Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report from the Great Smoky Mountains.  It is foggy and 41 degrees in Townsend this morning.  I noticed a lot of local residents out early.  It feels good outside, especially for mid-December and folks are going to take advantage of this beautiful weather.  Today the forecast calls for partly sunny skies and a high of 64 degrees. 

Little River looks perfect.  The flow is 335 cubic feet per second.  You couldn’t ask for a better flow for fishing.  Median flow for this date is 260 cfs.  You can see that the water levels are getting closer to normal.  The water is getting warmer too.  This morning at 7:50 am the water was 46 degrees in town at the swinging bridge.  It will warm up even more later today.

Fishing is going to get better.  The conditions are much more trout friendly now than you would usually have during December.  The conditions are more angler friendly too.  Do yourself a favor and go fishing today.  I wish I could.

You may do better using nymphs early.  I would use a Tellico, Prince Nymph or Bead Head Pheasant Tail for catching more trout. I would use a rubber leg nymph of some sort for the browns.  You could do well with a streamer for those fish too.  Also, dry flies might work, especially if you see a hatch of blue wing olives or midges.  As the water warms the trout will become more active and they could be feeding on top.  That would depend more on where you are and when you are there.

I know a few people who will be fishing in the Smokies today.  Generation schedules have been making it hard for the wading angler to fish the tailwaters.  Some of those fishermen who normally fish the tailwaters are fishing the freestone streams.  Hopefully, TVA will reduce the releases soon below the impoundments.  I have not looked but maybe today will be the day.  Check before you go.

Buzz, Dick and I finished designing the Clinch River Chapter Fly Tying Book yesterday.  The three of us together spent 2 ½ days on it.  I know they spent many more days getting ready for the design work the three of us did.  It was quite a project.  The end result is really good.  I think we did a great job.  The book will be used as a guide for the TU Chapter’s beginner fly fishing school which will be held in January.  They also plan to sell copies to raise money for the good work the Clinch River Chapter does. 

David Ezell and I will start updating the Troutfest website either late this week or early next week.  This year, the update will begin much earlier than it has in years past.  Usually I have worked on it a little at a time starting in January and have it finished in March.  Since two of us will be doing the work, we will have to schedule the times to meet. 

This is going to require the Troutfest Committee to get the information to us earlier than we have in the past.  It is hard to design web pages unless you have all the information.  A page design begins from a concept plan with emphasis placed on search engine optimization.  Right now, if I Google “Fly Fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains”, Troutfest comes up 4th on the page just above our website.  That is where we want it to be.  There is a reason it is ranked high.  If there are major changes later, some of the pages may have to be re-designed using a new concept plan.   

I’m a little nervous about this but we’ll make it work.  Starting earlier will help.  David has a marketing and publishing background.  So do I. I’m looking forward to working with him. It will be a team effort. 

We have rain in the forecast starting tomorrow. It looks like the rain will continue through Friday night.  The temperatures are going to be pretty warm so fishing is certainly an option.   I’m planning to take tomorrow off.  I’m going to tie flies all day.  I will write this fishing report.  I may do it from home and take the water temperature tonight.

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

Byron Begley
December 14, 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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