Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park
February 16, 2010

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  All is calm in Townsend, Tennessee.  We got some snow last night and the secondary roads are fairly slick.  The main road through town is clear.  We didn’t get much snow in the valley.  Doug McFalls who is spending the winter at Mount Leconte reported two more inches of snow up there.  That brings the total on the ground to 35.  Mount Leconte is at about 6,000 feet above the sea.

Most of the roads in the Park are closed due to ice and snow.  In our area that includes Little River Road, Laurel Creek Road, Cades Cove Loop Road and the Foothills Parkway.  Highway 441 from Cherokee to Gatlinburg is closed.  On this side of the Park you can either walk into your favorite stream or fish the Middle Prong.  You can also fish in the Little River through Townsend which is outside the Park.

Anglers have been doing very well here in town.  The hot fly is still the olive Wooly Bugger.  The water level is actually below normal this morning.  Currently, flow in Little River at the “Y” is 303 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 332 cfs.  The water is cold though.  When I took the temperature this morning it was 37 degrees. 

Winter is hanging on with below normal temperatures.  Fishermen are having a hard time finding a place to fish.  The tailwaters are mostly generating and the Park has been closed quite a bit lately.  Is there relief in sight?  When is this big chill going to end?

Not today that’s for sure.  The temperature is 24 degrees now and the high today is expected to be only 31 degrees.  Over the next 10 days the weather folks say the temperature at night will only dip to the low 30’s.  Highs will be in the mid 40’s.  That’s an improvement.

Someone asked me yesterday if the Quill Gordons hatch in February.  He had been here in February when that happened.  They do hatch when the water warms up and sometimes that is in February.  Walter Babb, who has fished in the Smokies some 50 odd years and has a good memory says they hatch when the water reaches 50 degrees and stays there for three days.  Some Quill Gordons may hatch before that spike in the water temperature but the major mating event takes warmer water.  I’d say Walter is right.  He usually is.  Unless the weather trend changes soon, I think it will be March before we see Spring hatches.  Better tie flies and get ready.

A lot of our Spring flies have already come in.  I’ve seen boxes from Umpqua and Holly lately.  Our orders are selective just like the trout.  The flies that match the early Spring hatches arrive here in February.  More will come in March.  Then they will taper off and the late Spring flies start arriving.  After that the Summer flies will be delivered.  We have several shipments coming in over a period of several months and the patterns are based on demand.

I just can’t wait to use one.

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

Byron Begley
February 16, 2010

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