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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  The sky is solid blue and it is 28 degrees in Townsend this morning.  I know, the weather websites say it is 31 degrees or 33 degrees.  When I left home the thermometer on the front porch read 28 degrees and my truck verified that.  It is 28 degrees in Townsend.  Traffic was light at 7:45 am.

We have a thick layer of frost on everything.  The orchard in front of our house looked like snow had covered the ground.  A large flock of wild turkeys were walking around and they stood out vividly on the white ground.  One of the turkeys was limping.

Little River is flowing at exactly normal for this date.  Right now the flow is 148 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 148 cfs.  You can’t get much closer than that.  The water temperature is a chilly 42 degrees.

The Fishing Gauge is indicating “slow” which has been unusual this Fall.  Fishing has been very good to almost excellent so far until the past couple of days.  Today you have some negative conditions to deal with in the Smokies.  First, the sun will be shining all day with no clouds.  Second, the water is cold for now at 42 degrees.  We will see the temperatures rise later today.  Third, the water is extremely clear, mainly because it is cold. 

So, what do you do?  Well, wait a while before you go fishing.  Let the water warm some.  Use nymphs and get them down.  Pinch on some extra weight.  Choose nymphs that don’t have shiny components like gold beads.  Use more subdued flies.  Try smaller nymphs most of the time and larger ones if you see a large brown trout.  Use light tippet for just plain fishing for trout.  I would probably use 6X and be careful.  Use 8 to 12 pound for the big fish.

Stay low and blend in with the forest.  That is just as important now as it was during our low water period this Summer.  We’ve got plenty of water.  It is just extra clear right now due to the temperature.

Fishing will be best late today until dark.  After the sun moves down behind a mountain, the trout will be less likely to see you, your leader, fly line and tippet.  The water will be warmer too.

Even if the fishing is slow, don’t fret.  Enjoy your day on the stream.  Most importantly, enjoy your friends.  To me, fishing is about being with friends not necessarily catching fish. 

This is going to be a beautiful weekend in the mountains.  The high today and tomorrow is expected to be 60 degrees in the valley.  Low temperatures at night will be warmer than what we have right now. 

Good news for retailers in our area.  The Tennessee/Vanderbilt game is away and at 7:00 pm unless I read the wrong schedule early this morning.  Daytime home games kill us poor merchants.  And, I get to watch the game on TV tonight.  I work almost every Saturday and Sunday all year.  I’m not a huge football fan but I do enjoy watching some games.

I’m going for a bicycle ride late this afternoon.  My bike hangs on the wall in this office most of the time.  I’ve been walking or hiking several days a week for about a month now.  Bicycling is easier on the knees but harder on the butt.  It can also be hard on your head if you crash.  I’m giving the knees a break today.  I will be wearing a helmet.  I’ll probably do the same thing tomorrow.  This daytime weather is perfect for outdoor activities whether it is riding a bike, hiking or fishing.  It is not so good for hunting.  The deer hunters are probably liking this morning though.  I think this is the coldest morning we have had this Fall.

A lot of people will be out today.  We’re glad about that. Maybe the Fishing Gauge is wrong.

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

Byron Begley
November 17, 2012

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