Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report from Townsend, Tennessee.  It was 24 degrees when I drove to work.  I guess Spring is over.  The sun is shining though, at least for now.  Traffic is light on the streets, I saw a few cars on my way here.  But, our quiet little town is quiet today. 

Little River looked nice this morning.  The flow is strong and the water is clear.  Yesterday the water temperature was 44 degrees at 8:30 am.  Today it is 38 degrees.  It is very cold in the higher elevations of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Flow is currently 553 cubic feet per second.  Median flow for this date is 339 cfs. 

The weather forecast calls for rain and some snow starting tonight.  That will continue through Saturday.  It is going to be too warm for the snow to stick down here.  In the Smokies it is a different story.  The rain down here may be snow up there.

It will be a good time to fish believe it or not.  There is plenty of water, it will be overcast and precipitation is good for fishing.  Use nymphs and streamers.  Give them some extra weight.  You won’t catch a lot of fish but you might score a big one.  Fishing is still considered to be slow but they can be caught as evidenced by some of my friends who are fishing.  More than anything, it will be good to get out.

Jack caught a huge brown on the South Holston this week.  I saw the picture Donna sent Paula.  I couldn’t tell how large it was but it appeared to be well into the 20”+ range.  I saw a picture once of Jack with his largest brown trout ever.  I think he said it was 36” long.  He lost one that he believes would have exceeded 20 pounds in a lake around here.  He has caught some nice browns.

I talked to several smallmouth fishermen yesterday.  I consider myself one of them.  Lately I’ve been targeting that species more than any other.  To me it a phase and a good one.  Yesterday I heard stories about 100 fish days and 8 pound plus fish.  Tennessee is the smallmouth state, I heard the Chief of Fisheries at TWRA refer to us as that one time and I agree.  Of course the world record smallie comes from our state.  That fish was caught a long time ago. 

But I can’t wait until those fish get active and I hope to be on the lake often during that time.  We keep at least 5 fly rods in the boat, strung up for almost any conditions when the smallmouth bass are really active.   My favorite fly is the Stealth Bomber.  I like catching these fish on top.  Wooly Buggers and Puglisi Threadfin Shad are also great flies for these fish.  You better use at least 8 pound tippet or you will be breaking off often when the fishing is really good.

Soon, we will start seeing hatches in big numbers on the Smokies streams.  When the water temperature exceeds 50 degrees for a few days it will happen.  It could happen this month.  It has before.  Or, it could happen in early March.  Time will tell.

New tackle will be arriving at the store soon.  We scheduled most shipments beginning at the end of February and into the first week of March.  Much of the new tackle is not even available until March 1st.  The manufacturers target goods for the Southeast United States first.  That’s when we start fishing here.  Later, the Northeast and Midwest will kick into gear.  Then the Rockies will start getting their new goods to sell.  I’m glad we live in the area where fishing begins earlier.  Our winters are short.  Our fishing season is long.  We even fish year round.  But Spring will not be here soon enough for me. Thank goodness for fly tying.

Mike Adams will be tying here on Saturday.  Many of you know Mike.  He is a guide specializing on the South Holston and Watauga Rivers.  His fly tying skills are unbelievable.  He will tie between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm. It's Free! Just show up.

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

Byron Begley
February 3, 2011 

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Our fly tying classes will be offered in January and February 2011.   To sign up just call the shop at 877-448-3474.  You can read more on our website in the Schools Section.  The fly tying class schedule follows:

Saturday January 8 – Beginner Fly Tying
Saturday January 15 – Intermediate Fly Tying
Saturday January 22 – Advanced Fly Tying
Saturday February 5 – Beginner Fly Tying
Saturday February 19 – Intermediate Fly Tying
Saturday February 26 – Advanced Fly Tying


Our fly fishing classes will be offered from March to October 2011.   To sign up just call the shop at 877-448-3474.  You can read more on our website in the Schools Section.  The fly fishing class schedule follows:

Saturday March 26 – Beginner Day One
Saturday April 9 – Beginner Day One
Saturday April 30 – Beginner Day One
Sunday May 1 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday May 7 – Beginner Day One
Saturday May 21 – Beginner Day One
Sunday May 22 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday June 11 – Beginner Day One
Saturday June 25 – Beginner Day One
Sunday June 26 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday July 9 – Beginner Day One
Saturday July 23 – Beginner Day One
Sunday July 24 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday September 10 – Beginner Day One
Saturday September 24 – Beginner Day One
Sunday September 25 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday October 8 – Beginner Day One
Saturday October 22 – Beginner Day One
Sunday October 23 – Beginner Onstream Day Two

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