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 raining and 43 degrees in Townsend this morning.   The rain began sometime last night.  According to weather websites and looking at the radar, we may get an inch or more.  Later today, the rain will turn to snow in the higher elevations.  A bitter arctic air mass will be following the rain.  The low temperature tonight is expected to be in the low 20’s and in the teens tomorrow night.

Little River is flowing at 217 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.94 feet on the flow gauge at 7:10 am.  Median flow for this date is 148 cfs.  The chart on the USGS flow gauge web page is shooting straight up. There is no sign of a peak so we may see some high water today in all the streams.  This weather front is coming from the Gulf and headed straight up the Appalachian mountains.  The water temperature in Little River is currently 44.5 degrees.

This doesn’t look like a good fishing day in the Smokies.  Rising water and the threat of ice or snow later today in the mountains is not encouraging. Though heavy snow is not predicted at this point, any ice or snow can make travel in the mountains treacherous and there is always the chance that roads may close.  Frankly, I would stay out of there this afternoon.  Snowfall in the valley should be minimal. 

New, 2015 merchandise is arriving at the shop.  We have the new Chota waders.  Fishpond will be here at the end of the month.  More is to come.  Daniel is setting up a sale area in the shop.  By the weekend you should be able to buy some great discontinued and discounted merchandise.  There will be a lot of Simms clothing on sale. 

The fly tying department is stocked to the hilt.  Fly tying season is here, today.  The guys plan to keep that department stocked well through the Winter.

I’ll be going to the bank and stop by the shop today.  Most of the day, I’ll be working on our websites. I’ll pretty much be at home working on those sites full time over the next few months.  I’m anxious to get that job done by Spring.  Then, I’m going fishing, a lot.

I’m planning to spend another year, learning more about smallmouth bass fishing on the lakes.  Paula will be there with me.  I’ll be fishing with some friends too.

Fly fishing for smallmouth bass is getting more popular every year.  The more I learn, the better I like it.  In the Spring, when these fish are cruising the banks, we are sight fishing using foam flies.  There is nothing quite that exciting.  Floating down the tailwaters during the Spring and Summer offer the same game.  You see the fish, make the cast, and hopefully they will take your floating fly.  Sometimes they rise and sip your fly off the surface.  At other times, they attack it with vigor.  You may see three or more cruising.  Your fly lands softly on the water ahead of them.  You wonder, which one will take the fly. 

Smallmouth bass are easily spooked in the lakes.  You have to be quiet.  You can’t pound your fly rod against the boat.  False casting is not advised.  Pick up your line and fly then cast immediately to your target. 

I don’t know how many times, a smallmouth bass has missed my fly and I cast immediately back to the fish and catch it.  Sometimes they are swimming in circles, trying to find your fly that just took off from the surface.  When it lands on the water again, 3 or 4 seconds later, they are all over it.  If you miss them again, you cast right back another time.  Sometimes, the third attempt pays off.  What a fine sport it is.  I can’t wait until Spring.

Check out this Walter Babb bamboo fly rod below.

Bamboo Fly Rod made by Walter Babb.

Walter made this rod specifically as a donation to a charity in his town of Sweetwater Tennessee to be used as an auction item.  It is a 6’ 9” 2/3 weight.  The taper is called the Digger’s Ice Cream Parlor Special.  You can bid on this rod December 6th at the Sweetwater Primary School at 6 pm.

The taper was designed by Francis “Digger” Degere from Adams, Massachusetts.  This is one of his best tapers.  Before his death, he asked that his tapers never be used to make rods for sale.  Walter, being the kind of guy he is, would not sell anyone this rod.  Donating it for charity is OK with Walter.  So that’s what he did. These rods are rare.  This may be your only chance to own one. 

Walter also donated a box of 7 dozen flies, all members of the “Adams Family”. 

We are hoping that you fly anglers will attend this auction and bid on these fabulous prizes.  Proceeds from the auction benefit the needy people in Sweetwater, Tennessee.

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

Byron Begley
November 17, 2014

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