Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is cool this morning, 41 degrees right now.  Light rain is still falling and fog is blocking my view of the higher mountains in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Traffic was very light this morning.  I am at work now, but I’m taking the day off to tie flies at home after I finish this report.

Little River is gushing.  Flow is currently 1050 cubic feet per second.  Median flow for this date is 141 cfs.  Flow today set a record for this date.  The highest flow reading for November 17th was 889 cfs in 1990.  Yesterday’s record was broken as well.  During the night, the river peaked at over 5 feet on the gauge or about 2600 cfs.  I could see lots of debris over a foot above the current level. Datum dates back 46 years when the Townsend gauge was installed.

The water is stained somewhat and the water temperature is 52 degrees right now.  Just wait.  The low tonight is expected to be 26 degrees in the valley, and colder than that in the mountains.  It will warm by the weekend and the water will drop.  Fishing will probably be good this weekend.  Today, wading would be dangerous. 

This high water event came at a bad time.  The brook trout have spawned.  The brown trout have spawned and are still spawning.  I’m not sure what affect this high water will have on those beds but I suspect it will not be good.  I just don’t know.  It would probably be worse if the fry had hatched so maybe we won’t see much reduction in young of the year trout that are fall spawners.

Fishing has been excellent.  Anglers have been catching large browns and normal sized rainbows.  I have not heard much about the brook trout fishing but I assume it has been very good too. 

With these high water conditions, some of the local big trout anglers will switch to spinning rods.  They can avoid wading and present some big heavy flies or lures at a long distance, without the drag they would have with a fly line attached.  When the water drops back to normal, they will switch to fly rods again. 

Buzz, Dick and I spent the whole day yesterday working on a fly tying book.  This book will be used by students at the Clinch River Chapter of Trout Unlimited’s winter fly tying class.  We’ve been talking about this project for years.  The book will be contain about 20 pages covering 9 patterns and printed in full color.  There will be some other pages printed in black and white with illustrations and text that offer other information about tying flies. 

There will probably be two editions.  One will be offered in a three ring binder for the students.  Another will be sold as a GBC bound version.  We got a quote for the color printing yesterday from Hart Graphics in Knoxville.  The color portion, printed on coated heavy cover stock will cost about $6.00 per book.  That price was based on 20 color pages in each book.  Hart has a new print on demand full color press.  Theirs was the first to be installed in the United States.  It is made by Konica and it is state of the art in the graphics world.  When the Clinch River Chapter needs more books, they can simply call Hart and order them.  Unless we make changes in the book, the graphic files will be stored at the printing company.

Thankfully, Buzz and Dick had written all the text.  Dick used our macro equipment to photograph each step as Buzz tied the flies.  I loaded down the photos, changed them some in Photoshop then pulled them into Quark Express along with the text. 

We moved along fast.  We started around 9:00 am and stopped at 4:45 pm with a 30-minute lunch break.  We finished 7 of the 9 flies with 5 to 9 photos each.  We are planning to resume next Tuesday.  There will be a lot of tweaking before this goes to press.  I would imagine we will work together for two days total to have it ready to print.  That is about how long I thought it would take.  Buzz estimated two days too. 

We are already talking about a second class for intermediate patterns.  That will require another book or an addition to this one.  We had a great time.  We were an excellent team.  I’m hoping the Chapter can make some good money from this endeavor.  For sure, the students will benefit in a huge way.  I also learned some new tying techniques.  In this sport we are always learning.

One reason the Clinch River Chapter has been so successful is their focus on education.  It has been that way since their beginnings about 18 years ago.  That chapter has big plans and many of their members get heavily involved with Troutfest.  In fact, one of their members, Bill Guinn is now the Chairman of Troutfest.  Several CRC members serve on the Troutfest Committee.  They are a great bunch of folks and good friends.

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

Byron Begley
November 17, 2011

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Our fly fishing classes will be offered from March to October 2011.   To sign up just call the shop at 877-448-3474.  You can read more on our website in the Schools Section.  The fly fishing class schedule follows:

Saturday October 8 – Beginner Day One
Saturday October 22 – Beginner Day One
Sunday October 23 – Beginner Onstream Day Two

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