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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is overcast, foggy and 32 degrees in Townsend this morning.  We have had rain, fog and dark days for a while.  It has been a dreary winter so far.  Traffic was very light on the morning commute.  I probably saw 10 cars on the roads. 

Little River is rolling.  Flow right now is 869 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 265 cfs.  The water temperature at 7:55 was 43.3 degrees. The river is off color in town.

Fishing will probably be difficult and slow.  Trout can be caught but you will have to work for them and settle for a few strikes and very few fish brought to hand.  Wading in some rivers could be dangerous.  Stay near the shore and high stick some nymphs.  You might hook a big brown.  You could catch a small rainbow or two.  Don’t expect great fishing. 

It looked like the higher mountains were turning white yesterday afternoon.  Even the close mountains are fogged in now.  I can’t see anything out there except for partial outlines of the hills near town.  The sun should pop out sometime today then clouds and rain will be back starting tomorrow.

I took a close look at the weather numbers recorded at the Knoxville Airport which is actually located in our County.  We have had 53.42 inches of precipitation since the first of the year.  Normal for this period is 47.19 inches.  So, we are up 6.23 inches from normal.  Last year at this time the Airport recorded 55.76 inches for the year, even more than this year.  Rainfall this year has been sporadic.  We have had wet periods and some very dry periods during the year. 

I also looked at the U.S. Drought Monitor this morning.  Much of the Country is still in a severe, extreme or exceptional drought.  Even in the Southeast, Alabama and Georgia have areas listed as being in an Exceptional Drought.  We’ve been lucky here.

I will post our Free Fly Tying Demonstration schedule tomorrow.  You will also get an e-mail with the schedule if you have signed up to be on our E-Newsletter list.  That will go out early next week.  If you have not, you can do it on this page.  Just type in your e-mail address in the box at the bottom of this page.  Don’t worry, Constant Contact in Boston maintains and secures our list.  You address will be safe. 

I have not seen the schedule.  Paula is still working on it.  I do know Roger Lowe will be tying on Saturday after the New Year.  I think we will have two fly tyers lined up for each Saturday during January and February.  These tyers demonstrate between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm each Saturday.  All you do is show up, grab a free cup of coffee and watch these people tie flies.  They will be discussing fishing and tying during the demonstrations.  Even if you do not tie flies you will enjoy the day and learn a lot about fly fishing. 

Yesterday, I finished the second fly tying tutorial on our new page called “Fly Tying Articles.”  From that page you can click on a tutorial and learn how to tie that fly.  There are just two on there now, the Knucklehead and Poppers Made the Easy Way.  I have several more to add soon.  All I have to do is design the pages.  The photos and text are done.

Yesterday I finished the Popper Tutorial.  It is totally re-designed.  You can see it by CLICKING HERE.  Making poppers is a lot of fun and much easier than you think.  Bob Clouser showed me this method probably 12 years ago, maybe longer. 

Last winter I made 42, #8 poppers.  I worked on them every night for about two weeks.  They work very well for bass and bluegill and they are durable.  42 poppers will last Paula and I a long time.  All 42 were either black or chartreuse.  Most are chartreuse.  Like the Knuclehead, real intermediate or advanced fly tying skills are not needed.  Basically you need to know how to wrap thread around a hook and use a whip finish tool.  Both are easily learned.  I linked to the brand new Byron’s Knucklehead tutorial yesterday on this report.  If you missed it, CLICK HERE.

Winter is fly tying time for me and a lot of other people I know. Tying flies is a good way to stay involved in the sport when the fishing conditions are not good.

If you do not tie and would like to learn, we have three fly tying classes that will be held in January and February.  You can check them out by clicking on the appropriate link:




These classes are taught by Walter Babb and Brian Courtney.  They are held on Saturdays through the Winter.

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

Byron Begley
December 27, 2012

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