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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is 16 degrees this morning, over twice as warm as yesterday morning.  It will be cold tomorrow though, somewhere around 8 degrees when I drive here.  It is almost twice as warm in Nome, Alaska right now at 30 degrees.  It’s 9 below in West Yellowstone.  You will be fishing through the ice in International Falls.  It is 33 below there.  16 degrees is not so bad after all.

Little River is flowing below normal, which is a rarity lately.  Flow is currently 287 cubic feet per second (cfs). Median flow for this date is 292 cfs.

I wouldn’t go fishing in the Smokies today.  The high temperature is expected to reach only 26 degrees in the valley.  It will be colder in the mountains.  If you got wet, you could freeze quickly.  Not only that, the water is almost at the freezing mark right now.  Those trout are going to be hunkered down and tight lipped. 

The big news, among other things is the weather in the United States.  It is warm out west and cold in the east.  Bears are coming out of hibernation in Nevada and feeding.  Most of them live near people and available garbage.  The true wild Nevada bears are in the mountains and sleeping.  Our bears are sleeping too.

I am about as ready for Spring as a person can be.  Sooner than later, quill gordons and blue quills will be hatching and buzzing around in the Smoky Mountains.  Trout will be slurping them down.

Trout in the tailwaters will be very active soon.  Actually, the fishing for them is not bad now if you can get a decent generation schedule and tolerable weather.

Smallmouth bass will be moving into shallow water before we know it, I hope, and preparing to spawn.  I can’t wait. 

I grabbed a couple of packs of saltwater hooks when I walked through the fly tying department this morning.  I’ll pay for them later today.  I’m going to tie some Game Changer Pinfish and head to Florida as soon as the fishing gets good down there.  Paula said she is ready to go too.  That will probably be May in the Panhandle.  Sun, warm air, an ocean breeze, redfish, speckled trout and fried oysters are calling my name.

For now, it is time to wait and ponder.  I’m about pondered out right now. 

I talked to Marcos at Hareline Dubbin yesterday.  I had just sent him an order which included 25 more packs of Game Changer spines.  I order them almost every other week.  We are down to 4 packs right now.  I asked him if this was just us, or some kind of national phenomenon.  It’s not just us selling all of these components.  It is happening everywhere in the United States and probably around the world.  The spines are their best selling item, ever.  They are our best selling item, ever, in our fly tying department.  I’ve never seen anything like this. 

If this keeps up, they will be up there with Frog’s Fanny, Orvis leaders and Chota Hippies in terms of best sellers for us.

What this tells me is, the Game Changer and similar articulated flies are going to be the fly of the decade. The factory tied flies are not even on the market. This is just getting started. I predict a shortage in the factory tied flies. Some materials used for the body are already in short supply. The makers can't keep up.

If I'm right, more people will take up fly tying this year. I could teach someone who has never tied a fly to created these articulated baitfish. It's that easy. I may have to do just that. I will say that these flies are very time consuming. But, they don't require the skills you would need to tie something like a Parachute Adams.  

Hey, be here Saturday.  We’ve got a great free event going on.  Buzz Buffington will be tying.  Kent Edmonds will be tying and presenting a fly casting demonstration.  Sarah Weeks from Friends of the Smokies will be here.  Dave Chouinard from Simms will be here.  The event starts at 10 am and runs through 2 pm.  Just show up.  No charge. 

Don’t forget that we have just scheduled a beginner fly tying class to be held on Saturday, February 22nd. Call the shop at 865-448-9459 to reserve your spot.

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

Byron Begley
January 23, 2014

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