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. At 5:54 am, the temperature is a cool 34.2 degrees.

Today’s high will only be 44 degrees. Daytime temperatures will rise to the high 50’s Saturday and 60 degrees Sunday. Monday and Tuesday will be warmer, in the high 60’s to low 70’s. Lows at night will be in the 30’s for the remainder of the week.

Little River is flowing at 793 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.91 feet on the flow gauge. Median flow for this date is 344 cfs. The water temperature is 47.7 degrees this morning.

We got a little over .40” of rain last night. Little River rose some, but it has crested. With a gauge reading of 2.91 feet, you will see fairly high water today in this watershed. It is dropping quickly. At 2.5 feet on the gauge or lower, we take beginner fly fishing students on the river for classes. Little River is certainly fishable, but swift. Be careful wading. Just a few inches of water makes a difference.

We have a 60% to 90% chance for rain tomorrow night, depending on which weather website you are viewing.

The water temperature will drop some over the next two days, then begin rising again this weekend. Fishing will likely slow through Friday, then it will improve. Temperatures beginning this weekend, through Wednesday March 16th, look good if the forecast holds true. We will see highs in the high 60’s and low 70’s through that period.

One weather model I saw this morning indicates “Much Above Average” or “Above Average” temperatures in the months March through May, for most of the United states, except parts of Florida, Louisiana, Texas and New Mexico.

The long term outlook for March indicates above average temperatures for all of the United States except mid to south Florida.

Fly Fishing Spring is here in the Smoky Mountains. We still have the next three days to contend with. Then, it looks like great fishing conditions, from a temperature perspective, for 3 months.

We may have high water at times, which is usual.

If we see water temperatures climb into the 50’s this weekend, go fishing. I don’t know if that will happen. I hope it does. That will certainly be the case next week. Expect times of aquatic insect hatches. You will probably see Quill Gordons, Blue Quills and Blue Wing Olives on the water. That will be sporadic, so you may need to fish with nymphs at times or use them exclusively, if you prefer.

I voted in the primary yesterday and it took at least an hour. We vote at the Townsend Elementary School which is convenient. Spending an hour may not seem like a long wait for many of you. It is for us. I usually expect to spend about 15 minutes at the polls, even in a general election.

The number of cars in the parking lot did not appear to be more than usual. The problem was, it took longer to vote, with so many candidates in the Republican Primary, and voting for so many delegates. Voting in the Democratic Primary was quicker. Touch screen voting machines would have sped things up considerably. You could tell by watching, who was voting in which primary.

We have 123,010 residents in our County as of the 2010 census. 26,922 residents voted yesterday. That is roughly 2 out of 10 residents or exactly 21.9%, who voted in Blount County yesterday.  I am always surprised, at the number of Americans, who don’t vote at all, even in general elections.

I see the same volunteers working at the polls every year. I really appreciate their service. I asked one, how long he had been working at the polls. He said this was his 30th year.

A woman I know was sitting in her wheelchair near the front of the line, but off to the side. She said she was there to vote but had to wait for the line to shorten, then take her turn. She had been sitting there for about an hour. She was in that same spot when I walked in. I put her in front of me and pushed her in the wheelchair along the line then eventually to her voting machine. I almost took her to the wrong machine. One of the volunteers intervened.

I didn’t look back at the line when I did it, but I doubt if anyone objected. One lady behind me said, “We should let the disabled people vote first”. I agreed. For all I know, she could have sat there for hours.

Voting in Townsend is a lot of fun. I see people I haven’t seen or talked to since the last election. And, I see people I talk to several times a month. The lady in front of me in the line is a customer at the shop and lives close to us. Her husband fly fishes and I think she does too. The couple directly behind me had just moved to Townsend, from Mississippi. They lived on an 800 acre lake there, with excellent bass and bluegill fishing. They like the mountains and retired here because of that. They chose a good place to retire. It would be hard to tear me away from an 800-acre lake, with my own dock.

I thought about buying a lot and building this house on a lake at one time. I chose the mountains and rivers over a lake.

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

Byron Begley
March 2, 2016

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