Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  The temperature was 34 degrees in Townsend when I drove to work.  The sky is blue and the air is very clear.  It feels like winter and it pretty much looks like winter.  Living here during the winter months is much different from what most of you are used to.  There are many advantages to being in the Great Smoky Mountains now through February.  It is hunting season for one.  It is time to hunt for big brown trout too.  Visitation to the Park is very low.  There, you will find peaceful solitude whether you are fishing or hiking.  You can see more of everything.  The leaves have fallen opening up the canopy which allows you to see parts of streams and mountains you can’t view during the other seasons.  From anywhere in our house on the front side we see Rich Mountain and Scott Mountain.  Cades Cove lies just over those peaks.  When the leaves come back in the Spring, all we see from our house is the forest.  I noticed this morning, since the time change the view was unencumbered by trees and fog.  It’s a great thing to see at first light.

Little River is in fine shape.  The water is clear and higher than normal. It’s cold though.  The water temperature was 42 degrees earlier.  The flow is 182 cubic feet per second.  Median flow for this date is 114 cfs. 

Fishing will improve as the water warms later today.  The bright sun makes fishing less productive so you will do better in the faster moving water that breaks the view that the trout has of you.  When they see you the game is over.  As the sun falls behind the ridges you are not as visible and the trout feel more comfortable.  The water will be warmer later in the day.  I would fish with nymphs and weight them with some split shot or tie them weighted. 

It is been very cold in the high elevations.  I noticed the temperature at Mount Leconte and Newfound Gap was in the teens Saturday night.  The latest weather report from the Park weather stations won’t be posted until about an hour from now.  Yesterday morning there was still 10 inches of snow on the ground at Mount Leconte. 

We are going to see and feel warmer temperatures later this week.  That will help the fishing. 

We had a great Troutfest Committee meeting yesterday at the shop.  We had about 14 people in our classroom including two new committee members, Bill Gwinn and Michael Turbyville.  These guys have special skills.  Bill is an organizer, plain and simple.  It was Bill who called me almost 18 years ago and asked me to start a new Trout Unlimited Chapter.  We did it and the Little River Chapter was born.  Bill lived in Greenville, Tennesse at the time and was the Chairman of our State TU Council.  I had never met him.  He talked me into it over the phone.

Michael has a degree in Public Relations, he is a writer and graphic artist.  He contacted me, told me about his background and I asked him to join our committee.  We are loading up with advertising and marketing people for a good reason.  Troutfest is attended by people from all over the country.  We need to get the word out.

Joe Rentz is retired from the University of Tennessee. He was a professor in the marketing department.  He is serving on our committee.  Neil Smith is another graphic designer with a special skill and experience.  He’s good at putting magazines together, all aspects of the process. 

Neil has been joined by Joe and Michael to publish a magazine called the Troutfest Journal.  In that magazine will be stories about fishing in the Smokies, people and the Park.  We are selling ads of course.  This may turn out to be a big money maker for Troutfest.  The magazine will be printed in full color.  Full page ads will sell for $1,000 but we’ll have other options for smaller ads at a lower cost.  We plan to print 2,000 copies and they will be sold at Troutfest, in stores and online.

Another very interesting and smart professional who serves on our committee is Frank Bryant.  Frank is President of Chota Outdoor Gear.  They make many products for the fly fishing and paddling industry including wading boots and waders.  Frank brings a fly fishing manufacturers perspective to the table.  The company is located in Knoxville so Troutfest is supporting his home waters.     

This year the Little River Chapter donated $45,000 to the Park with most of that money earned at Troutfest 2010.  I would like to see that amount jump to $65,000 next year.  As a committee we are watching all of our expenses closely.  This year around 160 volunteers made this great event happen.  Many of those fine people don’t even live in Tennessee.  We had volunteers who live as far away as Florida and Texas.  We have many other hard-working, good-thinking and nice people serving on the committee.  I’m serving as Chairman again for the third year.  I love doing this.  We all do.

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

Byron Begley
November 8, 2010

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We are starting our Free Fly Tying Demonstrations on Saturdays again.  All you have to do is show up.  Our fly tying demonstrators will be active between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm. 

On Saturday November 13th, Brian Courtney and Hugh Hartsell will be tying.  Brian is an excellent fly tyer.  He also teaches our fly tying classes with Walter.  Hugh is a guide specializing in the Smokies, South Holston and Holston Rivers.  He has a fly business and sells some unusual but very effective flies.  He is always willing to share what works for him. 


Our fly tying classes are starting Saturday November 20th.  The first one is a beginner school.  To sign up just call the shop at 877-448-3474.  Daniel is posting the dates on our website today in the Schools Section.  The fly tying class schedule follows:

Saturday November 20 – Beginner Fly Tying
Saturday December 4 – Intermediate Fly Tying
Saturday January 8 – Beginner Fly Tying
Saturday January 15 – Intermediate Fly Tying
Saturday January 22 – Advanced Fly Tying
Saturday February 5 – Beginner Fly Tying
Saturday February 19 – Intermediate Fly Tying
Saturday February 26 – Advanced Fly Tying


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