Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is foggy, frosty and 27 degrees in Townsend this morning.  I can’t see Great Smoky Mountains National Park from my window.  I can barely see the shopping village next door.  It’s a good morning to be indoors and I guess, that is what most people are doing right now.  There was hardly any traffic on the streets.

Little River looks good and the water level is dropping some.  Flow is 470 cubic feet per second.  Median flow for this date is 247 cfs.  It is going to be sunny and around 50 degrees today.  And on Tuesday a warm front will move in again bringing more rain.  They say the temperature will reach 60 on Wednesday.  That will help the fishing.  The water temperature was 44 degrees in town at 8:05 am.  That is a little chilly for trout.

You can catch them though and the water may warm up a little today, then get back to the low 40’s again overnight. 

I would use nymphs, heavily weighted in the Park.  Get those flies down to the trout and practically hit them on the nose as the fly drifts by.  The post spawn browns are still hungry, they will eat if you happen to find one and don’t spook him or her.  I would use the old standard flies, Hare’s Ear, Tellico Nymph, Bead Head Pheasant Tail, Prince or maybe a Girdle Bug. 

The fishing has been quite good here in town.  Again, yesterday, I heard yet another report from a friend of mine.  He caught a few rainbows and a couple of brown trout in town.  Two of the rainbows he hooked were more than he could handle without running down the stream.  They got away.  Brown trout caught in Townsend?  How often do you hear about that happening?  Not very often. 

I do know of one person who supposedly releases browns behind his house in the river.  He catches them on the Clinch River.  I don’t know if it is true but I suspect it is.  Also, he feeds the trout which keeps them near his house.  That is a fun thing to do.  I did that for years in the spring creek that runs through our property.  I had two automatic feeders that blew trout pellets out twice a day.  The trout eventually grew to over 20”.  Before that, the trout were usually around 6 to 8 inches long.  There is not a lot of food in that creek.  The rainbows do spawn but they don’t grow much.  When people found out there were 20” trout in that creek, they came from everywhere to fish.  I finally removed the feeders and let the stream go back to it’s historical wild trout population. The people went away.

I wonder what is going on with the stripers in the tailwaters and lakes?  I haven’t talked to many striper fly fishermen lately. The fish are seeking warmer water and moving up the rivers to the dams.  That is what the experts say.  My next learning experience in life will be fly fishing for stripers.  I know who to go fishing with too.

I would say the smallmouth bass are dormant right now in the free flowing river and probably in the tailwaters too.  I can’t seem to catch them when the water is too cold or too warm in the lakes or streams.  The tailwaters are the exception.  They offer good smallmouth fishing during the summer when it is hot.  I have not fished for smallies in the tailwaters during the winter.  My guess is they are not feeding much.

I did see a nice musky fly yesterday.  Charlie, our friend and customer showed it to me.  That is another species I have yet to catch on a fly.  Actually, I have not caught one at all.  I have caught plenty of Northern Pike but never a musky.  There are some muskie fishermen in the area.  Most of them fish for those big fish on Melton Hill Lake.  During the winter they fish the “hot hole”, a steam plant discharge. 

It looks like some of the tailwaters in East Tennessee are letting up a bit on their flushing water through the dams.  I glanced at a few generation schedules.  The South Holston had a slot available.  The Holston appears to have a cut off for a while today.  Check with TVA before you go.  I didn’t study the schedules closely.  You can click on some of the links to the left and see the predicted release schedules. Check before you go.

I’m spending my time tying flies and working on our new website.  I’ll be selling the smallmouth bass flies next Spring and we’ll probably launch the new website in late February.

This new website has a different look and the architecture is going to change.  I bought new menu design software last week and had to learn how to use it.  Daniel was on vacation so that slowed down the learning curve.  But, he’s back and we got it going.  There will be new fishing and gear pages.  The pages will look different.  I’m hoping to start re-designing this page today.

And then there are the pages in the online catalog.  That is going to take some time.  I’m adding new content and photos.  I’ve changed the format for describing the item that is for sale.  The photography will be new on a lot of the pages.  To give you an example of how much time this takes, I tracked my time re-designing the Fishpond store.  It took about 80 hours and it has exactly 70 pages.  Each main category has a slide show.  I re-organized the categories and matched the Fishpond website.  So, it takes about one hour per page when you factor in some of the big changes I made.  The new version of the online catalog will not be finished in February.  I think that will take six months of full time work.

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

Byron Begley
December 18, 2011

Respond to:


Home - Contact Us - About Us - Fishing Report - Online Catalog - Message Board - Sitemap