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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is very foggy, frosty and 28 degrees in Townsend this morning.  It is going to get a lot warmer today and all week.  Traffic was very light on the morning commute as expected.  I might have seen 5 or 10 vehicles total during my five minute drive. 

Little River is flowing below normal for a change.  And that may change later this week too.  Currently, the flow is 237 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 314 cfs.  It’s not that the water is really low.  It’s that the median flow for this time of year is high. 

I would not bother going fishing this morning unless you just want to be outside in a pristine wilderness area on a secluded trout stream, pretty much alone.  That does not sound to bad to me.  Later today will be better.  The high should be in the mid to high 50’s and there will be plenty of sunshine.  Nymphs should work if you get them deep.  The water temperature is 39 degrees.  Most of the trout will be hugging the bottom of the streams.  You could see some hatches later today, probably blue wing olives or midges.  You might see some tiny black stoneflies too.  I would start with nymphs and if you happen to find some surface activity, tie on some lighter tippet and switch to a small dry fly.

Fishing is going to get much better as the week progresses.  Temperatures will be 10 to 25 degrees above average according to The Weather Channel.  We are expecting a high temperature between 69 and 71 degrees.  We may set some high records.  A storm is brewing in the gulf.  Heavy rain is expected in some areas.  Warm air will be pumped into the upper South and East.  Our water temperatures will warm significantly.  Trout will be much more active than they have been.  Fishing should be very good.

Though it doesn’t appear the heavy rain will affect us, it could.  Check back here before making the trip to Townsend this weekend.  If the water is high, I’ll let you know.  If the streams are not blown out, you will experience some great Winter fishing in the Smoky Mountains.  We’ll have to see how this plays out.

We are finishing up the list of fly tyers and top notch anglers who will be here on Saturdays this Winter.  You can come by and watch them tie flies, while talking to them about fly fishing here and on the tailwaters or even places far away.  You can see the slideshow below, who is going to be here this weekend.  It will be Walter Babb and Josh Pfeiffer, two excellent anglers and fly tyers.

After I finish this report I will update our schedule with the new additions.  One is Ray Ball.  Ray has been fishing in these mountains all his life.  He draws large crowds to his shows.  John Thurman will be here this Winter.  John is an aquatic entomologist and avid trout angler. 

Mike Bone will be here this month.  Mike is a fly fishing guide with years of experience, mostly on the tailwaters in East Tennessee.  Rob Fightmaster will be tying in January.  Rob is also a tailwater and Smoky Mountains guide.  People always enjoy his demonstrations. 

Mike Adams, a guide from upper East Tennessee is another well known guide and fly designer.  Mike likes to take his clients to the South Holston and Watauga Rivers.  He will be here in February.  Tim Doyle will also be here in February.  Tim is another guide who has fly fished the Smokies most of his life.  He has been guiding for I don’t know how many years. 

The Boyds will be here in February.  This father /son team put on a show of enthusiasm, comedy and angler/tying skills.  Clayton Gist will be tying in February.  Clayton’s favorite river is the San Juan where he was a guide at one point and visits there to fish several times per year.  Clayton knows how to fool wary trout.  The San Juan gets hammered, like some of our tailwaters.

Tim Ivey will be tying in February.  Tim hails from the great state of Georgia.  He is a professional fly tyer, designer and demonstrator.  He is sponsored by Whiting Farms.  Tim ties some unbelievable warm-water flies.  I know that because he ties some for me.  I usually tie my own but I would not think twice about buying his.   

I will be talking to Kevin Howell today.  He is checking his schedule and ours to see if we can work it out for him to be here.  Kevin owns Davidson River Outfitters in Brevard North Carolina.  He has miles of private trophy water there for you to fish and he owns a service in Argentina that offers accommodations and guided vacations.  His reputation as an angler, fly tyer and nice guy are well known in our region.  We hope to have Kevin here this month.

So, the best thing for you to do is sign up for our e-mail newsletter in the box below.  This schedule will be sent out on Wednesday (tomorrow) at 1:00 pm to thousands of subscribers.  The newsletter is free and you can opt out at any time if you don’t enjoy them.  Almost nobody opts out.  Lots of people opt in.

Or you can visit our “Free Fly Tying Demonstrations” page or schedules under the menu “Events” at the top of this page. I will update that page and others in a little while.

CLICK HERE for a description of our fly tying classes that are going on this Winter.  They are taught by Walter Babb and Brian Courtney.  Our classes are very reasonably priced and they include everything, even lunch catered by Miss Lily’s.

We’ve got a lot going on right now.  It looks like fishing in the Smokies is going to be very good this weekend.  And, there is plenty of free entertainment here every Saturday. 

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

Byron Begley
January 8, 2013

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