Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report from Townsend, Tennessee.  It is cold outside this morning, really cold.  The temperature is 8 degrees in Townsend and 13 degrees at the airport.  I had to walk to my truck parked at the bottom of the hill this morning.  While the motor was warming up and defrosting I walked around in our field looking for tracks in the snow.  Just about every imprint I found was left by wild turkeys.  They are all over the field.  One of the birds is huge or it just has big feet.

The roads are clear again and warmer weather is on it’s way.  They say the high today will be 36 degrees.  That is a welcome bit of news.  Then we’ll see highs in the 40’s and maybe 50 degrees on Tuesday. 

Snow is still covering the Great Smoky Mountains.  The sun is shining and we’ll start seeing the white stuff fading away over the next few days.  That will add new water to the streams.  They are low right now and extremely clear.  Flow in Little River is currently 185 cubic feet per second in town.  Median flow for this date is 297 cfs.

You could not get me out there fishing today.  But next week looks more promising.  If you go fishing, take some big nymphs or streamers.  Get them down to the trout that are laying low, hunkered down and waiting for warmer water.

You won’t see bears in the park right now. They are denned up according to Lisa who runs the Appalachian Bear Center near our house.  I sat next to her at the planning commission meeting last night.  She is one of our commissioners and I can always count on hearing about bears at every meeting.

Until a few days ago she only had one cub.  All the bears at the center have been turned back into the wild except for this little guy.  But, recently she received a two year old from Louisiana that was malnourished.  This bear only weighed 80 pounds.  At first the two bruins didn’t get along.  Then the weather turned bitter cold.  Now they are sharing a den and sleeping next to each other.  The new bear does not have much hair and figured out that the fuzzy cub offered much needed warmth.

Lisa said they stick their paws out to bring some food into the den but that is all she sees.  Due to the ice and snow she has to carry the food and water to them instead of driving back on the property to make her delivery.  The bear center is hidden, not marked by any signs and visitors are not encouraged to stop by.  The less these bears see people, the better off they will be in the wild.  These two bears will be released next summer.

I’m looking forward to seeing Hugh Hartsell tomorrow.  He will be tying here for you as a free demonstration.  Just stop by anytime between 10:00 and 2:00.  I’m expecting a big turnout.  We sent out an e-mail about our free fly tying demonstrations yesterday.  We have over 3,800 people on our e-mail list.  Some folks live too far away to make it here but many do live close by.

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

Byron Begley
January 14, 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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