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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  The sky is blue and it is 24 degrees out there this morning.  The air is crystal clear.  The mountains are in vivid view, I can see details I haven’t seen in a while.  Cold temperatures and wind cleared the air.  When that happens the mountains look bigger and closer. 

If you think it’s cold here, you should be up on Mt. LeConte.  The caretaker at the Lodge reported a low of 10 degrees night before last.  It has to be in the single digits up there now.  The rain froze and snow fell on top of that.  I’m glad I’m in the valley.

Townsend was very quiet this morning at 7:50 am when I drove through.  I noticed one restaurant was closed.  I don’t know why.  Maybe the owner and staff took the weekend off.  Another well known restaurant in town stopped serving breakfast on Sunday mornings.  They have not had enough customers to warrant opening Sunday mornings.  This is not a good sign. 

We have been busy this month but the majority of our business is mail order.  Yesterday we shipped an order of flies and leaders to Cape Town, South Africa.  The contents of the order amounted to about $250.  The shipping was over $100.  It won’t get there by Christmas.  Daniel told me it takes a week to get things to him.  We have served this loyal customer before.  I can’t believe there is not a cheaper way to ship.  We send his stuff via FedX.  He gets what he orders and he is happy.  We have learned, if we ship orders using our own Post Office, the package won’t get there.  The goods get to Africa and that’s the end of the road.  If we use our Post Office to ship orders to Australia, they get delivered.  I don’t know what the deal is.

Here is a great Fishing Report Christmas story.  For many years we have served a customer in North Pole, Alaska.  And believe it or not, he was in the shop this week.  He must have family here.  I talked to him briefly bud didn’t know who he was.  After he left, Daniel told me.

For years I keep seeing this customer’s name and address on reports.  I looked up the town on the internet just now.  The town exists and the population is 2,226.  Their Visitors Bureau writes, “Where the spirit of Christmas lives year round”.  CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE NORTH POLE.  How cool is that?

They go on to say, “Each year the City of North Pole receives thousands of letters from children around the world.”  They answer the letters.  I think there is a fee involved. When the child gets the letter, it is stamped by the Post Office as being sent from North Pole.  The letter has a North Pole, Alaska postmark.  Dang, I’m getting choked up. I remember sending at least one letter to Santa Claus in the North Pole decades go.  I don’t remember getting an answer.  I probably got my GI Joe and BB gun.     

Little River looks awesome.  I drove by this morning on my way to work.  She has plenty of cold water flowing through town.  Flow right now is 374 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 248 cfs. The water temperature is 39 degrees.

When the water temperature drops to 40 degrees most trout in their right mind stop eating.  Their slowed metabolism doesn’t require much food.  The post spawn brown trout will eat but they are hard to catch.  So, the “Fishing Gauge” is indicating that the fishing is slow.

If you want to go fishing in the Smoky Mountains you should.  Just don’t fall in.  Keep a change of clothes in your truck and stay fairly close to it. I would drag weighted nymphs on the bottom of the stream in slow runs.  Don’t expect too much activity.  Just expect to relax.  You won’t see many other fly fishermen.  The high temperature today is expected to be 46 degrees.  Dress warmly.

It is going to be fairly warm for the Christmas Holidays.  Tonight will be cold.  Rain will most likely dominate the week.  There is a good chance every day.  We may see snow in the high elevations in the Park.  I expect quite a few visitors in our town.  I hope so.

We will be open from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm today.  And, we’ll be back at 9:00 am on Sunday.  We’ll close at 5:00 pm.  Paula and I will be the only two people here on Monday, Christmas Eve.  It is a tradition.  We won’t have a busy day but we will be here until noon.  Then we’ll close and re-open on Wednesday after Christmas Day.

I will be here tomorrow morning writing the fishing report.  There will be a brief fishing report on Monday too.

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

Byron Begley
December 22, 2012


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