Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is a cold and frosty morning in Townsend but nothing like yesterday.  The temperature is 31 degrees.  Yesterday morning at this time it was 14 degrees.  Our town has returned temporarily to a place where people live without visitors.  Resort towns, especially this one have a very slow winter unless there is a cold weather attraction such as skiing.  But, the beauty of Great Smoky Mountains in the winter months should draw more people here.  It just doesn’t happen, not yet.

We are in for a warm weekend.  Tomorrow the high is supposed to be 59 degrees.  There is a chance for rain Saturday and Sunday.  Otherwise, the weather will be comfortable.

Little River is getting lower by the day.  Right now the flow is 251 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 310 cfs.  The water temperature was 36 degrees at 8:00 am.  Flow in our river is typically high this time of year.  So, today’s reading is not really low.  The gauge is reading 2.13 feet.  That is plenty of water.

If you go fishing today, wait a while.  Give the rivers and streams a chance to warm up.  I would use nymphs and get them down deep.  Pinch on plenty of split shot.  Use more than one.  Get it down.  Bump the trout in the nose.  We may see some surface activity this week so be ready with some blue wing olives in small sizes.  The water is going to warm some and fishing will improve.  After tonight the lows will be around 40 degrees. 

There could be some brown trout still feeding.  I have not talked to many people who have been fishing the last couple of days.  I bet there will be some anglers out this weekend.

Yesterday I spent some time with Todd Gregory, a musky guide from Middle Tennessee.  He said the fishing there should be picking up.  He and Kelly Galloup filmed a musky fly fishing show recently.  Some of my friends are fishing for musky right now.  And, they are having some luck. I may go over there and give that a try.  Todd can get me on one if I can get away.

Paula is lining up the winter “Free Fly Tying Demonstrations”.  She has quite a few people lined up.  We hold these demonstrations on Saturday between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm.  This year we will have one on a Sunday too.  All you have to do is show up at the shop.

This coming weekend you will see Jack Gregory and Rob Fightmaster tie some of their special patterns.  Jack lives here and has fly fished the Smokies all his life.  He will be tying trout flies.  Rob is a guide who works in the Park and local tailwaters.  He also teaches beginner fly fishing at the school.  He will be tying bass flies.

On January 14th, Walter Babb will be tying.  Walter is another person who has fly fished in the Smokies over 50 years.  He is an expert fly tyer.  Someone else will be probably tying that day.

On the 21st Clayton Gist and Tim Doyle will be tying.  They are both guides.  Clayton moved here from the west.  He is a nuclear engineer.  Tim grew up here. He has fished and hunted in the mountains all his life.

On Saturday January 28th Josh Pfeiffer and Ethan McGroom will be tying.  Josh is a full time guide who tends to specialize in smallmouth bass but he is also a trout guide in the Smokies and on the tailwaters.  I fish with him for smallies and he ties some incredible patterns that work.  Many of you know Ethan.  He worked here part time for a year.  He will be tying musky patterns. 

On Saturday, February 4th Mike Adams will be here for you.  Mike is a guide from Bluff City, Tennessee.  He takes clients on fishing excursions on the South Holston and Watauga Rivers.

On February 11th Mike Bone and Gary McCown will be tying.  Mike is a guide who has been working in this area for a long time.  His business began in the Smokies and the Clinch River fishing for trout.  He expanded his range to other trout tailwaters and lowland rivers for smallmouth bass.  Gary grew up here.  His favorite river was the Little T.  He fishes for all species.  He will be tying warmwater patterns.

Tim Ivey will be here February 18th.  He lives in Georgia.  Tim is a professional fly tyer and exhibitor.  He ties everything you can think of but today, he will be making poppers.

On Sunday February 19th, David Knapp will be tying. David lives on the Cumberland Plateau and teaches high school there.  Many of you know David.  His website, “The Trout Zone” is very popular.  He is also an excellent photographer.  Many of the photos you see on this website were taken by him. 

We have Brian Courtney lined up for February 25th but that may change due to a conflict with one of our fly tying classes.  He is an instructor here. 

That’s it so far.  We are contacting some other tyers and we’ll update the list when we hear back from them.

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

Byron Begley
January 5, 2012

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