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 barely daybreak.  Crows are arguing with hawks outside already.  The temperature is 40 degrees.  The forest is waking up.  This is the day before Thanksgiving. 

Little River is still holding on to it’s warmth.  The water temperature is 46 degrees.  Yesterday it rose to over 50 degrees.  That’s not bad for this time of year.  Flow is excellent at 217 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.94 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 184 cfs.

Some nice browns have been caught out of Little River lately, a 22” and a 24” by two friends of mine last weekend.  They will tell you, fishing is good.  They concentrate on trying to catch post spawn brown trout in the cold months.  That is their game.  I have yet to hear about any fish being caught over 24” but the cold months have really just begun.

Fishing for normal trout should be fairly good today.  It will be cloudy later and it may rain.

Then, comes the cold air once more.  It will be short lived.  The low tonight will be near freezing.  Tomorrow night, the low is expected to be in the low 20’s.  It will probably snow early tomorrow, then turn to rain in the valley.  We may see white mountains tomorrow morning if it isn’t too foggy up there.   

After that, it will become warm again.  This weekend will be beautiful.  They say the high will be in the 60’s.

Most anglers are using nymphs.  Nymphing is the cold weather method here.  When the water temperature is in the 40’s, the trout are a little sluggish.  They will eat a nymph that is drifting past them.  You can’t have drag.  You need to present a natural drift.  The water levels are high enough for high sticking, closer to the fish, especially on cloudy days. The trout are less likely to see you.

There is quite a bit of traffic in town.  Visitors are here for the holiday.  Many are hoping to see snow in the mountains.  They will most likely get their wish tomorrow. 

We will be closed tomorrow.  That doesn’t happen often, only 4 days per year.  Other businesses will be closed too.  Friday will be totally different. People, locals and visitors will be out and about. 

I can’t imagine going to a shopping mall Friday.  I can’t imagine going to an outlet town Friday. Since moving here, I’ve become too accustomed to peace and quiet.  I work at home most days now, on our website.  That will be my routine for several months.  Here, we may see two or three cars per day drive past our house.  Actually, we don’t see them often, we hear them.  We live on a gravel road, surround by lots of trees.  When someone drives in or out, we just hear it. 

Only three homes are located on this long gravel road.  We can’t see each other’s houses from our own homes.  Here, peace and quiet is the absolute norm. 

Most of the noise and people during the past few months were created by us, remodeling our house.  That will be finished in a few days.  I’m sure our neighbors will be happy about that.  Other than Jack, who is like family to us, there will be only two days of workers and trucks coming in and out.  Then, we will be back to the absolute norm.  All we lack is a day of concrete pouring and a garage door installation on the boat house.  Then, it will be over.

Last night, Jack, Paula and I celebrated the new carport.  It is finished.  It is the nicest carport I have ever seen.  Connected to the main front deck, and next to the grills and smokers, we can back the cars out and it becomes a party pavilion complete with a ceiling fan.  Though the structure is very large, it is supported by only four 8” x 8” wood posts.  I think the dimensions are 20’ x 24’.  It was engineered by my buddy, Ronnie. Those posts are deep in the ground, held there by tons of concrete. 

The roof system, though you can’t see the interior, is supported by specially designed trusses and huge LVL beams to handle the weight over long spans.  Ronnie is a structural engineer.  He uses special roof system design software.  He designed it, on his laptop, while sitting on our deck one afternoon.   

Today, I will be working on our Fishpond website and online stores.  Jack will probably be here.  Paula will be preparing the Thanksgiving meal, one of her three favorite things to do.  The other one is preparing the Christmas meal.  Third would be going fishing.  She loves fishing as much as I do and we fish together often.

Jim and Pat will be here tomorrow.  They are here every Thanksgiving.  I can’t wait to be with them.

It is 8 am and Jack just pulled in.  I’ll go down and talk to him for a few minutes then get back to the website work.

I will probably throw some corn out for the wild turkeys tonight.  They will get a little treat tomorrow morning.

I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving.  We’ll be open Friday so I hope to see you at the shop.

Byron Begley
November 26, 2014

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