Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is foggy, frosty and 33 degrees in Townsend this morning.  There was hardly any traffic on the streets.  I probably didn’t see more than ten cars on the morning commute.  I did pull off the private road and onto Old Cades Cove Road and noticed a group of fairly large object ahead of me some of them were in the road.  At first I thought they were buzzards or a pack of coyotes.  I got closer and they turned out to be a large flock of turkeys.  There was one gobbler and about 20 hens.  As I got close to them they stepped out of the road.  That was odd.  I see them all the time around our house but never out on the road to town. 

At the swinging bridge I noticed the river has dropped quite a bit since yesterday morning.  The water temperature was 44 degrees, about the same as yesterday.  The water is clear.  Flow is 411 cubic feet per second right now.  Median flow for this date is 206 cfs.

Fishing will be slow this morning.  The water should warm later today.  The high temperature is supposed to be 61 degrees.  And we will see the water gradually warm even further as the days go by.  A warm front is moving in and rain will accompany the warm air.  We’ll see highs in the 50’s and 60’s and lows in the 40’s to 50 over the next 3 days.  Fishing will improve unless the rain is heavy and swells the rivers and streams.

I would use nymphs early then switch to a Blue Wing Olive pattern later today.  The dry might not work but I bet a heavily weighted nymph will.  Try a Tellico, Prince or Pheasant Tail.  Pinch on some extra weight and get it down.  This is going to be a beautiful weekend and if you can you should visit the Smokies and go fishing.  You may not catch a lot of trout but you could catch your trout of a lifetime.  That is been happening more this Fall than I can ever remember.  Even Jack caught his largest brown ever.  He thinks it was over 30”.  There have been a lot of fish over 20” caught and a few in the 25” to 26” range.

Jack and I were discussing the high water and the effect it has had on the fall spawners, specifically brown and brook trout.  We spent a few hours together on Wednesday.  He thinks the river bottoms will be scoured and void of redds.  But, he had not been in the Park since we got this last rain event.  He did see that occur around Smokemont two weeks ago.  The brown trout have usually finished spawning by now and sometimes up into the second week of December.  So, if those beds were washed out, we may have lost a year class of brown and brook trout.  That’s not all bad.  Less trout mean larger trout.  An angler hardly notices when an age class is lost.  What they notice is larger trout. 

I guess smallmouth bass fishing is over until Spring.  I’m longing for Spring right now.  I am picking out new warmwater flies to sell next year.  It looks like we will be adding about 50 new warmwater patterns.  I have to space out the shipments.  When they arrive, a group of 15 or more will take a day to process.  Processing includes photography, placement in the website, receiving into inventory, making new flip tags and packaging the flies.  We buy most of our flies from Umpqua Feather Merchants in Colorado and Holly Flies in Pennsylvania.  The company I am ordering from now is Rainy’s Flies.  They are located in Logan, Utah.

We are holding a intermediate fly tying class today.  Walter Babb will be here in a few minutes to serve as the instructor.  He always comes in my office and says with a salute, “Private Babb reporting for duty”.  We’ve been horsing around like we are still in the Army for years.

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

Byron Begley
December 3, 2011

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Our fly fishing classes will be offered from March to October 2011.   To sign up just call the shop at 877-448-3474.  You can read more on our website in the Schools Section.  The fly fishing class schedule follows:

Saturday October 8 – Beginner Day One
Saturday October 22 – Beginner Day One
Sunday October 23 – Beginner Onstream Day Two

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