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 raining lightly and 38 degrees in Townsend this morning.  When I walked out of the house earlier, to drive here, I heard wild turkeys yelping in the woods.  The chatter was a lot more than I hear most mornings.  I drove down the driveway.  I counted 16 turkeys, walking around in two groups in front of our house.  I love the sight of those birds.  When I was a kid, I never saw a wild turkey.  They were rare.  Now, they are everywhere.  Hardly a day goes by that I don’t hear or see a wild turkey at home.

Little River is flowing at 445 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.61 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 262 cfs.  You will find swift water in some areas so be careful wading.  Pick and choose where you fish and don’t try to wade across unless you know you can make it.  I would try to fish as close to the bank anyway to avoid spooking the trout.

The water temperature this morning is 43.5 degrees.  Most trout, especially the wild rainbows will be less active than normal.  You can still catch them.  The brookies should be fairly active and the larger browns that spawned will be hungry.  This is a great day to be fishing for them.  It is overcast so they won’t see you as well as they would on a sunny day.  The problem is, you won’t see them as well either due to the dark skies.

Nymphs would be a good choice at first.  I would use heavier tippet, maybe even 3X in case I did hook a good fish.  You could see some aquatic insects on the surface so be ready for dry fly fishing should that occur.  Use lighter tippet for dry fly fishing.  This would also be a good streamer day.  You could use a Wooly Bugger or Sculpin imitation.  Or you might do well with an attractor, something like a Slump Buster.  A rainbow trout colored Game Changer might be the ticket.

If I went fishing in the Smokies today, I’d use the Game Changer on an 8 weight rod with very heavy tippet.  Game Changers are not on the market yet.  They are expected in a few weeks.  Some shops may tie their own.  A lot of fishermen are tying theirs.  I know because we are selling a lot of the materials.

If you fish today in the high elevations you could encounter ice on some roads.  Right now, the only road that is closed due to ice is Old 284.  Mount LeConte got a dusting of snow last night and they are reporting slick trails.  I believe I would stay in the lower elevations today.

You might want to come here.  We have Dean Campbell and Phil Brandt tying for you.  This is a free demonstration.  Just show up between 10 am and 2 pm.  Dean and Phil are good friends and fishing buddies.  They like catching big fish on fly rods.  They enjoy fishing for landlocked stripers in our area lakes and tailwaters.  They also have the redfish figured out on the South Carolina coast.  They will be tying in different locations downstairs in the shop.

While you are here you can register to win a $100 LRO gift card.  We will draw at 2:00 pm.  We are doing this at every Saturday event.  It has been fun for us and our customers.  It has been especially fun for the winners. 

Walter is holding a small beginner fly tying class.  I think he only has 3 students. 

More fly tying materials arrived Thursday despite the winter storms out west.  We are organizing and stocking the new department and we are proud of the results.  It is a mini store within a store. 

Well, Dean and Phil are here.  Walter is here.  Glenn, Daniel and Alex are here.  Come on over.

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

Byron Begley
December 14, 2013

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