Townsend, Tennessee - Fly Fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, East Tennessee and Western North Carolina

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  The clouds are finally going away.  I can see spots of blue in the sky.  The temperature is 42 degrees in Townsend this morning.  This will be a beautiful day.  I’m here early, as usual, to write this report.  I don’t know what I would do without this task before me every day.  I would probably go to bed later and sleep later.  It is seldom that I know what I am going to write about before I get to work unless there is some outstanding story in my mind beforehand. Normall, I just get here early, sit down and start writing. I do check the local news websites. And sometimes I look out my office window and something comes to mind that I hope you are interested in. The whole process takes about an hour and a half, each day.

Little River looked awesome this morning.  I stopped at the swinging bridge just to watch.  The level is perfect for fishing.  Flow right now is 374 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 254 cfs.  The water temperature is a warm 49.7 degrees.  We are going to have some fairly warm days and nights.  Then, on Thursday we’ll get more rain.  Cold temperatures will move into the valley Thursday night with lows in the 20’s again which is more like normal.  The weekend should be clear and cool.

Fishing is good right now.  It has to be.  The conditions are perfect except for the water temperature.  For that to be perfect, the temperature needs to be 58 degrees.  The water temperature is pretty close to perfect.

I think nymphs will work best, any reasonable pattern.  To me, reasonable is a Prince, Tellico or Pheasant Tail.  If you can’t catch trout on those, they are not biting.  For a dry fly I would use a Blue Wing Olive #16 or #18.  If you spot a big brown try a Girdle Bug or a nymph that is big and ugly.  Those browns also take smaller nymphs, especially those with rubber legs.  You’ve got a good chance at catching your largest brown in the Park right now.  Don’t be disappointed if you fish for them and don’t catch anything.  You have to put in your time.

There isn’t much going on in town.  At issue this week is funding for the covered bridge.  It is not a covered bridge yet.  It is an abandoned concrete bridge, a very old structure.  The money to turn it into a covered timber frame pedestrian bridge has been almost met with a TDOT grant and a previously approved County commitment.  We started talking about this project ten years ago.  Things have changed.  Costs have gone up.  The timbers have to be pressure treated which adds more costs.  Our County Mayor, Ed Mitchell agreed to take $19,000 out of his budget.  The County has to approve more.  I think the total cost will be around $300,000.  The County Commission will vote Thursday night.  I plan to be there and maybe speak.

I think it would be cool to have a covered bridge at the gateway to our town.  We have swinging bridges.  We have new concrete bridges.  After all, we live and work in a river town.  Bridges are to be expected.  I hope we can get this done.

I can see the Foothills Parkway under construction from my office now that the leaves have fallen.  Right now, the sun is shining on the new bridges that are under construction.  This parkway project was funded in the 1940’s.  This missing link, that extends from Highway 321 near Townsend to the same highway near Pigeon Forge has had all kinds of problems.  Fund was one of them.  I think that has been taken care of.  I have heard some of the bridges were not built right and had to be replaced.  The new bridges are cantilevered off the mountains.  This project is expected to be completed in 2016.

I have been up there a few times though the road is not open to the public.  I was always invited by someone to take the tour.  On one visit, Congressman Jimmy Duncan gave a speech to about 20 of us and a TV crew. 

From up there, the view of our valley is spectacular.  There are no other views of this valley from that high up except for Gracehill Bed and Breakfast.  We are all looking forward to getting this link of the Foothills Parkway open.  Like the covered bridge, it gives us one more asset for tourism and culture.  You can read more about this highway on Wikipedia by CLICKING HERE. Here is an article describing the construction going on now on the Daly Times Website CLICK HERE.

We here are all fortunate to live in the land of mountains, rivers, lakes, wildlife and beautiful views, something we do no take for granted. And you can visit here whenever you want to.    

Get out there and fish.  This is a great opportunity.  Winter will surely become a reality soon.

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

Byron Begley
December 18, 2012

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