will teach the class alone.

It’s time to start thinking about Christmas and other holiday gifts.  It is time for me to start reminding you about gifts.  I’ll be doing that using subtle comments to “in your face” ads and e-mails. I can’t help it.  We have to survive too!

I have always enjoyed marketing.  I opened a franchised printing shop when I was 23 years old in 1973.  It grew to several shops before we sold to a publicly traded firm in England.  They are listed on the London Stock Exchange. My father and I bought some bankrupt dry cleaning stores, in Nashville, right after the first print shop opened.  We built that company too and sold it to the British firm.  They owned about 400 stores in America.  At one point, after I moved here, they decided to sell their stake in America. 

Jerry Herbert, his wife Lee and I bought the printing company back, 13 years after we sold it.  When we got the company on it’s feet again, I sold my interest to Jerry and Lee.  They consolidated the stores into one larger plant.  It is open in Nashville under the name, Allegra Print and Imaging. Jerry and Lee are like family to me. 

What we did, all those years is help other companies market their products and services. I loved doing that.  I still enjoy marketing today. 

So, do you know what our best selling Christmas gift is?  Gift Cards!  That was subtle wasn’t it?

I want to thank all of you, from the bottom of my heart, for supporting Little River Outfitters over the past 20 years.  I’ve been thinking about Thanksgiving, which will be here before you know it.  One accidental and very important part of my life, was getting into the fly fishing business and meeting so many wonderful people like you.  I am truly thankful.

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

Byron Begley
November 13, 2015 

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