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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is overcast and 38 degrees in Townsend this morning at 7:50 am.  The sun should be shining later and the high today is predicted to be 62 degrees in the valley. 

Yesterday I wrote about encountering smoke when I drove to work.  It was so thick in town that at one point, visibility was nearly zero.  There was a terrible reason for that.  A house was burning across the river from the Strawberry Patch.  A woman died in the fire.  Three children got out of the house in time and took shelter in the family automobile.  Two of them were barefoot.  It was very cold outside. 

When our volunteer firefighters arrived at 3:00 am, the fire had spread to the vehicle.  Firefighters got the kids out of the car.  The woman who died in the fire is presumed to be their mother.  The kids Father died in August.  This is the most awful tragedy we have had here in a long time.  I pray for those kids.  I will give thanks Thursday that they were able to get out of that house. Our community has come together again to help those in need.  Church members where the family attended have the children now.  Donations will be pouring in on their behalf.  Our townspeople are in shock. 

Little River’s level is dropping slightly, every day.  We have not had rain in a few days.  This morning, flow is 117 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 178 cfs.  The water temperature earlier was 43.5 degrees.

Some anglers reported success yesterday.  Lynn caught a 20 inch brown in Little River. Lynn was sight fishing for that trout.  Josh was with him.  It was a post-spawn male.   Many of the brown trout redds have been fertilized and abandoned in the lower elevations.

Another angler I talked to fished in town using a wooly bugger.  He caught some nice rainbows up to 15” long.  These trout have been stocked.  An olive wooly bugger works.

The water is extremely clear and normal fishing it the Park is not easy. Nymphs are the choice fly.  Get them deep.  You may see a blue wing olive hatch so be ready with a dry fly for that.  I would use a #16.  The actual insects may be smaller but I can see a #16 much better than a smaller fly.  I would probably use a parachute fly for visibility’s sake.

The weather this week is going to be nice.  We’ll have lows in the high 30’s to low 40’s.  Highs will be in the 60’s.  We may see the temperature climb to the high 60’s on Thanksgiving day.  We will have plenty of visitors in town.  I hope so. 

Pollsters say Americans are going to stay closer to home on this holiday.  I know we are.  Paula and I are planning a bike ride early Thursday morning.  Our guests will arrive at noon.  Pat and Jim always come to our house for Thanksgiving.  It is a tradition I always look forward to.  We always spend Christmas Eve with them too.

I talked to the Sales Manager at Whiting Farms yesterday.  We always have fun talking to each other.  It seems the saddle hackle that has been in short supply is becoming available again.  I placed an order Sunday that will probably be filled.  He told me they got in several thousand “100 packs” a few weeks ago.  They were sold out in a week.  Whiting sends their hackle to Shri Lanka to be packaged.  That places a timing glitch in the process.  I guess the task is something Americans don’t want to do. I understand.  Packaging fly tying materials for our fly tying classes takes a lot of time.  We spend as much time preparing for a fly tying class as we do actually teaching one. 

I believe the packaging labor costs make up most of the total cost of fly tying materials except for hackle.  On our end, ordering and receiving fly tying materials is the most labor intensive department in our store by a long shot.  That department is not profitable.  We have one because one third of our customers want it.  The other two thirds don’t tie flies.  We also have it because we like having a fly tying department.  We like having a fly shop too.

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

Byron Begley
November 20, 2012

Respond to: byron@littleriveroutfitters.com


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