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

Welcome to the Fishing Report from the Great Smoky Mountains.  It is overcast and 39 degrees.  It should be sunny later.  It’s Sunday morning.  Everything in town is quiet.  Things are what you would expect this time of year.

Little River is getting lower and certainly fishable.  Flow right now is 406 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.36 on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 297 cfs.  The water temperature at 8:15 am is 39.3 degrees.

By fishable, I meant the flow is not too high.  It is higher than most people enjoy.  There will be some places you should not try to wade.  Don’t take any chances in these rivers.  The water is cold.  It is not going to get much warmer today.  We may see a rise tomorrow.  The high temperature will be in the low 50’s.

If you do go fishing in the Park, try nymphs and get them down deep.  Most of the trout will be hunkered down, waiting for Spring. 

Cold air is on the way.  Lows will drop into the teens Tuesday night.  Highs in the 30’s are expected.

This is not great fishing weather.  Some anglers are doing well fishing on the Holston for trout.  I’m not hearing much because not many anglers are fishing. 

There were plenty of customers in the shop yesterday.  They were here for our Free Saturday Event.  There were also lots of customers here specifically for shopping.  The parking lot was fairly packed at times.  Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves, even though the fishing was mostly verbal or looking at a smart phone.  I did see some nice pictures yesterday.  I actually saw one that was printed.

Imagine that.  A printed picture of a fish being shown in the shop.  That is rare these days.  Can you believe what smart phones have done?  How many times each day are you talking to someone and they reach for their phone to show you pictures?  It happens often.

I own a cell phone but it is not, or maybe I am not smart.  Mine might store photographs, Who knows.  It might have a camera feature.  I’ve never read the manual.  Mine is for emergencies or “must make” phone calls when I’m in my truck.  It was used about three times last year.  Right now, it is sitting on my desk with a dead battery.  It has been here for a couple of weeks.

It is great when someone reaches in their pocked, pulls out a phone that they know how to use, and show me a picture of a fish.  To me, that is the main function of a smart phone, probably because I just don’t know any better.

There is a woman, sleeping on the ground behind our store.  About an hour before closing last night she walked in the door.  She has been trying to hike the Appalachian Trail south.  According to her, she has encountered a lot of problems along the way, including 4 days in the hospital, frigid weather and snow.  She stopped at a store in Bristol, walked in, came back out and her pack had been stolen.  She went to Bass Pro Shops and bought all new gear.  Somehow, she ended up here.  She was looking for a place to pitch her tent for the night.

We have a city ordinance barring camping in Townsend unless you are in a campground.  After all, this is a camping town and a campground has to have a business permit listed as a campground.  We called KOA and they were closed.  Most, if not all of the campgrounds are closed.  So, I let her camp behind the shop.  I gave her my business card with my home phone number hand written on the back.  I told her, if the police pay her a visit, show them my card and tell them to call me at home.  I didn’t get a call.  I also printed out a long-term weather forecast and gave it to her.

This morning, she is still here.  Hopefully I haven’t gotten myself into something I’ll regret.  Sometimes you have to do the right thing to help people and hope for positive consequences. Sometimes those consequences do not turn out to be positive. I couldn’t help but worry about her.  This was the right thing to do. You will find out tomorrow.  

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

Byron Begley
January 19, 2014

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