Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is overcast and 42 degrees in Townsend, Tennessee this morning.  Traffic was extremely light.  I probably saw two or three vehicles on the road and streets coming to work.  Everyone slept in.  I stopped at the swinging bridge like I do every morning.  The river looks great but there is plenty of water.  The temperature was 48 degrees in Little River.  Yesterday it was 51 degrees.

The Great Smoky Mountains look great too.  There is a little fog on the higher peaks and one mountaintop is white.  It is probably frost.  The fog that follows the river through town is forming.  It will be moving toward me in a few minutes.  For some reason that happens an hour or two after sunrise most days. 

Flow is 778 cubic feet per second (cfs) in Little River at the Townsend gauge.  Median flow for this date is 262.  Wading will be difficult so be careful if you go.  Fishing has been good this week.  The water temperature decrease might slow fishing down a little but you should be able to catch trout on a nymph or streamer.

David Knapp came by this week.  He was camping at Cades Cove.  After we visited a while he drove back to the Park to fish.  His efforts were rewarded.  He hooked and landed a brown over 20 inches long, his largest “Park” trout ever.  You can see his photos on the front page of his website "The Trout Zone" by CLICKING HERE.  It is a beautiful fish.  The big browns are still feeding.  David said he would have caught a lot of trout if he had not been rigged up for the “big guys”.  He caught this one on a sculpin pattern.  I have one of those, tied by him on my desk.  This particular fly has an articulated body with two hooks.  This fly is not legal in the Park.  It sure looks deadly though and I’ll tie it on somewhere else, probably in Little River downstream. David is a great guy and boy does he love to fish. He is one of the best fly fishermen I know. One of my favorite Summers since I've been in this business, was the one when he worked at the shop.

It is Christmas Eve.  We will be open between 9:00 am and noon.  Paula and I will be the only two people here.  That is a tradition.  Sometimes we are slow and sometimes we get slammed. 

After we close, Paula and I will get together with Jim and Pat Delashmit.  That is another Christmas Eve tradition.  Jim and I will blast away at clay targets.  He will hit most of his and I will miss most of mine.  My little Ruger Red Label only comes out on Christmas Eve.  Once a year is not enough practice for a gun.  They should be fired more often to stay accurate.  I’m not a very good shot either.  But, I blame most of the misses on my gun, of course.  Also, it is a 20 gauge.  And I’m shooting light loads.  I screw in a full choke in one of the barrels to give the clay pigeons a chance. We pick up the clay birds I miss and throw them again.  I also miss targets on purpose to so they can be shot at again, kind of like “catch and release” fishing.

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

Byron Begley
December 24, 2011

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