Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report from Townsend, Tennessee.  It is warm and cloudy this morning.  I noticed some new leaf growth on a few trees and bushes.  The streets are quiet.  Frank, one of our fine policemen was at CBBC bank checking vehicle speed.  I stopped to talk because of a wreck I saw yesterday.  It appeared someone on a bicycle was involved.  It turned out the bicycle was thrown from the truck.  There were no injuries and the truck had flipped over.  Frank is a retired Tennessee State Trooper.  We have become friends and hardly a week goes by that he and I don’t get together for a few minutes.

Little River looks perfect.  The flow is right at normal for this time of year.  Right now it is flowing at 291 cubic feet per second compared to median flow of 318 cfs.  The water temperature in town is 47 degrees now and it is going to get warmer.  The high temperature in the valley is predicted to be 74 degrees today.  If it’s not raining after work I’m going to wash the boat.

Fishing is good.  We still have not seen any major hatches.  But they will come at any time.  High temperatures in the 60’s over the next 10 days will warm the water.  That will set off the hatch of quill gordons and blue quills.  That’s what we are waiting for. Right now I would use nymphs and fish deep.  At any time I would switch to a dry or a dry fly with a dropper.  I would use gray dry flies in sizes #12 through #16.  A Quill Gordon pattern, Blue Quill or Parachute Adams would be my choice.  For a nymph I would pick a Bead Head Pheasant Tail or some sort of rubber legged nymph.

We are all wondering what’s happening at the lakes.  I’m hoping Paula and I get to find out this week.  I have a busy week planned including the Smokies fishery department’s public meeting Thursday night.  Because of staff scheduling here it is hard for me to take a day off.  It is usually Thursday or Friday.  I’m almost always here on Saturday and Sunday unless there is a hunting trip involved.  All the hunts I go on are on weekends.  Fishing on weekends is not something I care to do and never do.  I did fish one Saturday last year in the Fall on Dale Hollow Lake.  I’m positive that’s the only one last year.  I like to fish when there are less people around. 

Yesterday I went to the Co-Op in Maryville to buy some 100% non-ethanol gas for the boat.  Their fuel station is not attended by anyone. You are on your own.  I pulled up to one pump, put a credit card in the slot, removed it quickly and got a message that indicated I could not buy any fuel.  I pay our bills, we pay off our credit cards completely every month and I know that card is good.  So, I tried another one with the same result.  “It must be the pump” I thought.  So, I moved to another pump, tried both cards and got no gas.  To say the least, I was perplexed. 

Then a guy pulled in on the other side of my pump, slid his credit card in and began fueling.  After asking him a few questions I found out I needed a Co-Op credit card.  So, I drove down to the other Co-Op about ¾ of a mile toward town and walked in.  I was hoping they sold fuel there.  They do but it is off-road, non-taxed diesel only.  But they said I could get a Co-Op credit card and go back to the fuel station and buy gas.  I went to the office, answered a few questions, waited ten minutes then left with my new Co-Op card and a pair of Carhart bluejeans.  I went back to the fuel station and got my gas.  So, if you live in this area and need ethanol free gasoline stop at the main Co-Op first and open an account.  Then you can gas up your boat 24/7.  Your outboard will love you for it. 

Tim Doyle tied yesterday.  He is an awesome fly tyer.  I’ve got a streamer on my desk right now that he tied and I can’t wait to try it.  He ties backwards.  And he is entertaining to say the least.  Phillip Fulmer walked up.  Tim looked at him and said, “I recognize the face but don’t know the name”.  He was kidding of course.  I reminded everyone sitting around by saying something like “he is Phillip the fly fisherman in here, not coach, and we talk about fly fishing not football”.  Phillip laughed. What I said was true, it’s always been that way.  People come in here to get away from work.

Doug just dropped off the data from his weather station in Wears Valley.  The numbers go back to 2007.  I just glanced at them but I’ll look closer later.  One thing I noticed immediately was the rainfall numbers for December.  It has been dry here and that started in December.  Here are the monthly rainfall numbers for December of each year.  2010 - 1.70”, 2009 – 5.69”, 2008 – 7.16” and 2007 – 3.74”.  And, as you know we are in about a 30% deficit for the first two months of this year.  We may get 1 inch of rain tomorrow.  A strong storm will move through.  That will help if it happens.


Park Service fisheries management is holding a public meeting in Townsend on Thursday March 3rd at 7:00 pm.  The meeting will be held at City Hall in the Old Townsend School Auditorium.  CLICK HERE FOR A PDF WITH MORE INFORMATION. 

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

Byron Begley
February 27, 2011

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Our fly fishing classes will be offered from March to October 2011.   To sign up just call the shop at 877-448-3474.  You can read more on our website in the Schools Section.  The fly fishing class schedule follows:

Saturday March 26 – Beginner Day One
Saturday April 9 – Beginner Day One
Saturday April 30 – Beginner Day One
Sunday May 1 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday May 7 – Beginner Day One
Saturday May 21 – Beginner Day One
Sunday May 22 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday June 11 – Beginner Day One
Saturday June 25 – Beginner Day One
Sunday June 26 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday July 9 – Beginner Day One
Saturday July 23 – Beginner Day One
Sunday July 24 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday September 10 – Beginner Day One
Saturday September 24 – Beginner Day One
Sunday September 25 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday October 8 – Beginner Day One
Saturday October 22 – Beginner Day One
Sunday October 23 – Beginner Onstream Day Two

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