106 Town Square Drive
P.O. Box 505
Townsend, Tennessee 37882
Open 7 Days - Free Ground Shipping
Welcome to the Fishing Report from the Great Smoky Mountains. It is early, 5:45 am on Sunday. This report has to be written this morning. Then, I will go to the store and run payroll, pay bills, make deposits. After that, I’m going to get ready to watch some football with Paula.
Little River is flowing at 205 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.9 feet on the flow gauge. Median flow for this date is 309 cfs. The water temperature is 38.7 degrees.
It is probably going to rain today, tonight and tomorrow. It may even snow tomorrow. It will be warmer today so maybe the fishing will improve some. Don’t expect too much in the way of catching.
I talked to Roger Lowe yesterday for a while at the shop. Roger is a guide, an excellent guide, with decades of guiding experience. He’s a pro. His father was a fly fishing guide. His grandfather was a fly fisherman. Roger can tell you within a foot or so, of where he caught his first trout on a Tellico Nymph at Smokemont when he was 11 or 12 years old. He is a walking and talking authority on fly fishing in the Smoky Mountains. I learn something new every time we talk. We’ve been friends for years.
During our conversation, somehow, the weather came up. Discussion moved to the subject of our businesses and how weather can make or break us. In Roger’s case, and mine to a certain extent, rain changes plans for the day. In his case, rain can cause a client to cancel a fishing trip.
Roger said, “Last year was perfect”. It rained when we needed rain, but it was dry often. He had a good year. So did we.
I don’t understand not going fishing because it is raining. I know it happens, I’ve heard it thousands of times over the past 20 years we have been in business. I told Roger, “Most of my best fishing days, have been rainy days”. He agreed. We have clothing made from the highest technology that was probably developed by NASA or the Medical Industry to keep us dry and comfortable. Why don’t people like to fish when it is raining? I’ll probably never understand why not.
Now, I do plan my days off using the weather forecast, to decide when I go fishing. First, I never take a day off on a weekend. I work every Saturday and Sunday. I look for and plan on cloudy days. Fish tend to be less spooky when it is cloudy. I enjoy catching trout, bass or any species on dry flies, poppers or other topwater flies. To me, cloudy days are better fishing days. Since I fish from a boat most times, wind is a decision maker.
I get e-mail from fishermen every day. I answer all of them. I checked my e-mail this morning and had one from a person who wants to go fishing with a friend on Tuesday. He wanted to know if there is a chance he would have a good day. Below is part of my answer:
“There have been many times, over the past few decades, I fished in the Smokies under conditions like what we are expecting. I usually didn't catch much if any trout. Times when you can go fishing with a friend are limited in life. What is most important about fishing is not catching fish. Most important is, who you are with, and where you are.
I would seize the opportunity and go. Enjoy your buddy. Enjoy the scenery. If you catch a trout or two, so much the better. Go when you can. That is my advice. Have a great time.
Thank you for contacting me and for allowing me to share my thoughts about fly fishing.
I am almost 64 years old. I made the decision, a while back, to go fishing more. Paula loves fishing just like I do. Our best times have been fishing times.
“To that end, I also decided not to let any activity interfere with that goal to go fishing more. I decided to do the things I enjoy most, be with the people I love most and not waste time doing anything else.”
If something comes up, even out in the future, that might have the slightest potential to interfere with the above statement, I’m going to decline.
That doesn’t mean I’m not going to work. I love work. I’m just going to work on my terms.
I guess it boils down to prioritizing my time, that which is left. Rain is not going to be a determining factor.
I’m going to spend my time with my best friends, which include my co-workers and our customers. I’m going fishing more. It is the only recreational activity I really enjoy and it has been that way all my life.
People may not understand me. A local woman wanted me to get involved in some volunteer work this week. I declined without any guilt. I told her I don’t get involved in things like that anymore. She didn’t like it. I’m sorry. She will get over it. She and I will still be friends.
Spring fishing is probably not far away. We are already seeing more activity in our store. Business is picking up. You are excited about that. We mutually share your enthusiasm. The guys in the store are preparing for Spring fishing and lots of schools. We are all excited about what they are planning. This is going to be a fun year. Weather permitting, it will be a good year.
Every fly fishing guide I talk to tells me they are booking clients earlier this year. Roger said the same thing.
We read the local, national and world news every day. I’m bad about that. There is some stuff going on we don’t like. Much of it is appalling. You know what? There is nothing we can do about it. It is out of our control. I know how I’m going to deal with it. I’m going fishing more, and forget about it.
Have a great day and thank you for being here with us.