Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park
March 5, 2010

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is sunny and cold in Townsend this morning.  It was 26 degrees when I left home to drive here.  I stopped at the swinging bridge as always to take the water temperature in Little River.  It was 37 degrees, down one click from yesterday morning.  The river is looking low.  This morning it is flowing at 208 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 347 cfs.  It has been dry over the past few weeks.

That is good for the tailwater fisheries.  It’s better than good.  It is excellent.  TVA has cut back on the generation and I’m hearing some great reports from anglers who are fishing below the dams.  Evidently the trout have cabin fever too.  They are eager for a scuffle with an angler.  I’m hearing about 50 fish days.  Bill Bolinger said he could have had a 100 fish day if he had stayed on the river one day this week. 

Ross and Joe are on their way to Smokemont.  They are going to camp and fish.  Getting there won’t be easy for them.  Highway 441 is closed so they will have to drive to Fontana then to Bryson City then Cherokee and up the mountain to Smokemont.  Highway 441 is the only road of major importance that is closed.  Paula checked this morning.  The roads around here are open.  Check with the Park if you are going to Cataloochee.  Those roads may be closed today. Cades Cove Loop Road is closed for re-paving. It should re-open in May.

Joe showed me a printed version of his 24 ½” brown trout he caught a week ago in the Park.  He sent me one via e-mail.  As any good angler and friend of mine would do, he cropped out the background which would give his location away.  I was staring at his cropped photo trying to figure out where he was.  Now I know.  I wouldn’t disclose that to anyone.  Specific locations of big fish are not something we talk about among friends.  It’s not that important though, those big fish can be found almost anywhere in Little River, especially above Metcalf Bottoms.  But it’s a long way from there to way above Elkmont where the water is thin.  Actually I though he might have been on the Middle Prong.  One of the rocks looked familiar.  I was wrong.

It’s going to warm up tomorrow during the day.  They are saying the high will be 52.  But it is still going to be cold at night until Sunday.  The rivers and streams are cold.  You can still catch fish.  But, the overall fishing will get better as we progress through next week.  We’ll get some rain next week too.  We could use that here but I don’t want to see heavy generation schedules on the tailwaters again. 

For the next 10 days we’ll have high temperatures in the 50’s.  And, starting Sunday we’ll have lows in the high 30’s to low 40’s.  It is going to feel like Spring and fishing will improve.  Remember, we have a ton of snow in the high elevations.  Melting snow will effect the water temperature and ph.  Low water temperatures and low ph can mean slower fishing.  So you might think everything is perfect and find the fishing to be slower than expected.  Or, fishing could be excellent.  I don’t know anyone who can successfully predict exactly when the fishing will be the best.  But, it’s coming soon.

Want to do something fun and beneficial Saturday Night?  You can see two films about fly fishing in Venezuela, Idaho, Florida, Alaska, New Orleans and Patagonia on the “Big Screen”.  This film presentation will be held in Oak Ridge at the Pollard Technology and Conference Center.  The tickets cost $15 and funding is used to benefit Casting For Recovery.  So, you will be able to enjoy an evening of great fly fishing and help women who are recovering from breast cancer.  The information is below.  Call 865-742-4143 for any additional information you need. 

This will get you primed for Spring.

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

Byron Begley
March 5, 2010

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