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

Welcome to the Fishing Report from Townsend, Tennessee in the Great Smoky Mountains.  At 5:54 am, the temperature is 45.7 degrees, a warm morning, compared to what we have had lately.

Today will be partly cloudy with a high temperature of 66 degrees. Tomorrow, we should reach 70 degrees. The high temperature Saturday and Sunday will be in the low to mid 70’s. Low temperatures this weekend will be around 50 degrees or warmer. It is going to feel like Spring. There is almost no chance for rain this weekend.

Little River is flowing at 225 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.93 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 229 cfs. The water temperature keeps rising.  Right now, it is 48.2 degrees.

Fishing conditions in the Smoky Mountains will be extraordinary this weekend. Warm days and nights will push the water temperature into the 50’s. We will have the best fishing we have had in a while. It is hard to believe this is happening in December.

If you go today, plan to fish with both nymphs and dry flies. I would fish in the low to mid-elevation streams. The water will be warmer. Try all three prongs of Little River. You may also consider fishing Lynn Camp Prong.

Nymph selection should include Tellico, Prince, Hare’s Ear, Copper John and Pheasant Tail.  A Green or Pink Weenie might work. For a dry fly, I would probably use a #14 or #16 Parachute Adams, a #16 Yellow Stimulator, Elk Hair Caddis or a Yellow #16 Neversink Caddis. The trout may or may not be looking up. If they are not, the nymphs will work best.

Don’t expect large hatches of aquatic insects. Do expect active trout. Fishing will probably be best in the afternoons.

Rain is back in the forecast Monday and it may be windy. But, it is still going to be warm, just not as warm as what is predicted this weekend.

If you plan to fish the lowland rivers for smallmouth bass, you may find those fish active too. I don’t know for sure. I’ve never fished lowland rivers for smallies, in December. They may stay hunkered down.

Both Norris and Cherokee dams will be operating at full generation today. Both lake levels are at the high end of what TVA likes to see this time of year. But, the lake levels are falling. Hopefully we’ll get a break this weekend at either or both dams, allowing for wade fishing in the Clinch or Holston rivers.

Today is usually my day off but I’ve decided to work instead. I’m trying to finish a big project, a website that will hopefully launch early next week. I’ll work all weekend, like I normally do. When this job is finished, I’m taking a couple of days off.

Just another reminder, Rob Fightmaster and Mike Bryant will be putting on a show for you at the shop Saturday from 10 am until 2 pm. This event is Free. Just show up. They will be tying flies and talking about fly fishing and believe me, they have a lot to talk about. Rob is a professional guide and fly fishing instructor. Mike lives in Townsend and has fly fished for about every species in the US you can think of. This will be a lot of fun and you will walk away with new knowledge about fly fishing and fly tying.

I stopped by the shop yesterday. There were not many customers coming in but the guys were busy shipping orders, destined to be under the Christmas tree. A lot of customers are ordering gift cards too.

I saw something interesting yesterday. Approximately 20 to 25 turkeys were outside my office window. They were all hens. And for some reason, they were fighting. They would run at each other, bristled up, then stop. Then, they would start fighting again. They were flapping their wings as they ran toward each other. This went on for about an hour. Those turkeys had an attitude for some reason.

I see turkeys back there every day. Sometimes they walk into the woods, eat some bird seed, then lay down for an hour or so. Sometimes they are all friendly to each other. Other times they are not. Yesterday was one of those days. The turkeys were mad about something. Maybe they were playing a game. They didn’t hurt each other.

We have not seen a bear at our house in about 2 months. I keep reading and hearing about bears being a nuisance right now. They didn’t have much to eat this Fall and they are preparing to den. I know they are out there, especially at night. But we have not seen them. We have seen more bears this year, than in any year I can remember. I think bear hunting season is still open in our County right now. Maybe the animals are laying low during the day. I would be.

I see turkeys almost daily all year except during the Spring hunting season. Then, they disappear until it is over. Wild animals and birds are smarter than most people think.

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

Byron Begley
December 10, 2015

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