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 overcast and 37 degrees in Townsend this dreary Sunday morning.  My morning commute takes about 5 minutes.  I don’t usually see notable events worth mentioning here except for the turkeys that I didn’t see this morning.  Today was different.  I never saw so many crows in our parking lot, in the field across the street and in the street in front of the store.  Those crows were everywhere, probably 200 of them. 

That takes me back to my childhood.  Crow hunting was a high priority on my winter activity list.  My friends and I loved crow hunting.  Ronnie, our police chief lives near the shop.  We were talking one day about the fact that this area of town is so popular with crows.  Why?  We don’t know.  I told Ronnie, “We need to have some early morning crow shoots in the field across from the shop.”  He agreed it would be fun.  He also cautioned me about city ordinances pertaining to discharging firearms in the city limits.  Oh well, another great idea that won’t happen.

I served on the City Planning Commission for a few years.  I should have brought that ordinance up for debate.  We could have enacted the crow, dove and wild turkey exception.  The shotgun only rule could have been considered.  We might even have a city hunting season, one that does not conflict with the tourist season.  This morning would have been the perfect morning for a crow shoot.  Shannon could have delivered a nice freshly painted trash dumpster to use for a blind.

Of course, I'm kidding.

Paula and I live outside the city limits in the County.  I can step outside and shoot a gun any time I want.  Our neighbor has a firing range.  I’ve thought about building one.  I like living in the County. Though I don't do much target shooting at home, it is nice to know that I can.   

We got ½ inch of rain yesterday.  Josh was floating Little River through town in his raft with a client.  They were catching stocked rainbows.  All of a sudden, the water became muddy.  The fishing was over for them.

Right now, Little River is flowing at 548 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.81 feet on the gauge.  That is kind of high.  Wading and fly fishing will be tough to do in many streams.  If you go, find a small stream and fish weighted nymphs.  Be careful.  The water is swift.  You can fly fish in the Smokies without doing much wading and staying close to the bank.  Don’t take any chances. 

We’ve got two positive conditions that are favorable.  The water is fairly warm, 47 degrees at 7:55 am this morning.  Also, the sky is dark with clouds.  You might be able to safely fish and catch some trout on some streams.  Or, you might just stay at home and tie flies next to the toasty fireplace.  The high temperature today is predicted to be 40 degrees.

We had a fun day at the shop yesterday.  Dean Campbell and Phil Brandt were tying flies.  Those guys are awesome.  I consider both of them “Master” fly tyers.  Customers and friends were in the shop all day. Business was good. 

Tradd Little, the eleven year old who tied flies last weekend came back to Townsend for the day.  He lives in South Carolina.  His parents and grandmother came with him.  Tradd is a very accomplished fly tyer.  He is very interested in making poppers so he spent most of the day with Dean who is the best popper maker I know. 

I showed Tradd how to tie a Game Changer last weekend.  He bought some materials, went home and tied some of his own.  He showed them to me yesterday.  They looked better than mine and I’ve tied at least 30 of them.  Dean asked Tradd, “Do you think I could tie some of those”.  Tradd said confidently, “Yes, I think you can.”  Dean bought some Game Changer materials.  I can’t wait to see what Dean comes up with.  I’ve never seen one tied by someone who ties as well as Dean.  I’ve learned a lot over the years watching Dean tie flies.

Well, today is “fun day” for me if you consider paying bills, processing payroll, making deposits and paying payroll taxes fun.  Actually, I’d rather be doing something else.

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

Byron Begley
December 15, 2013

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