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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is overcast, raining lightly and 44 degrees in Townsend this morning.  Though rain has been falling since closing time last night, we had a mere .45” of water in our gauge.  There is a 50% chance for rain today.  Traffic is very light in town. 

Fly Fishing in Great Smoky Mountains National Park is awesome.  If you are fishing for all species and not targeting the spawners, don’t expect to catch the number of trout as you would in May.  Fishing is not that awesome.  But, if you combine each component that pertains to overall satisfaction, “fishing is very awesome”. 

First, there are not many people fishing in the streams.  Trout are taking nymphs well.  Trout are also taking dry flies, particularly blue wing olive patterns or similar flies.  Third but not as important to most anglers is trying to catch brown trout, particularly the males.  Those with the patience and skills are doing that.  The water levels are great.  The air temperature is comfortable in the lower elevations.  The water temperature is fair.  A little warmer water would be better.  For those who like to fish the stocked water in town, there appear to be plenty of big trout in Little River.  I don’t have personal knowledge about that.  That is what I’ve heard.  And finally, it is overcast.  Bundle these together and you have some happy anglers.

We are not busy at the shop.  Not many people are fishing.  This is a slow time of the year for us.  I cleaned two bathrooms day before yesterday.  I washed all the windows downstairs yesterday.  Business is slow.  That will change as we approach the holidays.  I hope so.

Notice the banner at the top of this page?  I always have a pretty picture up there. What caused me to deviate?  We are holding our first beginner fly tying class this Saturday.  We limit the students in our classes to eight.  Daniel told me yesterday morning that only 4 people had signed up for the upcoming class.  How could that be?  Maybe people don’t know.  So, I came up here and sat down at my Mac and quickly designed that ad at the top of the page.  It might have taken 30 minutes.  This happened at about noon, I think.

I went back downstairs and cleaned more windows.  The phone rang.  Someone signed up for the class on Saturday.  Twenty minutes later, the phone rang again.  Another person signed up for the class.  Now we’re at 6 students. I bet the class is filled before Saturday.

This fishing report page is not the most visited page on our website.  It usually ranks around 15th, way below some of the others when I check every morning.  But this page probably has more qualified prospective students than the others.  I don’t know that for sure.  I do suspect there are a large number of people reading this page who live close by.  I’m only guessing.

Walter Babb and I started teaching our Beginner Fly Tying Classes about 16 years ago.  He was the instructor and I was his helper.  We photographed the steps for an instruction booklet.  Back then the workbook was printed in black and white.  We didn’t have a photography studio in those days. 

The first photographs were taken using something called film.  Remember film?  Digital photography was not affordable or readily available to someone like us back then. Maybe it had not been invented yet.

Brian Courtney joined the instructor team.  Brian and Walter are excellent fly tyers, teachers and nice guys to spend the day with.

Then we added Intermediate and Advance fly tying.  Back then, the classes were taught in January and February.  Everyone likes to tie flies in the Winter.  The classes were usually filled quickly and we had waiting lists.  At some point we decided to add classes in November and early December.  They have always been harder to fill because of college football games.  But that did allow us to handle more students in 4 months than we did in two months.  Everyone wins.  I’m going to leave that box at the top of the page for a few days and see what happens.

Daniel will be writing the Fishing Report for the next 4 days.  I’m taking off to be with some of my buddies.  We call it a deer hunting trip.  Some of us have been friends for 56 years.  A couple of the guys only go back in my early days by 46 years.  And there are two that I’ve only known for 16 or 17 years. 

Somebody usually kills a deer.  I won’t kill one because I won’t be hunting.  Some of the other guys won’t be hunting.  But I’ll tell you this, we are going to have the time of our lives.  I can’t wait.

By the way, after today this is going to be a beautiful week.  Get out and enjoy yourself. 

Have a great rest of the week and thank you for being here with us.

Byron Begley
November 7, 2012

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