Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report from Townsend, Tennessee.  It is overcast with scattered fog in the valley.  It was 32 degrees when I drove to work this morning.  Townsend is very quiet.  Traffic is light.  This is a nice time to visit here.  You’ve pretty much got the Park to yourself.

Some die-hards are fishing.  And some are doing fairly well.  Fishing here now is nothing like it is in the Spring. You won’t catch nearly as many trout. But you might catch a big one.  Use nymphs or streamers and add plenty of split shot to get them down. Little River is flowing slow and low.  Right now the flow is 179 cubic feet per second.  Median flow for this date is 281 cfs.  We have rain and possibly snow in the forecast for the week.  The chance for rain is 90% today and 80% tonight.  We have a slight chance for snow tomorrow and a better chance Thursday night.

Most anglers are fishing on the tailwater streams, the Clinch, Holston and South Holston.  Ethan and Will are floating the South Holston today in Ethan’s family owned drift boat.  I bet they do well. Both are excellent fishermen.

I took the day off yesterday for the first time since January 1st.  I stayed at home and worked on fly tying videos and also learned to use DVD authoring software.  I didn’t have any blank DVDs at home so I’ll burn one tonight.  This is going to be a long process and I’m not sure I’ll stay interested long enough to fill up a DVD with 10 flies.  I need something to show people how to tie flies that I know work well.  Many of those flies can’t be bought.  My hope is to have 3 DVDs, one for warmwater, saltwater and coldwater.  I’ll probably get Walter to tie the flies for trout. 

I am filming everything in high definition but the resolution will be lowered for now.  Blue Ray DVDs are expensive and so is the equipment needed to burn them.  But, I believe standard definition is on the way out. I have one 7 minute video finished in both high and standard def.  The file size for the standard definition is around 200 MB.  The same video in high definition takes up 700 MB of space on a disk.  I think Blue Ray disks hold about 50 GB.  A standard DVD holds 4.7 GB.  In addition to the files for the different fly tying video, you need a lot of space to handle the menu and movement that you see on a DVD when you first view it on your television.  That takes a lot of space too.  This has been an interesting learning experience.

We had a great Troutfest Committee meeting on Sunday.  There were 16 of us attending and we had 6 people who could not come.  George Lane has joined us.  He is the outgoing Chair of the Tennessee Council of TU and the re-organizing President of the Great Smoky Mountains Chapter.  Though many Troutfest volunteers come from the Great Smoky Mountains Chapter, their involvement will become more official.  That Chapter has 400 members.  The Little River Chapter has about 250 members.

Three of our committee members come from the Clinch River Chapter of TU.  I enlisted all three since I became chairman of the event.  Other members from that Chapter volunteer for Troutfest.  This has become a more global event and much of the talent we need comes from outside the Little River Chapter of TU who actually started Troutfest.  I think and hope we are on our way to a partnership with talent derived from over 700 Trout Unlimited members in this area alone.  Other groups and individuals also volunteer for Troutfest.  They come from as far away as Florida.  Most people who attend Troutfest come from the Eastern United States.

If you CLICK THIS LINK HERE you will see a list of the Troutfest Steering Committee.  I have not added George Lane yet.  You will notice there is no Chairman.  I thought I had someone to take my place after serving for two years.  That didn’t work out.  So, I just started notifying the Committee when we have a meeting, we meet and make decisions and I provide an agenda.  I run the meeting just like a Chairman would.  I bet some people think I’m the Chairman.  But, I was never appointed, voted upon or officially given the job.  So, we don’t have a Chair.  We just plan this event as a committee.  It seems to be working out fine, even better.

If you want to volunteer you will be able to do so soon.  Ron Becker is purchasing some online volunteer organization software.  You will be able to click and access it from the Troutfest website.  We had over 100 volunteers last year.  We will need more this year.  Volunteering does not mean you have to work all weekend.  I think you do have to put in 4 hours though.  This year we are planning a special party on Saturday night for volunteers and vendors.  Hopefully the Tennessee Council of TU will be the hosts.

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

Byron Begley
January 18, 2011


Jack Gregory will be tying for you on Saturday between 10:00 and 2:00.  It’s FREE.  All you have to do is show up.  Any person who fishing anywhere won’t want to miss this event with Jack. 

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Our fly tying classes will be offered in January and February 2011.   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


Our fly fishing classes will be offered from March to October 2011.   To sign up just call the shop at 877-448-3474.  You can read more on our website in the Schools Section.  The fly fishing class schedule follows:

Saturday March 26 – Beginner Day One
Saturday April 9 – Beginner Day One
Saturday April 30 – Beginner Day One
Sunday May 1 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday May 7 – Beginner Day One
Saturday May 21 – Beginner Day One
Sunday May 22 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday June 11 – Beginner Day One
Saturday June 25 – Beginner Day One
Sunday June 26 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday July 9 – Beginner Day One
Saturday July 23 – Beginner Day One
Sunday July 24 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday September 10 – Beginner Day One
Saturday September 24 – Beginner Day One
Sunday September 25 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday October 8 – Beginner Day One
Saturday October 22 – Beginner Day One
Sunday October 23 – Beginner Onstream Day Two

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