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 early, dark and 46 degrees in Townsend this morning.  The short term weather forecast for today includes rain beginning at around 10 am.  Later, at 1:00, rain will continue along with high wind, including gusts to 25 miles per hour or even 60 miles per hour depending on which weather forecast you read.

Summary:  It will rain today and be windy this afternoon.  The high temperature is expected to be in the high 50’s to low 60’s.

Little River is flowing at 205 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.90 feet on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 171 cfs.  The water temperature at 6:38 am is 43 degrees.

The water is warmer and should warm further. That is better for fly fishing in the Smokes.  It will be overcast and raining.  That is good too.  The problem will be the wind.  I would go early then plan on leaving the Park later if the wind picks up to the force indicated in the forecast. 

I would use nymphs and get them down. Daybreak through noon will be the best time to be fishing in the Smokies today.

Tomorrow might be a good fishing day however there is a possibility of high wind then, though not like we may get today.

Today begins Thanksgiving week.  We should be busy at the store.  Townsend will have many visitors.  People love to visit the Smoky Mountains on holidays.  The weather looks pretty good this week.  Actually it looks pretty good through Tuesday of next week.  It should be busy around here through the weekend.

Though the Fishing Gauge indicates that fishing is slow, it is really not.  Some anglers are doing pretty well.  The gauge is conservative and relative to really good fishing like we have during the Spring.  The gauge almost never reads “Excellent”.  We are writing for a broad range of anglers with varying skills.  Fishing is not easy here for some fishermen, especially those who are new to fishing in the mountains.  So, when you see a reading of “Slow”, that does not mean you won’t catch trout.  It just means, for most people, it will be slow.  I don’t know if that makes perfect sense but that is the way the Gauge works. 

I never want anyone to read what I write and be disappointed.  So, I tend to be conservative.

We are creeping into a time when fishing will be slow for most.  That period of time may only last 2 ½ to 3 months.  Then, fishing will be good again on the gauge.  An early Spring is predicted.  I hope that is true.

This is bookkeeping day for me.  I’ll be at the shop soon doing all of that stuff.

Well, that was annoying.  I was writing away and all of a sudden, our power went out for a couple of seconds.  I lost part of what I had just written up to this point. 

I was talking about kayaks.  My buddy Frank picked up his new Jackson Big Rig yesterday.  It was a special order.  He wanted complete lime green so he could be seen easily in the ocean or on lakes.

We were fishing from our kayaks in the Cedar Key area in Florida a couple of times during the last few years.  Down there, clam farming is big business.  Clammers drive big boats. Since the water is shallow there, they get those boats on a plane to easily drive through the shallows.

When you are out there, bobbing around in the ocean, and you see a clam boat heading your way, your attention goes from fishing to survival instantly.  I wonder if the boat captain sees me?  They can’t shut down the power.  They would be mired in mud.  I saw that happen once there.  The clam boat driver had to wait until high tide then have another smaller boat pull his off the mud bar. 

I’m a big believer in bright colored boats for that reason.  Paula and I were fishing in Florida this Spring.  A couple, who rented a house near us had lime green Jackson Kayaks.  That color sticks out like a sore thumb.  Ours are orange and yellow.

I also noticed in the pictures Frank sent me of his new boat, he had a pair of wheels.  Those wheels have shafts that you insert in the scupper holes.  He is buying a kayak trailer.  With the wheels, he should be able to load, unload and launch in most places by himself.  The Big Rig weighs over 90 pounds.  That is the nicest fishing kayak I’ve ever seen. 

I told Frank, in a year or two, when it is worn out, I will take it off his hands if he delivers it to me.  I doubt if that will happen.  Our kayaks will probably outlive us.

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

Byron Begley
November 23, 2014

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