Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report from Townsend, Tennessee in the Great Smoky Mountains.  It is cold this morning but the sun is shining and the sky is completely blue.  I saw quite a bit of traffic this morning.  People are going to get out today, wait and see.  Looking ahead next week, the weather forecast is much different from what we have been seeing.  By next weekend we should experience high temperatures in the low 60’s and lows in the 40’s.  Every day for the next seven will be sunny. 

We are starting to think maybe winter is over.  Sure, there will probably be another snowfall or maybe there won’t.  We are thinking the water will warm up to that magic 50 degrees sooner than later.  We have to look at this.  Our business depends on it.  When will that happen?  When will the bugs start hatching?  How do we prepare?

In our case we’ll start getting the little stuff in that you will need like floatant, small tools, Quill Gordons, Blue Quills, leaders, fly lines and things that we can order one day then receive three days later.  The big stuff like rods, reels, vests and clothing were ordered last fall.  We know when that is coming in.  It will be here in two weeks.  But all the small things that are essential must be monitored weekly, ordered weekly and received weekly.  This is the way our business works.  And everything depends on the water temperature.

Right now the water is cold, 35 degrees.  The flow is lower than normal, 224 cubic feet per second in Little River.  The trout are not very active.  But, we are going to see that gradually change over the next few days.  We feel, see and smell the coming of Spring.

People will be fishing in the Park this weekend.  There will be more people fishing there next weekend.  We don’t know about the weekend after next.  It could go either way.  But on Thursday, after we saw the 10 day forecast we switched into Spring mode, just in case it happens in the next two weeks.  It has happened in late February before. 

For now, use nymphs.  Give them some extra weight and get them down on the bottom of the stream.  The warmer the water gets, the more the trout’s metabolism will be super-charged.  They will need food.  Right now due to the cold water they are enjoying a dormant life with plenty of dissolved oxygen in the water.  But when that time comes, and it won’t be long, it will be time for us to have our fun.  We’ll see buds and leaves sprouting on the trees.  We will see the early flowering plants on the forest floor.  Insects will be flying and crawling.  Bears will emerge from hibernation.  Bird species that we have not seen or heard in a while will arrive here.

This will happen sometime between the next two weeks and the next four weeks.  It won’t be long.

Troutfest banquet tickets are selling well.  One customer bought 7 yesterday.  We got three online orders this morning before opening time.  We are only going to sell 350.  We decided anything over that number would cause service problems for the banquet staff.  350 is a very manageable number.  Last year we served 300 and that was not a problem.

Brian Courtney is tying flies at the shop today for you to see.  This is a free fly tying demonstration.  Brian is an excellent tyer and angler.  I know, I’ve fished with him many times.  He likes fishing in the Park.  It is not unusual for him to catch 30 trout in a few hours.  I’ve been there when has done that.  He usually stops at that point.  If he fished all day there is not telling how many trout he would catch when the fishing is good.  So, come by and watch.  Come by and pick his brain.  He will be tying from 10:00 am til 2:00 pm today.

We held the most interesting city planning commission meeting Thursday night I have ever attended.  I had the subject “pedestrian mobility” on the agenda.  Wow, did that get our commissioners thinking.  I’m the old man and Chairman of the commission.  The Mayor is around my age.  But most of the commissioners are younger.  We have three engineers, one a young lady who is a civil engineer specializing in transportation.  Michael Talley and I are the business people.  We also have a woman who is a school teacher and another who runs the Appalachian Bear Rehabilitation Center.  Our State Planner is another young guy.

We were thinking “out of the box”.  The ideas were popping out like quill gordons.  We discussed:  American Disabilities Act, Crosswalks from one side of our main highway to the other, Maintenance of the Bike Trail, School Crossing and sidewalks to the school, Crosswalks at places of public interest such as the Visitors Center, Heritage Center and the Railroad Museum.  We discussed clear zones, medians, bicycle lanes on 321, bicycle stands at businesses, our under the road tunnel system, lighting for crosswalks, lighting the new bridge over Little River and Rest Areas with rest rooms. We even got on the subject of Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEVs) and charging stations.  We talked about any future developments and if they should be required to build sidewalks. 

We are going to continue this discussion at every planning commission meeting in the future.  I am putting it on the agenda every month.  I bet there will be plenty of public meetings in the future to get our community involved.  This is exciting planning.  I’m sure every commissioner would agree, this was the most fun we’ve had in a long time. 

Here is a link to what could be MY NEXT CAR.  She has a 7 to 21 horsepower motor, 6 12 volt batteries and a top speed of 25 miles per hour.   

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

Byron Begley
February 12, 2011

2011 Tennessee Trout Unlimited Summer Camp

Tennessee TU is sponsoring a week-long summer aquatic biology and trout fishing camp at Great Smoky Mountain Institute at Tremont. The camp will be held Monday, June 20 - Saturday, June 25 and is for middle school-age boys and girls. Cost of the camp is $465. Go to TU Clinch River Chapter website, for more information and an application.  Applications are due March 1st.  This is an opportunity of a lifetime for young people.

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Volunteer for Troutfest


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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