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

Welcome to the Fishing Report from the Great Smoky Mountains.  When I drove to work this morning it was dark, extremely foggy and 44 degrees.  There was almost nobody on the streets or at what few businesses were open.  This must be a good morning to sleep in. 

Little River is flowing at a great level this morning.  Though we did not get measurable rainfall in the valley Thursday night, we got some in the mountains.  The water rose to a reading of 2 feet on the flow gauge or 200 cubic feet per second (cfs) discharge.  Now, it is down to 1.66 feet or 110 cfs.  Median flow for this date is 112 cfs.

The brown trout are getting very active.  Some are spawning.  The males are fighting each other for a chance to fertilize a nest full of eggs.  Their activity will heighten over the next couple of weeks.  Fishermen are catching browns, and really nice fish just by doing their normal routine, drifting nymphs or dropping a nymph off a dry fly.  Rainbows and brook trout are active too.  There are also fishermen who are targeting the really big fish.  That takes patience and skill.

This will be a perfect fishing day in the Smokies.  It should be overcast much of the day according to the forecasters.  The water temperatures are good.  The fish are active and the water level is normal.  I expect to see some anglers fishing today.  Of course, college football games will keep many off the streams depending on when the game starts.

Dry flies have been working but most fishermen are using nymphs, at least the ones I talk to.  Good nymph patterns are Tellico, Prince, Pheasant Tail, Copper John and many other patterns.  There are midges on the water.  Trout are taking them too. 

Walter Babb will be tying flies here today from 10:00 am til 2:00 pm.  This is a Free Fly Tying Demonstration.  All you have to do is show up.  Walter is one of the best trout fly tyers I have ever seen.  We have been friends so we’ve gone on fishing trips together. He is also one of the best trout fly fishermen I have ever fished with. 

Walter is a full time bamboo rod maker.  He is never caught up.  You can order one of his beautiful fly rods and it may take a few months to get it.  His customers are patient.  They know when they get their rod, it was worth the wait.

There is a lot going on here.  Shipments of fly tying materials have arrived from several sources.  Our fly tying business has been unbelievably good.  So good in fact, we are having trouble keeping the materials in stock.  I think we’ve go that problem solved.

We are still working on the store remodel.  The fly tying department is now mostly on the second floor of the shop.  It is a very large fly tying department.  I don’t remember ever seeing one larger.  We still have more materials to move upstairs and it is kind of messy up there.  We have new lighting ordered and it should be here in about a week. 

The rods are downstairs now after over 9 years being located on the second level mezzanine.  The rod department is very large.  We are stocking more rods now.  They are displayed by line weight.  So, if you are looking for a 5 weight rod, they are all in one location. 

Last night, Daniel and Alex were re-stocking the fly tying department.  A large shipment of hooks came in.  The Game Changer materials arrived.  And, during the past week, we have received 3 boxes from Wapsi, our largest supplier of materials.  So this is also going to be a good fly tying shopping day.  You can do that after you watch Walter tie.  You can also go fishing later.  This should be a nice day around here.

I am signing up more participants on our special events schedule.  CLICK HERE to see it.  You will also see the dates for our Winter fly tying classes. 

We have some new people who you may have never met at our events this Winter.  Rocky Cox will be tying this year.  He is a seasoned guide, specializing in tailwater fishing from a drift boat. 

Alex Quick has never tied here.  He is in charge of the fly fishing program and other “things to do” at Blackberry Farm and Dancing Bear Lodge.  He also guides in the Smokies when he can. 

Frank Bryant, who owns Chota Outdoor Gear will be here in January.  He is a great guy to talk to.  He is smart and innovative.  He designs everything they sell.  We sell a lot of Chota gear.  His “Hippies” concept and line of merchandise has been a home run for his company and ours.  The new camo versions of Hippies and chest waders are selling very well, especially for those who fish small streams and rivers for trout or hunt waterfowl.  

Kent Edmonds plans to be here all day on a Saturday in January.  We have not set a day yet.  Kent is a guide and fly fishing sales representative.  He is also a certified fly casting instructor.  Kent invented the famous Stealth Bomber bass fly.  He will be tying part of the day and giving free casting lessons after that.  He works for Temple Fork among other companies.

There are many others lined up as you can see on the schedule.  Our first beginner fly tying class will be held next Saturday.  If you are ready to take that step, we are a good place to start.  All of our classes, from beginner to advanced are trout fly specific.

Well, it is 8:30 am, time to get to work.  I enjoy getting in here are writing this report for you.  I’ve been doing it almost every day for nearly 7 years.  I get up early, get in here early and get this done by the time we open the store.  I guess you could say it has become a habit.  I can think of worse habits.

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

Byron Begley
November 2, 2013

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