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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is cloudy and 51 degrees in Townsend this morning.  We got some awful wind last night.  Trees and limbs were down all over town.  One small out building I saw was blown to bits.  Right now, the Park Service is saying Laurel Creek Road from Tremont Road to Cades Cove is closed due to downed trees.  I’m surprised it is not worse.

Little River is flowing strong this morning.  Flow is currently 411 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 274 cfs.  The water is fairly clear and the water temperature at 7:55 am was 47.4 degrees.  Our rain gauge indicated we had .40” of rain here last night. 

There is a slight chance for rain today and tomorrow.  The chance increases tomorrow night through Wednesday night.  Lows at night will be near freezing. Highs for the next few days will be in the 50’s, near 60 today.

It is good to be home.  Paula and I spent a week in Hilton Head, South Carolina.  It was a time to relax and ride our bicycles.  I worked on the website quite a bit.  We had a great time.  We missed our cat, Dubbing.

I’ve been reading Daniel’s reports every day.  It sounds like the fishing is slow right now.  The water temperature has risen this week but probably not enough to make a big improvement in the fishing.  Today may be windy in the Smokies.  I think I would stay out of there.  You might get trapped by a closed road or injured by a fallen limb or tree. 

Looking ahead for 10 days there does not appear to be a warm-up that would cause the Spring hatches to begin.  Last year at this time, Quill Gordons and Blue Quills were on the water and trout were taking dry flies. We may have to wait awhile.  Most likely, based on the weather conditions over the last few years, we should expect fishing in the Smokies to improve the last week in February or the first week in March.  That is not far off.  When it happens you will know by reading this report.

Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has some higher than normal impoundments to deal with.  Paula and I drove over Douglas Lake yesterday on our way home.  It was below Summer pool but not by much.  Douglas usually looks about dry this time of year.  The water was muddy and the river below the dam was flowing very strong.  Generation schedules look to be going full bore today as expected.  TVA needs to get those lakes down to prepare for the Spring rains.

Cherokee, Douglas and Norris are scheduled to be generating all day today, again.  I know lots of people are anxious to go fishing in the tailwaters and I am hoping you can do so soon.  This has not been a good year for fishing so far. 

Rainfall measured at the Knoxville Airport is 13.19” so far this year in just a few weeks.  Normal rainfall for this period is 5.83”.  So, during the past 6 weeks we have had double the normal rainfall in the past two weeks, triple the normal rainfall.  This has been a wet year in our part of the country.

We will launch the new Fishing Report and Home Page either tomorrow or Wednesday.  I can’t wait.  Those were the two toughest pages to re-design.  The Fishing Report will be much easier to navigate on small devices like smart phones and tablets.  There will be more information too.  I tried to make it as pretty as I could but of most importance on this page is functionality.  We know, this page gets a lot of action on small mobile devices and we have planned for that to increase as time goes on.

One new link on the report is the flow gauge on the Little Pigeon.  This gauge has been shut down for years due to lack of funding.  The United States Geological Survey (USGS) manages these sites but rely on financial assistance from governments or other sources.  Our County funds the gauge site on Little River just inside the Park. 

Since the data for the past few years has a void at the Little Pigeon in Sevierville, no comparative datum will be available.  I did notice this morning, a working rain gauge is reporting at the site.  That will be handy for all of us. 

Smallmouth bass fishing is popular on the Little Pigeon.  We’ll just need to decide what levels are fishable and use the rain gauge to guess at water clarity.  That will be hard since rain upstream could cause the water to be turbid.  If I could find someone to report the turbidity, I would include that here.  It’s easy to get that for Little River.  I drive by every morning.

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

Byron Begley
February 11, 2013

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