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. The sky is clear and the temperature is 42 degrees this morning.  I noticed quite a few cars in the motel parking lots but nothing like we saw in October.  The mountains are slightly on the dark side but there is still plenty of color.  Leaf season came late this year in our neck of the woods. 

Little River is flowing at 75 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 1.5 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 119 cfs.  The water temperature at 7:50 am is 49 degrees.

Fishing is good.  Fishing is excellent for some anglers.  I am getting reports and seeing pictures of some very nice brown trout that have been caught in the 22 inch to 24 inch range.  Some of my friends are spotting some huge browns in the Smokies streams.  Jack held his open hand at the top of his leg to describe one.  And, Jack is always conservative.  Others have described seeing browns in the 28 inch to 30 inch range.  Some females have spawned.  Some have not.  Males are fighting and chasing each other around.  Jack described seeing as many as 20 redds in one pool.

What are they catching these fish on?  Nymphs for the most part.  A lot of these fishermen have their own concoctions of nymphs, many with rubber or silicone legs. I think pattern is not nearly as important as stealth, accurate presentation and determination.  Fishing for these fish is not for everyone.  

For those who prefer to catch more fish and not concentrate on catching a trophy, nymphs are good for that too.  You may also do well with dry flies.  When the water warms up during the day the trout may be looking up where you are fishing.

The streams are low so care must be taken not to be seen.  Unless you are trying to catch a 25 inch trout, use light tippet.  6X should work.

It is going to be sunny today and tomorrow, which makes it tougher to catch trout in the clear low water.  Clouds and rain will move in Wednesday night.  It is going to be colder too.  I hope we get the rain.  That will improve the fishing even more.

I am working on the Free Saturday Events and adding new talent almost every day.  Hugh Hartsell will be tying here this coming Saturday, the 9th.  He will begin at 10:00 am and finish up at 2:00 pm.  All have to do is show up, sit down and watch Hugh.  Hugh is a professional fly tyer and former Smokies guide.  Hugh actually sells his flies and they are unique patterns.  He will discuss fishing in the Smokies as he ties.  It’s Free so be here and enjoy yourself.  You will learn a lot of stuff watching Hugh.

On Saturday November 16th, Rex Wilson will be tying.  Many decades ago, a man named Frank Coffee from North Carolina sold flies to stores in East Tennessee and West North Carolina.  He had contract tyers.  Frank’s patterns are still discussed and used even today.  Rex was a young man at the time and was one of Frank’s contract fly tyers.  You can tell when you talk to Rex and watch him, he has done this thousands of times. 

Also, on that day, John Ross will be here.  This is a book signing.  He will be selling his new book, “Trout Unlimited’s Guide to America’s Best 100 Trout Streams”.  Many of the streams in his book are right here in this area.  Jack and I were looking at the book yesterday.  There is a picture of Jack fishing Little River.  All profits from the sale of the book that day will be donated to the Little River Chapter of Trout Unlimited.  It’s Free, just show up.

I am talking to the dad of a very young fly tyer from South Carolina.  His name is Tradd Little.  Tradd is 11 years old.  He has not been tying that long but he is talented.  I can’t believe his flies.  He is anxious to tie on a Saturday this Winter.  I sent them the dates and should hear back soon.  You need to be here on that day. 

You can see the Free Event schedule and the Fly Tying Class schedule by CLICKING HERE.

Jack and I worked all day on our remodel project.  Jack is a home builder.  He did the thinking and I did what he told me to do.  We walked up and down the fire escape carrying boards he cut and I stained outside all day long.  I was exhausted by the end of the day.  We had a great time though and we talked about fishing of course.  He is the best fly fisherman I have fished with.  His largest Smokies trout is a record he set last year, a 30” brown.

I used a belt sander to smooth out the boards before finishing them with a smaller sander.  If you have used a hand held belt sander you know what I mean when I say, those things can run away from you.  I have a big one at home that is really hard to hold.  Jack told me that some guys have started racing belt sanders.  I’ve heard of racing lawn mowers but never sanders.  He said they build faster motors and enter competition.  I bet we see that on Duck Dynasty one day.  I would really like to go to a belt sander race.  I can just see those builders and carpenters running down the track following their sander and holding a long extension cord high as they run.  That must be very entertaining.

Well, I did an internet search and found a race on YouTube.  It is not what I expected at all.  And, I found a Belt Sander Racing Association (BSRA) website.  CLICK HERE TO SEE IT.  The entrants are not running along with their sanders as I expected.  But, it is still something I would like to see. 

Hey, there is a chance our phones will be down for a time today.  We are preparing for a new digital installation scheduled for next Tuesday.  A phone expert will be here working today.  I don’t know what to expect.

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

Byron Begley
November 5, 2013

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