Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is cold and frosty in Townsend, Tennessee.  The sun is shining bright on the Great Smoky Mountains.  The air is clear and I can see mountains that are often not visible during the summer.  It’s a pretty day.  Townsend was very quiet this morning.  I drove in from Wears Valley where we had a home rented for the weekend. 

Little River is still high.  Flow is 849 cubic feet per second.  Median flow for this date is 361 cfs.  Yesterday the river set a record for high water on that date based on 45 years of history.  Fishing is tough even for the best anglers.  Jack and Ronnie went fishing yesterday.  They got back to the cabin around dark.  I worked all day but beat them back.  Jack caught a few trout on nymphs.  I don’t know how Ronnie did.  They said the fishing was tough and spotting brown trout was nearly impossible.

We talked last night about the size of the wild rainbow trout in the Park.  They are much larger than normal.  I guess the population is down from the droughts in the late 90’s and those bows have less competition and more food.  You would not know the population is down.  Fishing has been great the past two years.  Wild rainbows seldom exceed 12” in the park.  They don’t live long enough to get bigger than that. 

There have been some 14” rainbows caught and maybe a couple larger than that have been shocked up by biologists.  But normal size is under 12”.  Browns are different in the Smokies.  First they live longer because they start eating other fish.  I know of a 30” brown trout and several in the high 20’s that have been caught in the Smokies.  But, if you catch a 15”+ rainbow it is likely a stocker that has migrated into the Park from Townsend, Gatlinburg or Cherokee.  But for now, the rainbows are longer and heavier.  It’s just a cycle.   

We are busy ordering fly tying materials to keep the store stocked.  Right now, that’s what we are selling most of.  It has been so cold that anglers didn’t fish much in December if at all.  Since most of our business comes from the states in the East and that is where the bad weather has been, it has affected our overall tackle sales.  People still tie flies no matter how cold it gets.

I’m going to get back to ordering fly tying stuff.  Have a great day and thank you for being here with us.

Byron Begley
January 3, 2011

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Our fly tying classes will be held in January and February.  To sign up just call the shop at 877-448-3474.  You can read more on our website in the Schools Section.  The fly tying class schedule follows:

Saturday January 8 – Beginner Fly Tying
Saturday January 15 – Intermediate Fly Tying
Saturday January 22 – Advanced Fly Tying
Saturday February 5 – Beginner Fly Tying
Saturday February 19 – Intermediate Fly Tying
Saturday February 26 – Advanced Fly Tying

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