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 64 degrees in Townsend this morning.  It feels like Spring.  Traffic is light as one would expect.  Tourism at this point is at its low point during the year.  I noticed a few businesses that were closed this morning.  Some of them close for the Winter.  I’m wondering if a couple of them may not open up again.

Little River looked awesome this morning.  The flow is up slightly.  There must have been some rain in the mountains yesterday.  Our gauge is dry.  We have had a few sprinkles since yesterday, and that’s it.

Flow in Little River is 227 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 306 cfs.  The water is clear and 53.8 degrees.  Can you believe that?  I don’t remember this happening in January before. 

The water will probably get even warmer today and tomorrow.  The high temperature today is supposed to be 70 degrees.  The high tomorrow will be about the same.  Trout are active in the Smoky Mountains.  This is probably going to be your best opportunity to fish in the mountains until Spring unless we get another warm spell like this one.  If the water temperature rises 4 more degrees, the conditions will be perfect and that may happen.  Trout farmers consider 58 degrees to be ideal for trout feeding and growth.  Fishermen believe the same thing.

I would probably start with dry flies today.  Though I know one angler who did very well yesterday using nymphs at Tremont.  I would have some dark dries in sizes #12 down to #16.  They could be an Adams, Parachute Adams, Thunderhead or Blue Wing Olive.  Thats what I would do but you may do better using nymphs.  A Bead Head Pheasant Tail or Tellico will work fine.

I am hoping the Quill Gordons and Blue Quills do not start hatching.  It’s too early.  We still have some cold weather coming this winter.  It would be a shame for those aquatic insects to begin their mating ritual then have our fishing shut down due to cold water.  It could happen.  The water temperature is right.  Maybe it is too early in the year.  I’m banking on that.

It looks like our warm spell will end next week.  It is going to be cooler but not bitter cold according to what the National Weather Service is saying right now.

Walter Babb and Josh Pfeiffer will be tying in the shop today from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm.  I know of one customer who is on his way from Nashville to watch Walter tie.  Walter is one of the best trout fly tyers anywhere.  He has the small stream fishing skills to match.  These demonstrations are free.  Just come by and sit down while these guys tie and talk about fly fishing.

Josh guides angler for trout and smallmouth bass.  I’ll tell you this, he is a smallmouth bass fanatic.  Since the river has warmed, he has been floating in his raft and catching some smallies.  Josh will be tying his favorite smallmouth bass flies today.  This sport is really catching on in our area and he is one reason why.

I am hoping these guys have a good turnout.  I do know a lot of people will be fishing today.  One way or the other, we should be busy.

The fly tying companies let me down.  They must be behind after closing for the holidays.  I placed several orders to re-stock the store last weekend.  Whiting Farms was the only order that showed up.  Wapsi didn’t make it.  They always do.  Umpqua shipped the Tiemco hook order from Colorado on Tuesday and it is not here.  We got Hareline Dubbin.  We did get a fly shipment, mostly nymphs so we are in good shape in that department. 

I hope you can get out and fish today.  It is really nice outside and it appears the rain will miss us for the most part.  The trout are going to think it is Spring.

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

Byron Begley
January 12, 2013  

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