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 a fairly warm, 41 degrees this morning.  It is dawn.  The forest is still asleep.  Outside, I heard a rooster crowing, far away.  I know it was far away because nobody around here raises chickens.  That rooster had to be ½ mile away.  Someone raises chickens there.  The mountains are visible to a point.  Fog covers the top 1,000 feet of the peaks I can see from here. 

Today will be mostly cloudy and the temperature will be in the high-40’s to mid-50’s depending on which weather website you are reading. 

Little River is flowing at 165 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.77 feet on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 274 cfs.  The water temperature at 7:07 am is 44.5 degrees.

Fishing may be fair today due to the warmer water. The water temperature may rise again today. Don’t expect too much action.  If you go, use nymphs and get them down.  If you see a hatch of blue wing olives or other aquatic insects, switch to a dry fly.  Or, switch to a dry fly just because you want to.

I’m preparing for Spring fishing, like many of you.  That’s what Winter is for, right?  Today, Paula and I are moving our kayaks and the kayak trailer from the barn to our new boat house.  Located close to our house, the concrete pad outside the structure was poured 8 days ago.  Jack told me not to drive on it for 8 days.  Today is the day. 

When the boat house is finished, we will have our boat and kayaks, along with all of our fishing tackle inside one building.  This has been a dream of mine for a long time.  It is only fitting, that this building will be finished by Christmas.

Most of our fly rods will be hung on a pegboard wall, strung up and ready to go.  Fly fishing vests, boat bags, flies, boat equipment and everything we own that has to do with fly fishing will be stored there.  Preparing to go fishing will be easy now.  The building has a 20 foot garage door.  I can pull the truck up on the pad, pull out the boat trailer we want to use that day, hook it up, load the truck and away we go.  If we are going wade fishing, it will be the same, without a boat.

I’ll spend a lot of time down there, organizing tackle.  I love doing that.  I usually tie flies during the winter, but we have so many, I won’t be doing that this year.  To me, preparation is half the fun of going fishing.   

Many people are preparing for the holidays.  I can tell from my e-mail.  When someone places an order online, or calls the store to order, the company who handles our transactions sends me an e-mail.  All week, I’ve been getting a lot of them in even, round numbers.  Without looking at our online store, I know we are selling a lot of gift cards, which is normal this time of year.  We will be doing that all the way up to Christmas Eve.

A new Park Service, $4.1 million dollar building is finally under construction in Townsend.  The groundbreaking was held last month.  This has been a long time in the planning phase, years in fact.  I was on the Townsend planning commission when the project was presented to us a long time ago.  It will be a National Park Artifact Preservation Facility.

It will hold and protect historical artifacts from Great Smoky Mountains National Park and other National Parks nearby.  The facility will be located on 1.6 acres adjacent to the Heritage Center. 

Currently, artifacts from Great Smoky Mountains National Park are stored in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.  I found an article online and you can read it by CLICKING HERE.  Much of the funding came from private donations through Friends of the Smokies and the Great Smoky Mountain Association.

If you want to be uplifted during the holidays, come to the shop Saturday.  Josh Williams from Roanoke, Virginia will be tying between 10 am and 2 pm.  Josh tied at Fly Tyers Weekend in early November and I met him there.  He is a fine and talented young man.

Josh was a rifleman in the Army.  He is now a retired veteran.  He lost an arm in an accident while in the U.S. Army.  He was introduced to fly fishing through Project Healing Waters.  He didn’t let his lack of one arm hold him back.  He is graduating this month from college with a degree in mechanical engineering.

Josh began designing flies and started a guide service and fly company called Dead Drift Outfitters.  His fly patterns are unique and one is now being sold by Orvis.  Check out his website by CLICKING HERE.  You might be interested in traveling to his neck of the woods and fishing with Josh or one of his other guides. 

Josh is a fine young man who loves his Country and fly fishing.  All you have to do is show up Saturday.  His demonstration is free.  You will enjoy meeting Josh.

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

Byron Begley
December 17, 2014

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