Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report from Townsend, Tennessee.  This morning at daybreak we had about 3 or 4 inches of snow on the ground at our house.  By the time I drove here there was at least 6 inches and it is still coming down.  It is opening time and I’m here alone so far.  Daniel is having trouble on the road.  He has called twice. I saw Pat, our Mayor driving to work.  He honked at me as we passed each other. 

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is supposed get several more inches of snow than we will see in the valley.  And there is a chance for sleet mixed with snow this afternoon. 

I didn’t have any trouble getting here but I kept my speed at about 10 miles per hour and it took 15 minutes to get here from our house.  I don’t know if we will be open.  If I didn’t have so much work to do I probably wouldn’t be here.  Daniel just called.  He can’t get here now.  I don’t know where Paula is.  I’m sure Bill won’t get out in this.

Fishing has been good.  Joe told me he had a good day on Saturday but I found out later he had a fantastic day.  I think Ethan said Joe caught a 16” and 18” brown and lost one that went about 22 inches.  Ethan was planning to go fishing today.  He will park at the Smokies entrance and walk in.  Last night when he left the shop he was excited. 

I have trouble walking in snow with felt soles and I still use felt.  Some of the best trout fishing I have experienced occurred during the days when we would go to Yellowstone and fish the last week of the season.  That was late October into the first week in November. 

The browns are spawning and big rainbows are eating the dislodged eggs in the Madison, Gibbon and other rivers.  But the cold and snowy conditions are tough on fishermen during that time.  I was fishing the Madison River one day with Jack, the air temperature was 8 degrees and the water temperature was 42 degrees.  We were covered with snow from head to toe.  We were camping at Madison Junction and finally gave up and headed back to camp.  At night, we put our waders in the rest room so they would be thawed the next morning.  I think I’m too old for that kind of fishing.  I probably won’t do that again.  But, I’m glad I did it.

Townsend is very quiet and still this morning.  I just looked out and saw two cars drive by.  That kind of surprised me.  The Parkway Grocery had several trucks parked outside when I drove by earlier.  Steve was there.  To the best of my knowledge we have only closed the store once due to bad weather over the past 16 years.  Today may be the second one.  I’ll be here but that may be it.  I can’t imagine having a customer show up today.

Thanks for being here and be careful out there.

Byron Begley
January 10, 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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