Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is clear and 27 degrees in Townsend this morning.  East Tennessee is covered with frost.  It will warm up later today.  Traffic is very light on the streets.  I might have seen 5 vehicles on my morning commute.  This is a typical winter morning in the Smokies. 

Little River flowing at a slower pace.  Flow at 7:45 was 548 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 302 cfs.  The water temperature at the swinging bridge was 42 degrees.  By tomorrow morning that reading will be 40.

Fishing is going to be slow this morning.  When the sun warms the water it will improve some.  As you probably know, the trout’s metabolism slows to a crawl at 40 degrees.  But, they can be caught.  Dave Chouinard from Simms is here.  He fished for a couple of hours yesterday afternoon, until about dark and caught four rainbows.  The water was warmer yesterday than it will be today. 

If you go today fish nymphs and get them deep where the trout are hunkered down.  Split shot will be your friend today.  Pinch on several.  Fly selection is not that important.  Stonefly or mayfly nymphs will work.  Don’t expect a banner day.  Just enjoy the beauty of the Smoky Mountain streams and cherish every trout you catch as a bonus.  If you are hoping for big numbers of trout being caught today you might be disappointed.

I think you could catch a big brown though I have not heard of or seen any pictures of these brutes in a week or so.  The high water will work in your favor as far as stealth goes.  But, due to the water temperature, the water is very clear.  Cold water does not hold dissolved solids well.  Cold water is clear.

We had a busy day at the shop yesterday.  Josh Pfeiffer and Ethan Mcgroom were tying warmwater patterns and anglers showed up for that event.  Most of the customers who viewed the free tying demonstrations are fans of smallmouth bass and muskie.  Josh and Ethan did a great job.  I knew they would.  These young fellows are good friends of mine and I have had the opportunity to peek in their fly boxes.  Josh and I fished together a few days last year.  As usual, I learned by watching them.  Fly tying and fly fishing is always changing.  Nobody has a monopoly on knowledge in this sport. 

Captain Dave Chouinard from Simms will be here all day.  He is out there right now in that mega showroom that you see in the picture below.  We’re thinking about bringing the gear in the store for him to show you today.  It is going to be windy and chilly.  I’m expecting a good crowd for a Sunday.  All you have to do is show up today and meet Dave. 

He’s a nice guy.  We went out to dinner last night and had a great time.  Simms makes some great gear that lasts and lasts.  They are building a new factory in Montana.  That will mean more jobs and more American made products.

I’m looking ahead at the weather.  By the end of the week it is going to feel like Spring again.  Fishing will improve.  This has been the best January from an angler’s perspective than we have had in years.  It looks like that trend will continue, at least for the next 7 days.  Anglers are getting excited about the coming of Spring.  I can tell by looking at our website traffic.  The online catalog is getting thousands of page views each day.       

Have a great day and thank you for being here with us.  Come on by today.  You might win a Simms Cap or T-Shirt. 

Byron Begley
January 29, 2012

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