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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  Light snow covers the ground and it is 22 degrees at 7:45 am in Townsend.  The higher mountains got more snow than we did in the valley.  There was no fog this morning and the mountains were clearly in view.  It is pretty out there right now.  The roads were clear, even the back roads.

The weather forcast calls for sunny skies today and cold temperatures.  The high is supposed to be 30 degrees.  There is a 60% chance for snow tomorrow between 10 am and 2:00 pm and a 50% chance tomorrow night.  The low will be 19 degrees tonight or thereabouts, and the high tomorrow should be 42 degrees.

The river levels are dropping.  Little River is currently running at 1,210 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 305 cfs.  The water temperature is 43 degrees.

The lake levels are rising.  That water has to go somewhere.  It goes to the lakes.  Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is flushing water out of the lakes but not fast enough.  Generation schedules at our three major tailwaters nearby are running full throttle around the clock.  Those impoundments include Cherokee, Douglas and Norris.

Fishing conditions are awful right now no matter where you look.

Two hardy young men are camping at Cades Cove and fishing up there.  They arrived in the store yesterday.  One came from Texas.  They are tent camping.  I’m a little worried about them because one mentioned they had a heater.  It didn’t occur to me at first when I heard that, but since there are no electrical hookups at that campground, the heater must be propane or another fuel.  Heaters in tents scare the heck out of me because of carbon monoxide.  I hope they know about that.

I told them to fish Anthony Creek.  That stream runs off fast.  They are going to be dealing with cold water temperatures.  They didn’t seem to care.  They planned a Winter trip to the Smokies and they were not going to cancel it.  Bill and I looked at each other when the left.  He said he remembered when he would have done that.  I said the same thing.  I am sure this will be a memorable fishing trip.  Frank and I camped here in the 70’s or early 80’s one time when the temperature was cold like it is now and the streams were blown out.  We had a great trip.  We have never forgotten.

Just a few years ago, Frank, Brad and I drove to Michigan the first week of December to try for the lake run browns I the Manistee River.  Our guide was Chuck Scribner.  Chuck has a drift boat large enough for 3 clients and himself.

This fishing trip got off to a rough start when my truck’s front bumper was pushing snow on the road to our cabin.  Over a foot of fresh snow had just fallen.  The next morning when we met Chuck to fish the temperature was 5 degrees.  Being the good guide he is, Chuck gave us the option of canceling.  We didn’t.  The temperature never exceeded 20 degrees for three days of fishing in Chuck’s boat.  The temperature was always in single digits when we left to fish every morning.  We didn’t catch one trout during that three day adventure.  The fireplace and the warm cabin felt good when the day was over.  We had a great time.  We’ll never forget that fishing trip.

As far as I know, Mike Adams will be tying here tomorrow between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm.  This is a free demonstration.  Mike is a guide and fly designer, excellent fly tyer and a good person to talk to about fly fishing.  If the roads are slick we’ll cancel.  You can find out by checking here.  If the roads are OK, you should be here.  We’ll just have to see what happens.

Tim Ivey from Georgia was supposed to be here but had to cancel because of work.  We’ll miss seeing Tim. 

So, tie flies, read fishing books, watch fly fishing video or clean and lube your tackle.  That’s about all there is right now for us fly anglers.

Spring fishing conditions here could only be a few days away.  Or, it could be 4 weeks away.  It won’t be long.

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

Byron Begley
February 1, 2013

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