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 in Townsend, Tennessee.  At 5:40 am, the temperature outside is 30 degrees. Today’s high will be barely over 60 degrees.  Tonight, the low will be around 31 degrees.  Then, it is going to be cold, with highs in the 40’s and lows in the 20’s through Monday night.

We have a 40% chance for showers tonight, and it is possible, the rain could turn to snow.  In the higher elevations, it probably will, if it rains.

Little River is flowing at 345 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.24 feet on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 173 cfs.  The water temperature is 47.3 degrees.

Flows are great in the Smokies streams.  The water temperature is on the chilly side. I think fishing will be fair today.  I would wait and go later giving the water a chance to warm some. 

Except for brief periods this morning, TVA will be generating at both Norris and Cherokee dams today. Check the TVA website and see if you can squeeze in some fishing time.  It does not look too promising to me but I’m no expert on the tailwaters nearby.

I suppose we need to face the fact, Winter is coming soon. Fly fishing is not always going to be good for a few months, in our area.  We will hopefully have warm spells and improved fishing, during those three months. 

Our Winters are brief.  Sometimes the Spring hatches begin in late February or early March.  We had great fishing in November this year.  We may have some decent fishing in December.  January and February, are usually the months, when we are kept off the water due to cold temperatures, snow and ice.

Then, suddenly, before we know it, warmer weather arrives, the water temperatures reach the high 40’s and fishing is good again. 

The tailwaters are a good option during the colder months.  I always enjoyed fishing the Caney Fork tailwater in December when I lived in Nashville.  That is when I caught more brown trout.

During the coldest months, fly fishermen, who tie flies, do just that. Tying flies keeps us active in our sport, when we can’t fish.  We know one third of our customers buy fly tying materials.  It’s been that way for a long time.  Fly tying is not for everyone.  Some people just don’t like making small things with their hands. 

But, there are others, who love fly tying almost as much as fly fishing.  When Winter weather keeps you inside and off the water, you can sit in a comfortable place, and create flies to use in the Spring. 

If you want to learn to tie flies, you can.  It is easier to learn now, than it was when I started tying in the 1960’s.  We have the internet, loaded with fly tying video, you can view at no cost.  Your fly fishing club or TU Chapter may hold fly tying classes.  Your local fly shop probably offers classes.

We have offered fly tying classes for almost 20 years, always during the late Fall or Winter. We have held free fly tying demonstrations during the Winter, for many years.  We have a fly tying department at our shop and that is a very important department to us and maybe to you. Last year, we brought back Fly Tyers Weekend and it was a huge success.  This year, we partnered with the Southeastern Council of the International Federation of Fly Fishers, which made the event larger and better.

I think we finalized Fly Tyers Weekend dates for 2016 yesterday.  For now at least, the dates will be November 5th & 6th.  One of our important partners is Tremont Lodge and Resort in Townsend.  Without them as a partner, we could not hold the event.  They own the largest conference center in Townsend, the only one large enough for an event like this one.  I have not heard from everyone involved but I think those dates have been agreed on.

Dan Munger is trying something new to us.  He is offering 4 Free Fly Tying Classes at the shop.  They will not be full blown, all-day classes.  They will be about 2 hours in duration, and you can learn to tie one pattern in each class.  He is calling the class, Free Fly Tying 101.  You can read more by CLCIKING HERE.  We advertised this last week in a large e-mail campaign, and so far, several people have signed up. This is a way, to find out if tying flies is for you. Or, maybe you will find out it is not for you. 

We also hold our usual, in depth, all-day fly tying classes during the Winter months.  They have started.  You can read more about those classes by CLICKING HERE. If you are interested, call the shop at 865-448-9459 to enroll. 

So, don’t let the coming of Winter get you down.  If you tie flies, look forward to that.  If you don’t tie flies and want to learn, you can. You may find, a new activity, that is a very important component to your lifestyle, and expand your participation in the sport.

I began tying flies on my 11th birthday in 1962.  Two hours later, I caught my first fish on a fly.  It was a largemouth bass.  I’ll never forget that fish or that day.  I tied two flies and went fly fishing for the first time, the same day.  That was a turning point in my life. At the time, I had no idea how important that day would be to me, or where it would take me. 

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

Byron Begley
November 21, 2015 

Respond to: byron@littleriveroutfitters.com


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