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. Good Sunday morning to you! At 4:24 am, the temperature is a cold 25.2 degrees. Today will a warmer, 55 degrees. This is the end of the cold snap. Tomorrow, we will return to abnormally warm temperatures, with highs in the 60’s to mid 70’s through the weekend. Lows at night will dip only into the 50’s and 60’s. The outlook for Christmas Day calls for a high of 73 degrees and a low of 59 with a 60% chance for showers.

Little River is flowing at 199 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.85 feet on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 224 cfs. The water temperature is 39.7 degrees this morning.

Fishing in the Smoky Mountains will be slow today. It will be sunny and the water is cold, two negatives for anglers. The water will also be very clear due to the temperature.

The future looks much better. The water will warm. It will be cloudy. We should get some rain this week. By Christmas Eve, the trout will be active and fishing should be good. After next weekend, it will be cooler but not cold. I think fishing will be fairly good after Christmas, through New Years Day weekend. Bring your rain gear. You may need it.

If you go fishing today in the mountains, use nymphs and get them down in the deep runs. The trout will most likely be hunkered down on the bottom and lethargic. You may catch a trout or two, maybe more, but don’t be expecting too much action. When the water temperature is in the 30’s, the trout don’t eat much. If you drift a nymph right by their mouth, they might take it. Later today, they will be a little more active.

It is 25 degrees at a weather station on Little River just downstream from Townsend. It is a lot colder than that, in the high elevations, where these streams are born. The water may warm a little today, but not much. Later this week, it will be completely different.

Water loses it’s ability to hold suspended solids when it is cold. The water will be very clear. You may see the trout, but they will see you too. Take plenty of extra dry clothes to change into, should you fall in and don’t get too far from your truck.

This is Christmas Week. Visitors will be coming to town. Some may be camping, due to the expected very warm temperatures. This week is always fun at the shop. We see people we have not seen in a while. People love to rent cabins for Christmas and the New Year weekend. Since Christmas and New Years Day falls on a Friday this year, there will probably be more people coming to town for both holidays. 

We will close at noon Christmas Eve and all day Christmas Day.  It has been our habit to open for 3 hours Christmas Eve, to serve anglers and shoppers in need. We’ve been doing that over 20 years. Dan Munger and I will be at the shop Thursday but will be leaving at noon.

We will close New Years Day, but we’ll be open until 5 pm New Years Eve. We are expecting quite a few fishermen in town both holidays this year. And, we will have some rare fishing opportunities, especially later this week, due to the weather.

Customers will be buying gift cards this week. If you live out of the area, buying an e-mail version of our gift cards is the safest bet for Christmas delivery. They work just like our plastic cards. We can e-mail them to you or your gift recipient. A number on the card and our database allows for redemption, in person, by phone or online.

If you lose a card or that number, we can still redeem your gift cards. Basically, in our computer system, your card or number is a store credit that does not expire. All you have to do is convince us who you are, and we’ll be able to handle the transaction, should you loose your e-mail copy or card. You can buy e-mail gift cards online by CLICKING HERE or order by phone. We will not be able to e-mail them on Christmas Eve. So, order by December 23rd.

The shop is full of gear, like I haven’t seen this time of year in a long time. And, anything you buy is returnable and exchangeable.

I’ll be working every day this week through Christmas Eve. The guys and I have a new, huge, website project to complete, with a short deadline. This is going to be a busy Winter for us. We are hoping for better weather this winter, so we can work every day and get this done.

I was thinking about being lazy this winter, until they came up with this job for us. You can’t be lazy in this business, or any business, and expect to succeed. Dan and Daniel are setting the pace. My role is to help them.

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

Byron Begley
December 20, 2015

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