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 47 degrees this morning.  Traffic is very light on the roads and streets.  I love living here.  It takes me 5 minutes to drive to work.  Today I saw only 11 vehicles during that trip.  Townsend is not only beautiful, filled with friendly people and close to the Park, it is also convenient unless you need to go to the doctor.  It is extremely convenient if you want to go fly fishing for trout or look at a mountain.  I’m looking at a few right now.

Little River is flowing at 344 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.22 feet on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 296 cfs.  The water temperature at 7:55 am is 41 degrees.

Fly fishing might be tough today because of the wind.  Sustained wind will be about 15 miles per hour with gusts up to 25 miles per hour.  Your fly line will go every which-a-way. 

Not only will it be windy, the temperature is dropping.  I mean it is really going to fall all day long to maybe single digits tonight.  The low is predicted to be between 9 and 11 degrees.

We are also expecting snow but not much in the valley.  Earlier predictions called for 1 to 3 inches.  Now they are saying ½ to 1 inch.  It is not going to be very comfortable outside for a few days. 

Well, we can either work or tie flies.  I pick both.  Today was supposed to be my day off this week but I have to be here.  That’s OK, I’m used to that.  I have owned and managed a business for over 40 years.  Sometimes I work for a couple of weeks straight without a day off.  Sometimes I go for a month.  Other times I take off when I can, usually when the fishing is good.

Customers are definitely tying flies.  I will be re-ordering for the tying department for two days this week.  Yesterday, 4 different people bought everything to tie Game Changer flies.  We sell a lot of materials.  We are used to customers coming in or ordering over the phone.  But, in the 20 years we’ve been in business, I don’t remember 4 customers buying tying materials for the same pattern unless we had a tying class that day.  I can’t remember when a fly pattern has caused so much excitement.  The Game Changer is hugely popular right now and Umpqua, who is going to offer the fly to shops for sale have not delivered yet.  When they do, this fly is going to go viral.

Daniel and I talked about offering fly tying classes this Spring and Summer.  Traditionally, our classes were only offered during the Fall and Winter.  We have seen a surge in interest.  The fly tying department is growing too.  It could be other fly shops are getting out of the fly tying business.  It is not very profitable and it takes up a lot of space.  Our department is crammed into 700 square feet. 

We know, because we record purchases under your name, that only 1/3 of our customers buy fly tying materials.  Maybe that number is growing.  Tying your own flies is a lot of fun and catching a fish on “your fly” is very rewarding.  You also have the flexibility to create your own patterns that work best in the waters where you fish.

If you are interested in learning more about fly tying, just visit our shop from now to the end of February and enjoy our Free Saturday Events.  We always have a fly tyer or two demonstrating for you during the winter months on Saturdays between 10 am and 2 pm.

We now have a new Beginner Fly Tying Class scheduled for Saturday February 22nd. Call the shop at 865-448-9459 to enroll. The Cost is $85.

This coming Saturday, January 25th we will have two experts tying for you.  They are Buzz Buffington and Kent Edmonds.  These guys are pros.  Buzz will be tying trout tailwater flies.  Kent will be tying bass patterns including his own creation, the Stealth Bomber.  That’s right, he invented the fly and the process for tying it and other similar flies. 

Sarah Weeks will be here too.  You can meet her and learn more about Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Sarah is a fly tyer but she won’t be doing that this Saturday.  She will be concentrating on getting the word out about Friends.


Dave will be in his huge rolling showroom. He will have samples of new Simms gear to show you. This is going to be a big event Saturday, January 25th. Plan to be here. Also, register to win a $100 Gift Card. The drawing will be held at 2 pm.

Dave is also a fly fishing guide in the Tampa, Florida area. He concentrates his efforts on Tarpon.

We have a lineup of professional guides who will be here on Saturdays through February.  They are, Michael “Rocky” Cox, Alex Quick, Mike Adams, David Perry and Roger Lowe.  These guys make a living taking you fishing.  CLICK HERE to see the schedule.  You will also see the dates for our remaining fly tying classes that are scheduled.  CLICK HERE to learn more about them.

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

Byron Begley
January 21, 2014

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