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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is cloudy and 63 degrees in Townsend.  Driving to work was like going through a ghost town.  I left home at 7:45.  On my commute I only saw 3 vehicles and they were far off in the distance going into the Park.  I didn’t pass anyone during that whole five minutes.  I think this is a first.

We were very busy at the shop yesterday.  We had two fly tying demonstrations going on simultaneously.  There were a lot of people here to see that.  People were shopping.  People were going fishing. 

I was surprised at the lack of good fishing stories from the few people I talked to who had been fishing.  The people I talked to did catch trout, mostly small ones and not many.  The water temperature at the confluence of the three prongs of Little River reached 54 degrees Friday night and stayed at that temperature all day yesterday.  Right now the temperature is 53.5 degrees.  I don’t know.  Maybe other people did better.  Maybe today will be the day.  It could have been the barometer.  I still think fishing will be good because the stream conditions are more favorable to trout and aquatic insect activity than you will see in January. 

Flow in Little River is good too though the water is not high.  Currently the flow is 237 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 297 cfs.  We have a 50% chance for rain today and a 100% chance tonight.  Rain will continue through Wednesday.  The high temperature today should be 72 degrees.  Then, starting tomorrow it will get cooler.  Highs next week will be in the 40’s with lows in the 30’s. 

Someone from the Townsend Shopping Center called the shop yesterday.  One of the bald eagles was perched in a tree next to the building on the river.  I was ready.  I drove down there, set up a tripod and shot some video of the bird.  My little video camera has a 30x optical zoom and records to a hard drive at high definition.  I got some amazing footage of that bird with him almost filling the frame, top to bottom.  The next time he is there on a sunny day, I’m going back.  I’m going to try to get closer.  When I zoomed in all the way, the bird was a little fuzzy.  When he or she half way filled the frame, the image quality was perfect.

He or she put on a show.  The eagle turned it’s head completely around look to the rear.  The bird scratched it’s neck under the beak.  At one point it puffed up it’s chest and held the wings back as if stretching.  Then finally, the eagle flew off.  I shot 5 minutes of video. 

I am hoping to turn the video over to Channel 10 so they can broadcast a story.  All they have to do is interview Jerry and Jean who own the shopping center.  Maybe they could interview Stan too.  It would make a great story.  I believe photographers and bird watchers would come to Townsend to see these magnificent birds.  It would help the local economy during the winter when we need it most and it would help Jerry and Jean’s business.  I’m going to send an e-mail to John Becker, the news anchor today.  I know him, he is a fly fisherman, and likes to talk about the outdoors.

They will be hard to spot when the leaves are on the trees.  But, the tree these eagles like, which is located next to the shopping enter, is dead.  Also, these birds don’t seem to be afraid of people.  They draw a crowd every time they visit the shopping center.  They never seem timid or nervous. 

At issue with the video would be compatibility with the television station’s software.  This camera records in AVCHD.  I streamed it into my iMac at home and edited the footage.  After that I exported it as a Quicktime high definition file.  Then, I burned the file to 3 CD’s, one for the shopping center, one for Stan and one to keep here to load down on this computer.  The original footage is still on the camera so the TV station could take my camera with them and stream it to their computer system software, whatever it is they use. 

This is fun.  I guess it could never be broadcasted.  I do plan to stream the edited video to YouTube once I figure out how to do it.  Maybe it will go viral.  The Townsend Shopping Center will be famous. 

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

Byron Begley
January 13, 2013

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