Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is foggy in the higher elevations of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Here in the valley, visibility is fine.  The rain stopped but the ground and everything around it is soaked.  The temperature was 38 degrees when I drove to work and this was quite a contrast from the weather we have experienced recently.  Traffic is light and it will be until next week.  The holidays bring in the visitors.  Everyone in town is looking forward to that.

Little River has plenty of water flowing through town.  Flow right now is 542 cubic feet per second.  Median flow for this date is 265 cfs.  The water is fairly clear and 48 degrees at the swinging bridge.  Actually, we have two swinging bridges in town.  One is near the entrance to Townsend on the Maryville side.  That is the other swinging bridge.  Then there is the one I refer to across the street from Miss Lily’s.  That is THE swinging bridge.

I expect fishing to slow down over the next few days.  The post spawn browns are hungry.  You might catch one of those.  I’m hearing more news about the stocked trout here in town.  People are catching a few nice ones.  The streams in the Park however are going to cool off.  The river temperature in town dropped several degrees since yesterday morning.  Tonight the low temperature is supposed to be 28 degrees.  It is going to feel more like December for now.  It will warm up later next week.

Right now it is overcast but today will be mostly sunny.  The high should be in the mid-40’s.  I would use nymphs, weighted well and fished deep.  Leave your strike indicators at home.  These fish are going to be on the bottom.  The browns might chase a fleeting fly, maybe a streamer, maybe a nymph.  But I would plan on “high stick’n” and dredging the bottom.  Here in town I would probably just use an olive Wooly Bugger for the rainbows.  There are some fish in the river.  Some are 16” to 20” long and maybe longer.  TWRA stocks this water this time of year.  I hear they are dumping some brood stock.  They’ve been doing it for years. 

Some anglers reported fair fishing over the past few days.  Others reported slow fishing.  The trout were active.  The browns still are.  But, it is still Winter and you can’t expect good fishing all the time.  You can expect better fishing some times during the Winter.

I got a haircut yesterday.  Now why would I talk about that?  I do, because living here in the Smokies, in a very small community, life is different but good.  My barber is technically a beautician.  She has a small shop at her house.  She has been cutting my hair for 17 years.  I really like her, though I don’t get my hair cut very often, I do see her around town and we always laugh about something.

Driving to her house/shop is a pleasant experience.  It is about a two mile drive out into the country.  When I’m there I park next to a pond.  During the summer, cattle are usually in the pond cooling off.  Her glass shop door frames a real view of the Smokies and the farmland in that little valley.  All I see outside are mountains, barns, farmhouses, cattle and hay bales.

I think we have a barber shop in town now.  I know we did, it may still be here.  But I will continue to take that short drive into rural Appalachia, to that little house next to the pond to see her.  Getting a haircut there is a very pleasant experience.  If it didn’t cost $12 I would do it more often.  Actually I pay her $15.

I looked at the numbers yesterday that pertain to the sale of Jim Casada’s book, “Fly Fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, An Insider’s Guide to a Pursuit of Passion”.  Jim and I were discussing via e-mail, reprinting the book.  The numbers are astounding.  I looked at both the hardcover and the soft copy sales for the past three years, by the year.  Yesterday, I noticed that three were going out in the mail to customers.  I gave Jim my opinion about how many we would sell per year. 

He is a great writer.  Even his e-mails to me are extremely well written.  His posts on our message board are well written.  He just won’t write anything that is not well thought out and using what I call “good English”. 

Jim was in town one day.  He stopped to ask a policeman, Frank, where the swinging bridge is located that Byron writes about.  Frank told Jim, “Byron can’t read or write”.  “When the City needs to communicate with Byron, we have to go to the store and read the ordinances and minutes to him.”  Jim got a laugh out of that one. So did Frank.  Frank gave Jim directions to the swinging bridge.  If I ever get pulled over for speeding, I’ll just tell Frank that I can’t read the speed limit signs.

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

Byron Begley
December 17, 2011

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