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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is foggy, frosty and 29 degrees in Townsend, quite a contrast from what we’ll see and feel this weekend.  Traffic is light.  Everyone is saying that business is slow.  We know that will change soon too. 

Little River has reached a steady level for now.  The water is low, especially for this time of year.  Flow is currently 81 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 240 cfs.  The water temperature this morning at 7:50 am was 39.4 degrees.  Yesterday the water temperature peaked at about 42 degrees.

Quite a few people were fishing yesterday and plan to fish this weekend.  It is going to be warm.  The high today through Tuesday will be in the 60’s.  Expect highs in the mid-60’s this weekend.  Low temperatures will be in the 40’s to high 40’s over the next few days.

The water will warm quite a bit.  Fishing is going to be much better in the Smokies this weekend.  It is going to feel good to us too.  Trout will become more active. 

Fishing hasn’t been bad.  Josh told me yesterday he had a beginner on the stream this week and this guy hooked and lost two brown trout, one about 15 inches and the other over 20 inches long.  That is rare.  The brown trout are getting out of the spawn mode and into the eating mode.  They are hungry and looking for food during the day. 

With the warming of the rivers, all trout will be more active.  Your enemy right now is low water.  The water is very clear too.  So, you will need to take every precaution to become almost invisible to the fish.  They will be under the cover of broken water, rocks and logs.  You will find trout behind boulders in riffles where the current is broken deep but there is enough chop overhead to conceal the fish from predators.  The trout will be in runs, where riffles enter a pool and maybe in faster current as the water warms. 

Use nymphs with weight.  Unless you are targeting a big fish, use light tippet, 5X or even 6X.  I would use 5X.  Blue wing olive dry flies may work too, especially if you encounter a hatch. 

Anglers are excited about the South Holston River.  TVA is doing some work on the dam.  They will not be generating for a few weeks.  Check to make sure before you go, but that’s the word I’m getting.  They have been generating at Norris Dam non-stop over the past 48 hours.  It looks like the average outflow will be less this weekend so you may have some good wade fishing opportunities on the Clinch.  Again, check the TVA website for an up-to-date generation schedule.  Other tailwaters in our area may offer some friendly discharge schedules this weekend. 

So, get out and fish.  This is going to be a fine weekend for fishing.

Yesterday was my day off.  I worked here on the Online Store instead of going fishing.  This is a very busy time of year for me.  New products require action on the website.  Right now I’m adding the new Fishpond products, specifically the Westwater Collection.  Westwater is a group of 12 pieces and are almost waterproof.  The zippers are water resistant.  You can’t hold these bags and packs under water and expect to keep everything inside dry.  But, these bags will excel in normal wet weather like we often have when we go fishing.  Have a look at what I’ve done so far in this lineup by CLICKING HERE.  I hope to have all 12 pieces online by tonight. 

The Westwater line is a totally new concept for Fishpond and they are excited about it too.  I talked to Ben, one of the owners last week.  He asked me if we had them on our website yet.  I told him it wouldn’t be long.

The huge overhaul of our online store this year will be flies.  Flies take a lot of time.  First, I’ll have to photograph around 50 patterns.  Each photo will have to be altered in Adobe Photoshop due to the way I photograph them with a white background. The way we photograph flies eliminates shadows and you don’t see the head of a fly tying vise clamping down on the hook.  You just see the fly floating in air with a white background.  To get that effect takes work and time.

I use a Nikon 60mm macro lens and shoot at f32 to get a good depth of field.  That means the flies will be in fairly sharp focus throughout the entire depth.  The closest fibers will be in similar focus to the fibers further away.  A lens aperture of f32 is a tiny hole.  Most lenses only close down to f22.  When I shoot the photos, the fly is about 9” away from the lens.  I use three flash units when shooting pictures of flies.

Right now we offer 421 patterns online plus different sizes.  We will remove some slow sellers and add new patterns.  I have no idea what the final number will be.  The whole department will look better and perform much better.

By mid-month we’ll have the new Chota gear displayed for sale on the online store.  I shot the photographs of early samples this Summer.  Chota staff are clipping the new boots from the background and I’m just waiting for the finished images.  I usually do the clipping and photography for Chota.  This year I just did the photography.  We shot every new item at every angle you can imagine.  It took most of a day to photograph a few pair of wading boots.  Frank Bryant, the owner of Chota and I worked together on this.  I like working with Frank.  He is a perfectionist.  It shows in his products.

Well, get ready for the weekend.

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

Byron Begley
November 30, 2012

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