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 and 33 degrees in Townsend this morning.  I could tell, though it was early, we have quite a few visitors in town for the Holidays.  There were two women in the field across from the shop when I pulled in.  They had five dogs with them, un-tethered and playing.  The women were throwing balls and the dogs were chasing them.  I’m not sure what breed the dogs were.  They were all the same.  That’s about it in Townsend this morning.

Little River is flowing strong at 587 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 292 cfs.  The water is cool, 42 degrees.

You might catch a few trout if you went fishing in the Smoky Mountains this morning.  I would not get my hopes up.  Maybe a big ole hungry brown will take your nymph.  Nymphs fished deep might entice a rainbow.  Overall, the fishing is slow.  The conditions dictate that, mainly the water temperature. 

It is overcast and it should stay that way through tomorrow night.  That gives the angler an advantage.  You certainly won’t see many fishermen.  So, you can count on solitude. 

Rain is expected tonight, a 100% chance.  We may get snow tomorrow night, a 40% chance.  There was a period of time yesterday when we could see the mountains from here.  There was snow up there.  The roof at Grace Hill B & B was solid white.  That beautiful building is at 3,000 feet elevation.  All I can see now are the low hills.  The larger mountains and Grace Hill are fogged in.  Everyone around here is getting tired of dark skies, rain and wind.

I’m going to miss working with Sheila.  Yesterday was her last day.  She is retiring.  Sheila has been the bookkeeper here for 10 years.  We are all going to miss her.  Her husband Bill will still be working here.  Sheila fly fishes so we’ll see her some.  She has been teaching me her job.  Her training was excellent.  I’m going to be the bookkeeper for a while and I’m looking forward to it.

Our list of fly tyers is growing.  Paula is talking to lots of folks trying to schedule people to for our Free Saturday Fly Tying Demonstrations.  You can see the schedule we have so far by CLICKING HERE.  Our goal is to have two people tying every Saturday through the end of February.  Those are always fun days at the store.  It gives people something to do on a Saturday in the Winter. They learn a lot about fly fishing and tying too.

The first person on the list is Roger Lowe.  He is tying on Saturday January 5th. Roger lives in Western North Carolina.  He is a third generation fly fisherman.  He is a guide, I know his father guides or used to and I think his grandfather was a guide.

Roger has designed some very effective fly patterns for fishing in the Smoky Mountains.  He is an expert.  He is also a nice guy.  I’m looking forward to seeing him a week from tomorrow.

This news is just in. Jack Gregory will also be tying on January 5th. He lives here, is one of my best friends and he is the best fly fisherman I have fished with. He always catches many more fish than I do by a very wide margin. His tying skills are unblievable. So, we will have two experts on January 5th. You don't want to miss this show.  

They say this was one of the warmest years on record.  I believe it.  The Spring hatches started earlier than I can remember, early February.  They usually begin between late February and mid-March these days.  Walter always says, the water temperature needs to reach 50 degrees and stay there for a few days before the Quill Gordons start hatching.  If anyone would know, Walter would know.  Blue Quills become active at the same time.

The Spring hatches start in the lower elevations then work their way up as the water warms in the higher elevations.  When will that happen in 2013?  Of course, we don’t know.  I know one thing.  I’m about ready for Spring and good fishing. 

I guess we’ll have to wait a while.  Well I’ll be darned!  The sun is coming out. 

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

Byron Begley
December 28, 2012

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