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 overcast, raining and 47 degrees in Townsend this morning.  Traffic is very light.  The tourism business is slow today and will be until Christmas week.  Our famous Townsend Christmas Parade was postponed until next Sunday afternoon because of the rain.  Yesterday was not a good day for a parade. 

Little River is gushing a lot of water this morning.  Flow is 1,770 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 4.42 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 231 cfs.  The water temperature at 8:15 am is 51.5 degrees.  We had 1.1” of rain in our gauge and there is more to come.  Rainfall is expected to be sporadic and light through tomorrow night.  Then, we should see blue skies on Wednesday.  It will be colder too.  Lows will be in the 20’s and highs in the 40’s through Friday.  We may get rain or snow on Saturday.

Fly fishing in the Smokies could be dangerous and unproductive.  There is too much water in the Park streams.  To the East, Cataloochee Creek is flowing way above normal at 834 cfs.  Median flow for this date on that stream is 80 cfs. 

Tellico River is blown out at 1,860 cfs.  Oconaluftee River is flowing way above normal.  The Little Pigeon River gauge is currently reading 4 feet, up from less than 2 feet on December 6th. 

I don’t think there are many fishing opportunities around here.  This is fly tying weather.  Or in my case, this is working weather.

We do have a beginner fly tying class next Saturday and there are openings.  Click the ad below this text to get more information.

Paula and I have been in the fly fishing business since 1995.  I love this business.  I look forward to coming to work every day.  I have a passion for my work.

You may think I love this job because I’m around all the neat fly fishing gear all day.  That’s not the reason.  The reason is, I like being around fly fishing people.  I like working with the staff here.  They are all great people.  And, I love working with the customers and friends.  I feel blessed to have met the thousands of people who walked through these doors over the past 18 years.  We talk about fly fishing of course, all day long, every day.  This is the life I love. 

Customers and friends come here from almost everywhere.  Most live in the United States.  Some live in Europe, Canada or Australia and other Countries.  What we all have in common is this sport that we all love.

One of our good friends, Skip Mackey passed away last month.  Skip lived in Florida with his wife M E.  Skip encouraged her to take our fly fishing class years ago so they could fish together.  The both of them were always fun to be around.  He will certainly be missed by many people, probably more people than you would imagine.

You probably knew Skip but maybe you didn’t know you knew him.  Skip was an engineer at NASA.  So, why would you know Skip, an engineer at NASA?  Many of you knew him because he was the “Voice” of NASA during the 1960’s and 1970’s. During that time, when you heard the countdown at a launch, that was Skip.  When you saw the NASA Control People on TV, Skip was the man doing the talking to you and the astronauts.  So, unless you are very young, you probably knew Skip.  Below is a video of Skip doing his job.  It’s hard for me to watch but I thought this was appropriate to show you.

I pray for M E, Skip’s family and friends.  He was a great guy and avid fly fisherman.  “We’ll miss you Skip”. 

Also, please pray for Paula’s sister Sarah Myers as she is in surgery right now.  Paula just called and told me.

Thank you all for being our customers and friends.  You make my life wonderful.

Byron Begley
December 9, 2013

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