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

Welcome to the Fishing Report from Townsend, Tennessee in the Great Smoky Mountains.

Welcome to the Fishing Report from Townsend, Tennessee in the Great Smoky Mountains. At 5:40 am, the temperature is 37.2 degrees.

Good news! We have some Spring-like weather headed our way. The rain is over for a while. There is only a slight chance this weekend. The high temperature today will be around 42 degrees. Then it will warm further, to the low 60’s all weekend during the day. After tonight, lows will be in the 40’s.

Here is some more good news. Little River’s level is dropping and the water is warming.

Little River is flowing at 700 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.79 feet on the gauge. Median flow for this date is 350 cfs. The water temperature is 43.7 degrees this morning.

As the flows recede and the water temperatures warm, fishing is going to improve in the Great Smoky Mountains. I don’t know how warm the water will be this weekend, but it will be warmer than it is now, by Saturday. There will be snowmelt that will slow the warming of the water. As of yesterday morning, there was 5 inches of snow remaining on Mt. Leconte. If the water temperatures don’t rise as much as we think, that will be the reason why.

We’ll see plenty of anglers enjoying the Smokies streams this weekend. I can’t wait to see how this turns out. It will likely be overcast Saturday and Sunday. That will be another benefit for anglers. One weather website calls this, “An early taste of Spring”.

Will we see some early Spring hatches this weekend? Maybe. Trout will certainly be more active.

I would plan on using nymphs and dry flies. And, you may do well with wet flies. My nymph selection would be the standard stuff, Tellico, Prince, Copper John, Hare’s Ear, or most any reasonable flies.

I would also have a selection of dark mayflies (dry flies) in sizes ranging from #16 or smaller, to #12. A Parachute Adams, Adams, Quill Gordon, Blue Quill and Blue Wing Olives would be in my box.

It’s hard to beat swinging a wet fly in the Spring. Try a Quill Gordon.

Little River is fairly swift this morning. If you go today, be selective on where you wade. As the weekend approaches, we should see moderate flows, on the high side, but very fishable. Actually, they are fishable right now.

The long term weather forecast for our area, after this weekend, looks about normal through March 2nd. We’ll have a couple of cold days and maybe a little snow. It should be warmer by the end of February, but not much different from normal. In a week, we’ll be able to get a forward glimpse at the expected weather in March. I’m looking forward to that. We all hope the news is good.

You have probably noticed I enjoy watching and photographing wildlife. Most of the photos you see were taken from my home office. Dan posted some bobcat photos I took last week on our Facebook page. Those photos got a lot of comments.

I take a lot of photos of wild turkeys. There are thousands of those on my computer. It’s enjoyable to me, to photograph birds, squirrels, bear, coyotes, and other animals. Our home is built in the forest. I cleared the woods behind the house, removing small brush and small trees, so it is possible to see these animals often. I also throw out lots of birdseed every day, on the ground. We have a lot of wild animals and birds around here.

People have been asking me how I get these great wildlife poses. What camera do I use? I guess the best answer is, I cheat. I’m not using a DSLR or other type of still camera. What I use is a video camera.

I think this camera shoots at 30 frames per second or 1,800 per minute. Every frame is a photo. It’s not a very expensive camera, but it does shoot in high definition, and saves the video to a built-in hard drive. I can follow these animals around, filming them, then load the video onto my computer. After importing into video software, I’m able to choose a frame I like. I get a good pose, like the bobcat below and convert that frame to a jpg photo. I choose from thousands to get a good pose.

It’s not photographic skill or luck. I don’t have much of either. The animals and birds are out there, 20 to 50 feet from my window all day long. The camera is mounted to a floating head on a tripod, at the window. When I see something I want to photograph, I simply turn the camera on, zoom in, and follow the animal around, shooting thousands of photos.

The photos are probably not acceptable for high-resolution print in large sizes. But, they are fine for web use. The video software is iMovie HD, which came free on this iMac.

That’s how I do it. You should give it a try. Point one at your bird feeder. You might be amazed at the results. It’s a lot of fun.

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

Byron Begley
February 17, 2016

Bobcat at the Begley home.

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