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

Welcome to the Fishing Report from the Great Smoky Mountains.  It is snowing and the temperature is 18 degrees in Townsend this morning.  The temperature will continue to drop all day, down to 13 degrees by this afternoon. 

The roads were not bad in the valley.  We just got a dusting of snow.  Our County road crews did a great job, even in the backwoods where we live.  I saw a truck spreading calcium chloride at 7:15 am.  I have not seen them treating our road in a while.

Little River is flowing at 2.84 feet or 564 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 301 cfs.  The water temperature at 7:45 am is 43 degrees.

Fishing is slow.  It was slow yesterday too.  We held our annual Christmas and New Year weekend party Friday through last night.  Nine of us made it this year.  I tied some Game Changer flies for the guys and gave them a kit to tie more.  We watched football games and tied all day Saturday.

Yesterday, Jack, Ronnie and I went into the Park to see how the flies looked in the water.  I’ve made several modifications since I first started tying these flies.  The water was cold and clear so it was a perfect day to try them out.  Jack did most of the casting with a spinning rod so we didn’t have to wade.

We saw several nice brown trout laying on the bottom of Little River.  They were hunkered down.  These trout were not interested in our Game Changers.

Ronnie went fishing last weekend when the water was warmer.  He caught a 26” brown trout on the first cast in Little River.  He went fishless from then on.  Jack caught a 27 inch brown last weekend too.  Yesterday was different.  The sun was shining and the water was probably colder though we didn’t take the temperature.  The big fish we saw were not moving at all.

Anyway, the Game Changers that were trimmed, leaving the shank attachment points almost exposed had better action.  The longer fibers on some flies impeded the action.  So, the flies I have tied lately need more trimming.  I think, when Spring arrives, we’ll get on the lake with a few of these and trim them in the boat, trying different hair styles.  Then, we’ll know exactly how to trim them.

Jack and I were talking about tying larger articulated baitfish, maybe something like 8 inches long.  We would need to add more articulated shanks and longer fibers.  We’ll work on that.  Our goal would be to have large swim bait type flies to catch lunker smallmouth bass.  We would probably need to use our 12 weight tarpon rods to cast them.  He and I are going to work on that this Winter.

Fishing is going to be very slow around here.  The low temperature tonight is supposed to be 3 degrees.  The high tomorrow is predicted to be 18 degrees.  The low tomorrow night will be 10 degrees according to the National Weather Service.  It will warm up starting Wednesday.  Jack, Ronnie and I think some pools in the streams will freeze and there may be anchor ice in the rivers too.  Don’t go fishing in the Park.  Wind chill factors will be below zero. 

It is not so bad in the valley so far but the mountains are a different story right now.  Most of the major roads in the Park are closed due to downed trees, snow and ice.  You can see the list of closed and open roads on the Park’s Twitter Page by CLICKING HERE

I doubt if we’ll have many customers today.  I’m doing payroll and paying the bills.

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

Byron Begley
January 6, 2014

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