Townsend, Tennessee - Fly Fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, East Tennessee and Western North Carolina

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is overcast and 36 degrees in Townsend this morning.  The Great Smoky Mountains and East Tennessee will begin drying out today, finally.  We have not seen the sun in a while.  We’ll see it for sure today and tomorrow.

Little River is full and flowing pretty strong this morning.  At 7:55 am the flow is 575 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 341 cfs.  The water temperature is 43.3 degrees.

The rivers and streams in the Park have crested and are on their way down.  There is still plenty of flow so be careful wading, even in the small streams.  The water temperature, being above 40 degrees will offer some trout fishing success but it won’t be easy.  You will have to work for them. 

If I were going fishing in the Smokies today, I would choose large nymphs, maybe #12 or larger.  My choices would be a Tellico, Prince or Girdle Bug.  I would use strong tippet too.  You can get away with 4X or even 3X right now due to the higher water.  If you are targeting a large brown, you might consider 2X tippet.  I would add plenty of split shot, several pieces of #6 and get those nymphs down. 

You will most likely find the trout in the slower water, in deep runs or pockets.  I would not use a strike indicator.  You want to be able to vary your depth depending on where you are fishing.  A strike indicator limits your options on every cast.  Keep a tight line, fish close to your intended target and set the hook if you feel anything unusual, like a trout eating your fly.  Be aware also, Blue Wing Olives could be hatching so be prepared with light tippet and small dry flies just in case.

We are in for some cold nights.  The water temperature will drop.  Fishing will slow down after today.

We may see some snow Saturday night and Sunday but the chances are slim.

Our Free Saturday Fly Tying Demonstrations begin day after tomorrow, Saturday January 5th, 2013.  First on the lineup this year are Jack Gregory and Roger Lowe.  Just show up, grab a free cup of coffee and sit down with these guys. They will be tying in two different locations in our store from 10:00 am til 2:00 pm.

The year has ended and our website numbers are calculated.  We had a total of 1,649,662 visitors to our website last year.  You are only counted once during a 24 hour period no matter how many times you visit the site.  We have never come close to 1.6 million visitors in a year.  This report had 208,693 visitors last year. 

Yesterday was a disaster.  I got here early as usual to write the Fishing Report.  I could not get an internet connection.  Our provider had a problem with a broken fiber optic line that affected all their customers in the Chattanooga and Knoxville markets.  The digital service was repaired at 2:00 pm.  It had been on the blink for about 24 hours.  This happened once before, a few years ago.  A small airplane crashed on Interstate 40 trying to land on the road during an emergency.  The crash took out our lines and we did not have service for 3 days.  We have what is called a full T-1 line.  We pay over $500 per month for this connection, which handles our internet and phone lines.  We have 8 phone lines.

When this happens we do not have a monitored security system.  Someone could break into the store or we could have a fire, and the proper authorities would not be notified.  Our phones were not working.  So, we could not call out and customers could not call in.  That’s bad for business.  We could not sell fishing licenses, process credit cards or gift cards.  They all require a phone line.  We could not download our online orders.  We couldn’t order from our manufacturers.  E-mail could not be retrieved or answered.  I could not write the Fishing Report or make changes to our website.

We did send out several thousand e-newsletters before the service was restored.  The newsletter code and images were loaded onto the Constant Contact server on Monday and scheduled to be sent yesterday at 1:00 pm.  That worked fine.

It is amazing how dependent we have become on digital communications.  When that service is interrupted we might as well be closed.  We can’t do hardly anything.  I’m glad we are up and running this morning.  We are back to “business as usual”. 

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

Byron Begley
January 3, 2013

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