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.  It is cloudy and 44 degrees in Townsend, Tennessee this morning.  Light rain has fallen off and on since yesterday morning.  The total for the past 24 hours is .30” at the shop.  Fog is obscuring my view of the Smoky Mountains right now.  The rain is expected to end early afternoon.

Little River looks great!  The flow is perfect at 221 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.06 on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date based on 48 years of data is 173 cfs.  The water temperature at 8:00 am is 52 degrees.

Our serious dry spell has been broken.  At mid month we had very dry conditions.  Forest fires were a concern.  A wildfire was reported just outside the Park near Cherokee a week ago but it was contained.  A Park Service fire truck and crew helped out.  Now, that threat is over.

This is going to be an awesome fishing day.  Today, especially due to the cloud cover, you have a very good chance at catching a big brown trout.  Other species should be fairly active too.  The water is rising but I don’t know how much rain is falling in the higher elevations.  Right now, the water in Little River is clear.

This is a good nymphing day.  Tie on two and get them down.  That tactic is working right now.  If you are fishing for the larger browns you will need heavy tippet.  I would use 10 pound.  For normal fly fishing for trout you can get away with 4X since the sky is dark and the water levels are good.  Try a streamer.  I would use a Game Changer colored to look like a rainbow trout.  There is no telling what would happen in a stream that has a brown trout population.  Today is your day.

Mount LeConte may get snow this morning.  Allyson says the temperature up there is 35 degrees and raining.  If the temperature drops, they will have snow.  She thinks they will.

Tonight is going to be very cold.  The high temperature tomorrow is only expected to be 33 degrees.  Tomorrow night’s low will dip into the low 20’s in the valley.  It will be much colder high up where these streams are born.  I would expect the fishing to slow due to cold water.  More rain is predicted Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  The weather forecast for Thanksgiving Day is mostly sunny with a high of 42 degrees.

We do not have a fly tyer scheduled today.  This is the only Saturday that is not booked for our free fly tying demonstrations through February.  Nobody in our pool of friends who tie volunteered for this day.  Maybe football games or the coming holiday had something to do with that.

I thought about tying today but that will be impossible.  I’m so far behind due to the store remodel and I didn’t get much work done yesterday because the store was busy.  To me, work is doing the books, marketing and ordering.  Talking to customers is not work.  That’s the fun part.  I have not had a day off in 10 days and probably won’t until Thanksgiving.  There is just too much going on right now.

I’ll finish the Fishpond description signs today then start adding the new products to our online store.

Tomorrow is bookkeeping day.  I’m behind on that too. 

I hope you can go fishing today.  This may be your last chance for a few days unless you are willing to freeze your behind off.  Dress warm if you go fishing tomorrow.

Our business has really picked up as we near the holidays.  Customers are loving the new store design.  Fly tyers are especially excited about the new tying department.  Instead of a long 150 foot wall of merchandise, we have several walls and fixtures located in a small area, 700 square feet.  They don’t have to walk far to find stuff.  That makes the whole shopping experience better.

I tied two Game Changer flies this week using CCT Body Fur.  I have been using other materials and they worked fine but took a lot of time to tie a fly.  CCT Body Fur is fast and easy. 

I talked to Pat yesterday who owns the company that makes this material in Oregon.  I ordered everything he had in the regular size and white color.  He is out of the magnum size in white but I should have that in a couple of weeks.  He has been running his machine non-stop since this fly became popular.  Umpqua is buying the material from him to tie their Game Changers, which will be available in January.

I think we have a new supply of spines and Hareline’s Minnow Wrap at the post office.  If it is there, we’ll pick it up in a few minutes and have it out to sell today.  They sent it to us Priority Mail on Monday.  The CCT Body Fur I ordered yesterday should be here before Thanksgiving.  I have doubled up on the orders because this material and the spines sell so well.

After we are well stocked, I do some demonstrations at the shop so show customers how this is done.  It is very easy and these flies are awesome.  You do not need advanced fly tying skills to tie this fly.  All you need are very basic skills like wrapping thread and using a whip finish tool.  Clear Cure Goo and a curing light is helpful but not necessary.  You can use Zap A Gap or 5-minute epoxy or a combination of both.  The Goo just saves time.

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

Byron Begley
November 23, 2013

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