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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is sunny and 18 degrees in Townsend this morning.  The rooftops are covered with a thin layer of snow.  The roads are clear.  Traffic was light at 7:45 am. 

Little River is flowing at 254 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 367 cfs which is high.  The water temperature is a bitter cold 36 degrees.

The high temperature today won’t exceed 39 degrees by much if any.  It is going to be cold again tonight.  Tomorrow will be sunny and about 53 degrees.  Then, tomorrow night, warmer temperatures and rain will move into the region.

I expect fishing in the Smokies to be slow today due to the cold water.  Lately though, the trout and aquatic insects have been active in water temps in the mid 40’s.  Trout are taking tiny black stoneflies and blue wing olives.  A few hatches of Quill Gordons have been spotted.  Maybe the fishing will improve tomorrow afternoon.  I still think today, the fishing will be slow in the mountains.

If you go, try nymphs first.  A Tellico, Prince or Pheasant Tail should work as good as anything.  Get the nymphs deep, on the bottom.  You might get lucky.  If you see a hatch and trout activity switch to a dry.  A small black Elk Hair Caddis will work for the little stoneflies.  Any Blue Wing Olive pattern could produce as well.  Don’t set your expectations too high.  That water is cold.  Ask Pete.  He fell in Friday.  The water is much colder today.

Unfortunately, TVA is generating and sluicing at our dams nearby yet again today.  They just can’t let up or so it seems.  Fishing opportunities in the tailwaters are still limited.  It would be nice, if they turned off Norris, Cherokee and Douglas for a few hours per day for us fishermen. 

We had a great day yesterday.  They Boyds tied flies, we had a tying class going on and business was good.

You need to be here next Saturday.  That will be our last Free Tying Demonstration until Fall.  Our guest tyers will be Ray Ball and Clayton Gist.  I don’t have a picture of Clayton so he does not have a slide in the show at the bottom of this page.  They will be tying between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm.  Just show up, it’s free.

Ray grew up in the Smokies.  He knows these mountains, the streams, the flies and the trout like the back of his hand.  Ray is a great guy and good friend.  You will enjoy him.

Clayton specializes in tailwaters at this point.  He has guided on and fishes very frequently on the San Juan River.  He ties tiny flies that work.  He is very active in the Clinch River Chapter of Trout Unlimited and all of their great work.

We are meeting with one of our sales reps today, Raz Reid.  He sells for Sage, Rio, Umpqua, Tibor, Fishpond and other companies.  Since we are open on Sundays, and many fly shops are not, he scheduled us today.  When these guys are on the road they want to work every day if they can.

Our Spring merchandise will be arriving soon.  We try to arrange that with the coming of Angler’s Spring which is hard to predict.  One thing we can predict, we fishermen are ready to get back to our sport.  We are buying tackle.  We are planning trips.  We are buying flies.  We are preparing, wishing, hoping and pondering.  We are ready for the tailwaters to get back to normal.  We are thinking about hatches and feeding trout.  We are thinking about bonefish, permit, redfish and tarpon.  That’s what we do as February comes to an end and March begins.  It happens every year.

I hope you have a great day and thank you for being here with us.

Byron Begley
February 17, 2013

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