Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report from Townsend, Tennessee in the Great Smoky Mountains.  What a mess it was this morning.  An ice storm hit us sometime early around daybreak.  When I left the house to drive here the temperature was 32 degrees.  I had to wait until the ice melted off my windows before I could drive.  I pulled out on the gravel road and went into a skid down the hill.  This is a gravel road.  I don’t think that has happened before.  I got to the bottom of the hill and walked back to the house. 

It was already a lot warmer.  I hung around the house for a few minutes waiting for the ice to melt.  The thermometer on the front porch read 42 degrees then in a few minutes 45 degrees.  The big problem was going to be the concrete hill into our neighborhood.  I waited at the top of the hill for about 30 minutes then headed down very slowly, skidding a little with each movement forward.

Townsend was like I’ve never seen it before during the day.  There was no traffic at all.  Ronnie, our Police Chief was parked on the side of the road watching me go by.  I waved and he waved back.  It was 9:15 and everything was closed.  Stores, restaurants, banks and our store was closed.  Ethan was here and we opened up fifteen minutes late.  Will, who runs the bank next door arrived soon after I did.  He lives near us but higher up.  The roads are fine now.  It is 10:00.  But, what a morning it has been.

Most of the roads in the Park are closed.  441 from Gatlinburg are closed.  Little River Road, Foothills Parkway, and Laurel Creek Road are closed.  You can’t get to Cades Cove.  I bet most of them open soon.  Call 865-436-1200, push 2 when you hear a voice then push 2 again when you hear another voice.  That will get you to the road report.  One time I listed the road closing recording on this report but accidentally listed Steve Moore’s phone number instead of the main park number. Steve is in the Fisheries Department at the Park.   Steve got some calls that day he probably didn’t want to get.  I’m real careful now. 

Ethan and Joe walked into Metcalf Bottoms on Monday.  The roads were closed due to snow.  Joe hooked and lost a 16” brown.  They saw plenty of big fish.  But the cold water caused the browns to be lethargic.  They both ran flies right by their noses.  They didn’t get another take. 

I didn’t stop to take the water temperature this morning.  I imagine it is cold.  The mountains are clear of snow.  Yesterday they were white.  The wind is blowing and I expect we’ll have a very slow day.  Wow, a buzzard just flew over at the height of my windows up here.  There must be something dead in the field behind the shop.

Be careful out there.  Have a great day and thank you for being here with us.

Byron Begley
December 16, 2010

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Our fly tying classes will be held in January and February.  To sign up just call the shop at 877-448-3474.  You can read more on our website in the Schools Section.  The fly tying class schedule follows:

Saturday January 8 – Beginner Fly Tying
Saturday January 15 – Intermediate Fly Tying
Saturday January 22 – Advanced Fly Tying
Saturday February 5 – Beginner Fly Tying
Saturday February 19 – Intermediate Fly Tying
Saturday February 26 – Advanced Fly Tying

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