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 foggy, frosty and 27 degrees in Townsend, Tennessee this morning.  According to the caretaker at Mount LeConte, it is warmer there than it is here though he is located several thousand feet higher.  That is probably due to a temperature inversion, which happens occasionally.

This is going to be a beautiful weekend.  It will be chilly though, lows in the 30’s and highs in the 50’s through early in the week.  Then, it is going to get even warmer. Lows should be in the 40’s with highs in the high 50’s to 60 degrees.  Sweet!

Little River is flowing at 265 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.44 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 243 cfs.  The water temperature at 7:55 am is 40 degrees.

Well, the people who are fly fishing in the Smokies and reporting here are not catching many trout.  I did talk to one person yesterday who saw someone else catch one.  When the water temperature is 40 degrees, the fishing slows.

It will get better.  The water will warm some.  The best things to do when we have conditions like this are:

Fish later in the day after the water has warmed.

Use nymphs, weighted to get them down.

If you see some sort of hatch, and trout are feeding on the surface, switch to a dry.  That probably won’t happen but it could.

Be careful and stay close to your vehicle where you have a change of dry clothes stashed in case you fall in.

You will enjoy Winter fishing.  The action is nothing like Spring.  You will see a different Great Smoky Mountains now that the leaves are gone.  You can see more of everything.  I love the look of the forest during the Winter.  Maybe it is because I don’t get out there much.

Winter is also a great time to go hiking.  You don’t see many people.  You notice details in the streams you never see during the warm months.  It is just a good time to be out if you are dressed for it.

I am enjoying ordering new materials for the brand new fly tying department.  Now that we have more space and it is very organized, ordering and trying to determine what fly tyers want and need has become easier and fun.  We are weeding out the slow selling stuff and putting it on sale.  That frees up cash and space.  Yesterday I ordered a couple of different purple dubbings.  Purple flies are getting to be popular with trout fishermen on the tailwaters.  Since I’m going to be in that department more often now, I can learn what fly tyers are thinking and what they are needing.  Then, I simply order it.

The Boyds, Bill Sr. and Bill Jr. will be tying today.  This is a free fly tying demonstration for you.  All you have to do is show up.  They will be tying between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm.  These guys are fun to watch and listen to.

Next Saturday, Rob Fightmaster and Tradd Little will be tying.  Rob is a local fly fishing guide and an expert fly tyer.  He does most of his guiding in the Smoky Mountains.  Tradd Little is an 11 year old who has taken up fly tying and he is good at it.  Tradd lives in South Carolina.

Business at the shop is good.  We are way up from last year this month.  Gift Cards are selling well.  Customers like them because they can be redeemed at the shop, online or over the phone.  You can buy them the same way.  And, they don’t expire.  You can use them over and over until you balance is depleted.  Then, you can buy another one or get one as a gift.  They are a handy way for anglers to shop.

We don’t charge for ground shipping for almost everything except a boat.  Customers like that too.  And, if we don’t have something you want, we can order it.  Most special orders take about a week.  We do a lot of special ordering during the holidays.  We can’t stock everything made for fly fishermen.  But, we can get almost anything for you.  In some cases, we have the manufacturer send an item directly to the customer.  When that happens, you are still not charged for shipping.

Doug, Matt and I are plotting against the wild boar.  I don’t know if we’ll get it done this Winter, but our plan is to trap these undesirables and butcher them.  We started talking about this the day before Thanksgiving.  We already have the trap.  Matt is the expert.  He started trapping hogs a few years ago.  On his first night, he caught 7 shoats, or young piglets.  Young piglets do not require much butchering because you can cook them whole.  He has also caught plenty of adults.

Wild boar makes excellent table fare.  I love it.  Additionally, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and Great Smoky Mountains National Park are doing everything possible to rid us of these invasive non-native species.  The boar we have here are descendants of Russian Boar that escaped from a hunting preserve in North Carolina.  They are mostly solid black.  I have seen one that was most likely the offspring of a Russian and a feral pig.  All the others I’ve seen are Russian.

I was on a wild boar hunt about three years ago.  One of the guys in our group shot a nice boar, a 150 pounder.  He and a couple of other guys were skinning the boar while the rest of us were cooking dinner.  I was cooking steaks on the grill.  One of the skinners brought over a fresh chunk of boar tenderloin and threw it on the grill.  We ate it as an appetizer.  It was awesome.

There is so much for a guy like me to do in Townsend, I hardly leave.  I don’t think I have been to Maryville in a couple of months though I did drive through on the way to a hunt in Kentucky a few weeks ago.  When Paula and I go fishing we might drive 10 to 35 minutes.  Paula does the shopping.  I just stay here, work, tie flies, fish and do things I really enjoy.  This is the perfect place for me.

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

Byron Begley
November 30, 2013  

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