Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  Clouds cover Townsend, Tennessee this morning.  It is fairly cold, 29 degrees.  Traffic is very light.  Frank was parked at the bank which is usual on a Sunday morning, checking driver’s speed with radar.  There is not much going on in town but as we get closer to Christmas we will see more activity.  Those who are visiting Townsend and the surrounding area tend to be people who love the outdoors and the mountains.  Spending time in Great Smoky Mountains Park at this time of year is rewarding.  The reward is, you have it to yourself. 

Little River looks good.  The flow rate is dropping daily.  Right now the water is moving through town at the rate of 392 cubic feet per second.  Median flow for this date based on 45 years is 219 cfs.  The water is clear and 40 degrees.

Fishing is not great.  It’s a good time to catch a large brown trout but overall, fishing is slow.  Trout don’t need much food when the water is 40 degrees.  Their metabolism slows down when the water temperature dips.  One exception are the fall spawning trout, mostly brown and brook trout.  They are hungry from the ordeal.  But, the water can get too cold for them too. 

If you go use large nymphs or streamers.  Offer the trout a good meal.  Don’t make them go too far to get it.  Don’t waste casts or spook fish by casting in unlikely spots.  Make every cast count.  These browns are still wary and pounding a fly line overhead is not a good idea. 

Zach Matthews was here yesterday giving demonstrations to customers and friends who came to see him.  Turnout was light.  We have never held special events this close to the holidays.  Friday, I notified almost 4,000 people using e-mail that Zach would be here but I guess it’s a bad idea to do this so close to Christmas and other holidays.

But, despite the light turnout it was a very interesting day and a lot of fun for me just being with Zach.  He is an amazing young man.  We have been friends for several years and I have learned a lot of things from him that pertain to the web, photography and fishing.  Zach was a customer here when he attended law school at the University of Tennessee.  We share a lot of common interests though he is much more advanced than I am.

Yesterday I watched him make spoon flies using silly putty as a mold.  His article that explains how to do this is in the latest issue of Fly Tyer Magazine.  Zach has published plenty of articles in National fly fishing magazines.  He’s good at it.

When I think about who will replace Lefty Kreh or Joe Humphreys when they retire, Zach is one of a handful on the top of my list.  Another would be Tom Rosenbauer.  I really can’t think of any other people right now.  Maybe more will come to my mind later after this report is loaded up but at this moment, those two guys would be my choice.  I do know them both and like them personally as well.

I don’t want to see Lefty or Joe retire.  I bet they will be here every May for Troutfest for years to come.  I respect and admire those two guys so much.  They have been my role models in my favorite sport for a long time.  I feel fortunate that we became friends years ago.  

Fly fishing needs role models.  Look at what Bill Dance did for the bass fishing sport.  He is still doing it.  When I open my latest Bass Pro catalog, there is Bill and owner Johnny Morris sitting in a boat together.  Johnny is holding the bass.  What a powerful statement that makes to anyone who bass fishes or is thinking about taking up the sport.  Not only is Bill funny and an excellent ambassador for fishing, Johnny is too.  Johnny Morris is one of my hero’s.  So is Leigh Perkins of Orvis.  So are his sons David and Perk.  Those two guys have continued the Orvis fly fishing lifestyle that their father started.  They have been good for our sport.

I look at fly fishing from two perspectives, a fun sport and business.  And, I love both activities equally well.  When I’m fishing or working, I’m happy. 

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

Byron Begley
December 19, 2010 

Respond To:


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

Respond to:

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