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, raining and 43 degrees in Townsend this morning.  What a difference a day or two makes.  The high temperature Saturday was 75 degrees at the Knoxville Airport, a record for the date since records have been kept dating back to 1890.  The high yesterday was 71 degrees.

Little River is flowing strong and off color.  Flow is currently 803 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 282 cfs.  The water temperature is still fairly warm, 54 degrees.  We had exactly 1.5 inches of rain in our gauge this morning.  And there is more to come.

We are under a flood watch.  The cold front with the associated moisture has stalled over the Southern Appalachian mountains.  Though the rainfall has been light, it has been constant since early last night.  We may get another two to three inches today and tonight according to the National Weather Service.

Fishing in the Smoky Mountains would not be advisable for a few days.  Rivers will be rising and currents are strong.

Water temperatures will begin to drop.  Low air temperatures later this week are expected to be in the high 20’s.  Our brief Spring-like weather is over for now.   

Tying flies is an option if you are not working.  That’s what I’ve been doing every evening.  Getting ready for Spring is on my agenda.  That gets me through the Winter. 

We held a Little River Chapter of Trout Unlimited board meeting yesterday afternoon.  We me at Mike Bryant’s cabin in Townsend.  He is our new President.  His wife Jan prepared an excellent lunch for us, a southern dish, pulled pork barbeque. 

I am serving as an advisor, not an appointed board member.  My job is to help with communications.  The Little River Chapter is about 20 years old.  We have about, on average, 250 members.  The Chapter mission is to support the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Fisheries Department. And, we have done that well.  We were the first TU Chapter to work with a National Park.  A staggering amount of money and volunteer hours have benefited the Smokies fish crew over the years.  Troutfest alone has netted the Park around $200,000.  Volunteers have assisted the fisheries managers since day one, even in the backcountry on overnight assignments.  Brook Trout restoration, which is the main focus of the Park Service would not have been possible without the Little River Chapter’s involvement over the last two decades. 

You can be part of this, even if you live far away.  By joining the Little River Chapter you will be notified of all projects that you can be involved in.  The Smoky Mountains needs your support. 

All you have to do is join Trout Unlimited and specify the Little River Chapter as your home chapter.  If you are in an inactive TU Chapter, switch to Little River.  That may take a phone call, I’m not sure. 

You can visit the Little River Chapter of TU website by CLICKING HERE.  Check it out.  You may be interested in becoming part of this great organization.

My friend Mike Bone will be tying for you this Saturday at the shop between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm.  His appearance is part of our Free Saturday Tying Demonstrations that we hold during the Winter.  Mike is a pioneer of guiding on the Clinch River and other tailwaters in our area.  He was one of the early guides to float clients down the rivers in a drift boat in East Tennessee.  I met Mike over 20 years ago in Gatlinburg.  I remember him showing me a bamboo fly rod he made. 

I am really looking forward to Saturday.  His flies are tied, tried and true.  If you come by, you will learn a lot about tailwater fishing for trout.  He has done more of that than anyone I know.  Not only did Mike start early on in his career, he stuck with it. 

All you have to do is show up.  Saturday will be a informative and fun day for you.  And like I said, it is free.

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

UPDATE 3:30 pm: Little River is flowing at 1,250 cubic feet per second (cfs). This is a record for this date beating 1,200 cfs in 1989. Rain is expected through Wednesday morning. We are under a flood watch at this time. The rain has been falling continuously all day.

Byron Begley
January 14, 2013

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