Townsend, Tennessee - Fly Fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  The fog this morning is extremely thick.  It was still dark when I drove to the river so that trip took a while.  I could not see the roof tops but at the shop I noticed frost on our boat and some water that had puddle in the bottom was frozen.  It is cold.  There must be frost on the ground and roofs too. 

Little River is flowing well.  Right now the flow is 173 cubic feet per second compared to median flow of 80 cfs.  The water temperature is 46 degrees in town.  The high today will be near 60 degrees and it should be sunny.  The water will warm up some later today.

I would wait to fish later today.  And nymphs would be my first choice.  They will need to be weighted and ticking the bottom.  Strike indicators will work OK but I would fish without them so the nymph can stay near the bottom no matter where I’m fishing.  Tellico, Prince, Hare’s Ear, Copper John and all rubber legged nymph patterns should work. 

You should have some blue wing olives and midge dry flies in your box.

Fishing has been excellent but I did not hear any reports yesterday after the water chilled.  I would imagine fishing was fine but I don’t know for sure. We will see some warmer weather starting tomorrow.  By Thursday the lows will be in the 40’s instead of the 30’s.  That will help.  The water levels in the Park are very favorable to anglers right now.

Tourism has slowed to a crawl now that the leaves have turned brown and are dropping off the trees.  Townsend will have visitors on the weekends but the other days will be quiet until Spring.  That makes it tough for businesses here.  We all struggle with the seasonality.  If we can work together as businesses with the Chamber of Commerce, Visitors Bureau and City Government, we could change that over time.  People need a reason to visit our town during the cold months.

One problem is, we don’t have an indoor facility in our town that is large enough to handle an event that would make a difference.  We do have the great outdoors, but no large gathering place.  We have plenty of motel rooms and rental cabins.  We have lodges and campgrounds.  But winter is a losing time of year for business here.  We struggle through and wait for Spring.

For us and you, Winter is a time to tie flies.  Maybe we need a big fly tying event here in January.

We held our Troutfest Marketing Committee meeting here yesterday.  It went well and almost everyone showed up.  David Anderson did an outstanding job as our new Chairman.  He is good at that.

Gary McCown wants to hold a warmwater fly tying class this Winter. I’m all for that.  I may teach a pattern myself.  But for the most part, students would learn to tie Gary’s patterns.  One pattern would be a popper.

Making poppers is a heck of a lot of fun and it is easy.  You can see how I make them by CLICKING HERE.  Bob Clouser showed me how to do this years ago. This is a 2 page instructional so when you get to the bottom of page one, click on page 2.  Since I wrote this I have made one significant change.  I stopped cupping the mouth of the poppers.  They are flat now.

Three weeks ago, or maybe longer I ordered some new popper body jig sets from Hareline Dubbin.  They were invented by Gary Krebs.  With these jigs you can cut the perfect popper body from foam cylinders.  They retail for over $40 and you get three different sized jigs.  I bought two and put them on a display in the shop.  I didn’t expect them to sell quickly.  Both sold to one person last week.  I will buy more this week.  You don’t have to use these as you can see on the instructional.  But, when I start making poppers again I’ll probably buy a set of the smaller jigs. You can Google Gary Krebs Poppers and see them used on YouTube.  These things are really cool.  Poppers are fun.

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

Byron Begley
October 31, 2011

Our fly tying classes are about to begin.  Here are the dates:

Beginner Fly Tying – Saturday November 12, 2011 – Saturday January 7, 2012 and February 4, 2012.

Intermediate Fly Tying – Saturday December 3, 2011 – Saturday January 21, 2012 and Saturday February 18, 2012.

Advanced Fly Tying – Saturday January 28, 2012 and Saturday February 25, 2012.

You can view the details and the schedule by CLICKING HERE.  This page references our beginner class.  You can go to the “Schools” menu to find information about the other classes. 


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