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. The sky is clear, the ground is covered with snow and the temperature is 7 degrees.  I stopped at the Townsend Shopping Center this morning.  Jean asked if Paula and I were going to the lake today.  I told her we planned to go tubing on the river instead.

Little River is flowing near normal at 315 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.15 feet on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 34.3 cfs.  The water temperature at 7:50 am is 34.3 degrees.

Fly fishing today in the Smokies would be dangerous and non-productive.  Don’t go.  If you fell in, the consequences would be terrible.  The high temperature today will probably only reach the mid 20’s.  We’ll see lows in the teens all week.  The high temperature Saturday, our warmest predicted day, will be around 40 degrees.

This has been the coldest winter I can remember in recent times.  We had some bad ones in the 70’s.  Maybe there were more in other decades.  I don’t remember.  It is kind of amazing that our business is not too bad.  We are barely down from last year in the first three weeks of January.  I am surprised.

Anglers are getting out on the tailwaters some.  Last weekend, Joe had a great day in the Park.  But today, I doubt if anyone goes fishing. 

If you subscribe to our e-newsletter you got one yesterday.  We sent out several thousand of them.  If you do not subscribe, you can see the web version of it by CLICKING HERE.  Or you can click on the ad to the left titled Free Super Saturday.

I can’t wait until Saturday.  We’ve got a lot going on. Buzz Buffington will by tying trout flies.  Kent Edmonds will be tying bass and striper flies.  He will also be giving casting instruction.  Sarah Weeks will be here to meet you and talk about Friends of the Smokies.  Captain Dave Chouinard from Simms will be here.  This is all part of our Free Super Saturday Events program.  Every Saturday through February, we will have some kind of event. All you have to do is show up.

We are also holding an Intermediate Fly Tying Class.  Daniel told me yesterday it is full.

We added a new Beginner Fly Tying Class to our schedule.  It will be held Saturday February 22nd.  You can call the shop at 865-448-9459 to sign up.  The cost is $85, which includes everything you need, tools, materials, our own tying book, instructors and lunch. 

The sun is up and the mountains are beautiful.  The air is so clear, I can see details I never noticed before from this view.  It is awesome out there.

One thing I don’t see are birds, specifically crows.  They are always around here during the winter.  Where did they go.  Maybe they flew to Florida.

I learned a long time ago, as a youngster, that crows are smarter than they look.  During my teenage years, I was a serious crow hunter.  I believe those birds that lived on or around our farm knew the difference between a shotgun and a scoped rifle.  I hunted with both.  I could get closer to a crow with a shotgun.  They knew my range was limited.  If I was carrying my rifle, they flew away as soon as I got within 300 yards of them. 

In the winter months, those big black birds and I played a game of life and death.  They usually won. 

One morning I woke and walked downstairs from my room and noticed a lot of crows on the ground in the field behind our house.  They were about 100 yards away or so I thought.  Mom, Dad and my sister were asleep.  I tiptoed up to my bedroom and grabbed my .243.  Keeping my profile low, I slowly slid the glass door open.  They didn’t fly away. 

I laid on the floor right outside my parents bedroom and took aim.  This was going to be a tough shot because I had to avoid hitting the ballisters on the back deck.  I found my target.  The crow was clear in my scope and I would not hit any wood on the deck.  I squeezed the trigger and got him.

Of course, when you shoot a high powered rifle in the house, everybody is going to wake up and they did.  Mom and Dad rushed out of their room and asked “What are you doing?”  “I just shot a crow”.  I pointed out to the back field.  Dad looked at the black spot far away and said “nice shot”. Mom fixed breakfast after I returned from the field.  I stepped off the distance.  It was around 200 yards, more or less.  I gloated all through the meal about my marksman skills.  Everyone in my family was proud.  Nobody said a word about getting up so early.  When you live with me you expect things like that to happen.

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

Byron Begley
January 22, 2014

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