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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is foggy, frosty and 29 degrees in Townsend this morning.  It is going to get warm starting today and lasting through Wednesday.  Highs will reach the mid-60’s on Tuesday and the low 60’s on Wednesday. 

Little River is flowing at 303 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 318 cfs.  The water temperature is a cold 39.6 degrees.

Fishing will be slow today, but it will improve slightly this afternoon.  Trout are not active when the water temperature is below 40 degrees. If you go fishing this afternoon, use nymphs or maybe a dry Blue Wing Olive.  If you use nymphs, get them down.  You might catch a few trout but don’t expect good results other than an enjoyable day on the stream.

We had a good crowd in the shop yesterday.  Fly tyers were buying materials to get ready for Spring.  Anglers were watching Rob Fightmaster tie and listening to what he had to say about fishing in the Smokies and on the tailwaters.  Everyone had an enjoyable day.

I’ll tell you what, I’m ready for Spring.  I don’t know when I’ve wanted to go fishing as much as I do right now.  In this business, fishing is not something you can take your mind off during the Winter.  This is my busiest time of year.  All I think about and talk about has something to do with fly fishing.  What I’m working on is our website. 

We are overhauling the fly department on our online store.  That means, hundreds of website pages have to be reviewed, updated, deleted or new pages created. 

I spent an hour yesterday just trying to photograph a Murdich Minnow.  Any fly with transparent materials like white craft fur, pearl Krystal Flash, pearl Flashabou or any other light colored synthetic materials disappear when they are subjected to flash units.  A Murdich Minnow is made up almost entirely of those fibers. 

We use flash because it is fast, adjustable and easily moveable.  We have 6 flash units in the studio.  I gave up on the Murdich Minnow and will try again today.  I tried changing the roll of background paper to gray, instead of our usual bright white.  That may work.  I may order a roll of black paper and try that.  These rolls are 5’ long.  We have special holders in each studio for background rolls.  We even have a 10’ roll of bright white.  I bought that when a friend who owns a bicycle shop in Nashville wanted me to photograph some bikes.

The flies we bought last year will be arriving soon.  They arrive in waves for several months.  I found out last night, that are largest supplier of flies had errors in their catalog.  As a result of that, we had priced a Todd’s Wiggle Minnow much higher than our competition.  I noticed it was high yesterday and asked Daniel about it.  He said he used their price list.  I got in here early this morning and started reviewing those prices.  After comparing them to the manufacturers website and our order confirmations, we determined the price on the Wiggle Minnow was way too high and I just lowered it.  Now, we’ll have to check our complete price list which has several hundred items.  It’s always something.

But, we’ll be ready when the flies start selling.

I’m going to hide next week and re-design our main web pages.  I’ve designed a few but it’s hard to do when I get interrupted so I won’t be here next week.  The pages will be wider.  They will have a different menu.  There will be more pages.  New content will be written maximizing our search engine optimization.  I think I can get the job done in one week.  We’ll see how that works out.

What we have to look forward to here are the Spring hatches.  Quill Gordons, Blue Wing Olives and Blue Quills will be popping off the water, hovering and landing.  Trout will be sipping them off the surface.  All we need is about a week of 50 degree or warmer water.  Then, the action will begin.  When we know it’s happening, you will know too.  Anglers swarm into the Smokies when the hatches occur.  It is a wonderful time of year.  Sometimes it happens in late February.  Last year it happened in early February.  It can start as late as early March.  Water temperature drives the event. 

I better get this report on our server.  I spent time on those flies this morning and I’m behind.

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

Byron Begley
January 27, 2013

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