If you don’t see today’s Fishing Report, please refresh your browser to empty your cache.
Welcome to the Fishing Report from Townsend, Tennessee in the Great Smoky Mountains. At 5:42 am, the temperature is 53.2 degrees.
Rain fell early last night and throughout the night. Though only light amounts were predicted, we received .83” in Townsend.
Cold air will move in today and the temperature should drop to 46 degrees. Tonight’s low will be at or below the freezing mark. High temperatures through the weekend will range from the high 30’s to low 40’s. Lows will be in the high 20’s to low 30’s. We have a chance for snow Sunday and Sunday night.
The long term forecast for the first 9 days of February indicate warmer than normal temperatures.
The US Drought Monitor will be updated sometime today. You can view it by CLICKING HERE. It is usually updated by noon on Thursdays. I am hoping for and expect improvement in the South and hopefully in California too. These areas have suffered the most from the drought though there are currently spots in the south central part of the country and New England, that are affected.
I don’t want to jinx us, but the drought seems to be improving overall in America.
Little River is flowing at 809 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 3.26 feet on the flow gauge. Median flow for this date is 359 cfs. The water temperature is 50.9 degrees right now. (Update 7:52 am: Little River peaked.)
Little River has not crested. (Yes it has) It may rise further for a few hours, depending on how much rain fell in the upper watershed inside Great Smoky Mountains National Park. (No it won’t)
Though the water temperatures are warm and favorable to fishing now, the streams are flowing high. Most anglers prefer flows under 2.5 feet on the Little River gauge. It is currently 3.26 feet.
I would not wade in Little River today. The current will be swift. The streams will recede by the weekend, but cold air will certainly cause the water temperature to drop. How much it will drop, I don’t know. My guess is, fishing will be fairly slow in the Smokies this weekend. If I were planning a fishing trip here, I would give the water temperature some consideration when making the decision.
Still, sometimes it is good to get away and go fishing. Our trout tailwaters may be fishing well. It is going to be cold this weekend, but not bitter cold. I’ve gone on fishing trips in my life, when fishing conditions and weather were a lot worse than they will be here this weekend. I could tell you some stories.
This week, in this report, I was lamenting the fact that I don’t see ruffed grouse around our house and in the Townsend area anymore. Nobody talks much about grouse hunting here, like they did 25 years ago. I have flushed grouse in our driveways. I don’t know for sure, but I think they were picking gravel, while staying in the forest.
My friend, Joe Congleton, read the report and sent me the link to a video that probably explains the population decline in the East. Evidently, we are not the only Americans who have noticed a decline. It is happening in the northern United States too. The 9-minute, very well done video describes research, conducted by a ruffed grouse biologist in Michigan. CLICK HERE to see the video on YouTube.
She may have found the answer. You will probably be surprised. The culprit is West Nile Virus.
West Nile Virus affects many species of birds. One notable affected species, to bird hunters, is the western Sage Grouse. But, there are many others, and now, our own Ruffed Grouse may be one more.
I sent links of this video to TWRA and Great Smoky Mountains National Park yesterday and got responses from both. The video will be sent around both agencies. I don’t know what can be done about it, probably nothing to protect wildlife. Mosquito control is about all that is being done at this point.
Matt Kulp, fisheries biologist at Great Smoky Mountains National Park spends a lot of time in the forest, where grouse live. Matt responded to one of my e-mails yesterday. He has personally noticed a decline, but said he still sees them in the Hazel Creek area of the Park. Maybe that is more significant than it sounds.
Though in the same family as grouse, turkeys and pheasants are not affected as much as grouse. I suppose there is hope the bird populations will eventually develop an immunity, survive, then rebound. I sure do miss seeing and hearing ruffed grouse.
Years ago, I enjoyed a few times when I came close to a ruffed grouse nest. The hen, would try to distract me, by acting sick or wounded, fluttering a few feet at a time, to lure me away from the nest. If you have not experienced that, you have missed one of natures most wonderful wildlife displays.
Yesterday I mentioned our property adjoining neighbors are selling their beautiful home. I placed a link to the home’s Zillow page. You can see it by CLICKING HERE. Click on the photo of the home to see more images. In 24 hours, 288 of you clicked on the page. This home sits on 10 acres of wooded and mostly flat land, and located 2 miles from Townsend.
There are 4 homes in this restricted subdivision. All four of us own 10 or more acres for a total of about 50 to 60 acres. We jointly own a 1/3 mile long road. If you don’t mind putting up with bear, deer, bobcats and turkeys, this might be the home for you. What you won’t see is people. It’s not cheap. I think it is underpriced. I know what it cost to build it. You could not come close to building it for that, now. No way!
We are looking for a fly fishing neighbor. I can’t think of a better place to look than here.
Have a great day and thank you for being here with us.
January 26, 2017
Respond to: Byron@littleriveroutfitters.com