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 36 degrees in Townsend this morning.  This is an excellent morning to be fishing in the Smokies.  The skies will gradually clear today.  Traffic was very light on the roads at 7:30 am when I came to work.  That is what we expect on weekdays until Christmas week.  Weekends will be more active as local folks visit the Park.  Winter is a great time to be here.  The crowds are gone.  You can see so many details in the terrain, obscured by leaves most of the year.  Hiking along a stream is a pleasant activity during the Winter. 

Little River is flowing stronger than yesterday but I don’t know by how much.  The USGS gauge is not reporting via the internet.  I sent an e-mail to Terry this morning.  He is in charge of maintaining the Townsend Gauge, among others.  I’ve got a feeling this is a website issue, not a problem with the gauge.  They should have it fixed soon.  I can see the gauge height on another USGS web page.  The water level is at 1.63 feet, up from Monday. The water temperature is 44 degrees.

Fishing is fair to good depending on what species you are fishing for.  If you are targeting brown trout, fishing is good, maybe excellent.  Most of those fish have spawned and they are hungry.

Though the water is higher due to the rain we had yesterday, it is still not flowing at normal, or I don’t think it is.  I’ll drive down to the river and look.

I’m back.  It appears the flow is up some from what I saw Monday.  The water is clear.

Fishing conditions have improved in the Park, mostly due to increase in the water temperature.  It will be cold tonight.  The water temperature will drop.  Then, we are in for a warming trend.  The water temperature will rise.  This weekend looks great.  There is no rain in the forecast through Sunday.  Rain would be good.  We need water.

I would plan on using nymphs if you fish in the Smokies. Trout will be hiding under the cover of choppy water in the riffles behind rocks.  They will be in the deeper runs.  You may find some out in the open looking for food but that will be rare and they will be spooky.  Add some weight to your nymphs and get them down to the bottom.

You may see a blue wing olive hatch at times so switch to a dry fly if that happens.  I you insist on fishing a dry fly exclusively, make it a blue wing olive pattern, size #16 or smaller.  I would be fishing nymphs.

I was in Chattanooga yesterday at an outdoor clothing show.  I went down with Alex and Kristin who work at Blackberry Farm.  We drove to Chattanooga in one of those black Lexus SUV’s.  Blackberry has several of those.  What a treat that was.  Alex and Kristin are nice people to spend the day with. We had a great time.

The holidays are coming and our store is stocked.  It is gift card time.  We’ll be selling plenty of those.  We will be busy until after New Years day.  Then we’ll slow down to a crawl for a couple of months.  During that time we will be making improvements to everything.  The store will look different in the Spring. 

Our plan is to move the fly rods downstairs and part of the fly tying department upstairs.  We are also planning to have a clothing department, something we have not had in years.  The fly department will look different and there will be better lighting.  We have lots of ideas and only two months to get them done.  I’m looking forward to making changes.  Businesses are always changing.

We can’t help but look forward to the Spring hatches.  That is when we get active along with the trout.  This year the Quill Gordons and Blue Quills appeared in early February.  That was unusual.  This whole year has been unusual, weather wise.

Get ready for some warmer weather for a few days and better fishing.

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

Byron Begley
November 28, 2012


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