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

Welcome to the Fishing Report from the Great Smoky Mountains.  It is cloudy and 37 degrees in Townsend this morning.  Traffic was light on my morning commute.  I think that will be different starting tomorrow.  Visitors will be arriving for the Christmas holiday.

Little River is flowing at 295 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.27 feet on the gauge.  Median flow for this date is 220 cfs.  The water temperature at 8:05 am is 42.8 degrees.

If you go fishing in the mountains today, wait a while.  We’ve got some warm air moving in, I mean really warm air.  The high temperature today is supposed to be 64 degrees.  The high tomorrow is expected to be 68 degrees and it will be close to that on Sunday.  Lows at night will be in the 50’s.

We will see the water temperatures rise and fishing will improve.  That improvement could be significant.  The cloud cover will remain through Monday.  I can’t help but get excited about the fishing possibilities but unfortunately, I’ll be working here. 

The one negative fishing condition we will see this weekend is rain Saturday night and Sunday.  The weather websites indicate a chance for severe thunderstorms Sunday.  So, plan to go fishing tomorrow.  We may not see warm, cloudy conditions like this for a while.  It is going to feel like Spring.

Nymphs are working and dry flies are producing too.  I was off yesterday but Josh told me Wednesday, his clients did well and did see some adult caddis on the water.  They caught all of their fish on nymphs.  Fishing in town has been good.  Anglers are catching some huge rainbow trout.  One customer showed me a beautiful fish he caught this week on an olive wooly bugger.  He said it was 20” long.  There have been some trout caught much larger than that recently in the stocked waters. 

Sadly, a Maryville man died when his car ran off Little River Road in the Park and landed upside down in Little River.  Someone driving a pickup truck coming from the opposite direction hit his car.  That is the kind of news I hate to read.  I did not know the man.

There is a lot of business news to report on in Townsend.  That is rare.  We all had some down times this year.  There was unprecedented rain and high water this Spring.  Both seemed to happen on weekends.  We got through that and business improved for everyone.

Then, the U.S. Government decided to have a “partial shut down” in October, one of the busiest months of the year.  Now that hurt all of us.  The sales taxes on hotel, motel, lodge and campgrounds amounted to $17,000 and that was just a drop in the bucket.  The losses amounted to hundreds of thousands of dollars to our economy.

We all bounced back again.  The Valley View Lodge is a different story.  This 9+ acre property was foreclosed on.  An auction was held at the courthouse yesterday.  The bank that held one or both of the mortgages bought it.  Interested parties should contact Home Federal Bank of Tennessee.  This huge motel has some great potential for an entity with money and experience in the hospiality industry.  You can read the story by CLICKING HERE.

The Cades Cove Cellars winery should open in January.  Those folks have had the worst weather possible this year, trying to build their facility.  As soon as they broke ground, here came the rain.  They kept plugging along despite the weather and they are getting close to opening.  You can read the story in the Daily Times by CLICKING HERE.

A new Ace Hardware is opening next month.  It is going to be nice.   

Evidently we are getting a new fresh seafood restaurant and a Mexican restaurant in town.  I’ve heard the Mexican restaurant has opened but I can’t verify that.

The very popular Dancing Bear Lodge lost its main building a few weeks ago due to a fire.  The plans have been drawn and the new lodge will be re-built soon.  I’m sure it will be a showplace, even better than before.   

Townsend is a tough place to do business, but a great place to live.  I am happy to see some new businesses open.  Overall, in the long run, I think these small steps will give our economy and prosperity a boost.

We have some great restaurants in Townsend.  They are mostly family owned and operated, as are most businesses here.  Food is an important factor when determining where to go on vacation.  It is to me. I would choose Townsend.

Townsend is a very small resort town.  Our economy is driven by tourism.  I think 2014 is going to be a good business year in our town, if the weather cooperates and the Park stays open.

Clayton Gist will be our guest fly tyer tomorrow.  He will be demonstrating for you between 10 am and 2 pm.  Clayton is an expert fly tyer.  He specializes in trout flies for tailwaters.  While he is tying, talk to him about his experiences.  You will learn a lot.  It’s free, just show up.

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

Byron Begley
December 20, 2013

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