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Welcome to the Fishing Report from Townsend, Tennessee in the Great Smoky Mountains. At 4:27 am, the temperature is 31.6 degrees.
It will be cold today, with a high temperature in the low 40’s, dropping to the low 30’s tonight. Snow is predicted tonight and early tomorrow. Snow accumulation predictions have been lowered. Expect less than 1” tonight. That can change. Forecasters are changing their minds often about how much snow we should expect.
It will continue to be cold through mid-week, with highs in the 30’s to 40’s and lows dipping into the teens through the mid-30’s.
Little River is flowing at 323 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.32 feet on the flow gauge. Median flow for this date is 364 cfs. The water temperature is 45.3 degrees this morning.
Water temperatures will be falling over the next few days and fishing will slow. We should see some warming by next weekend. You may do fair today if you go. I think nymphs will work best but you never know. When Spring hatches begin, they often continue despite colder water conditions. Trout can be active at 45 degrees, especially when the water temperatures are trending up. Right now, they are not trending up.
The long term forecast, though not always accurate, calls for warm days and nights beginning Sunday March 20th.
I know many of you are planning your first Spring fishing trips to the Smokies. Spring break has begun in America. This cold snap is unfortunate. We hate to see this. It happens in March sometimes. We are thankful for the Spring like fishing conditions we had in January, February and early March. It seems we are paying the price now.
If you will be here anyway, plan on using nymphs, fished deep, when the water temperatures reach the low 40’s like they are doing now. It is possible they stream temperatures will drop into the 30’s at times over the next few days. When that happens, fishing is usually very slow in the wild trout streams.
Tailwaters are a better alternative. The water will likely be warmer. Fishing should be better in those rivers.
David Knapp, an excellent angler and guide sent me an e-mail yesterday, describing last week’s fishing with clients. Fishing was good. Here is what he had to say:
“Quill Gordons seem to be close to being done on lower Little River although a few are still coming off. Blue Quills are still hatching just about everywhere along with Little Black Caddis and Early Brown Stoneflies. Blue-winged Olives have hatched well on cloudy/rainy days. Evening spinner falls (Quill Gordon and Blue Quill mayflies) are producing some good rises as well.
The fish don't seem to like the really bright sunny days. On those days, my best luck has been in shaded areas (for dry fly fishing). In fact, I sat and watched one pool for a while on Wednesday (45 minutes or so). Plenty of fish were rising, but they were almost all holding in the shadows of trees. I could only see them well when they rose to the surface. Otherwise, the shadow kept them well hidden.”
We will probably see a continuation of this report, once the water warms some. We really have had some very good fishing this Spring. This interruption will be temporary. David’s website offers excellent advice and reporting on fishing in the Smokies and on tailwaters in our area. You can visit his site, “The Trout Zone” by CLICKING HERE.
I have a high regard for David as an angler, a guide and a friend. They don’t come any better.
The roads have been brined. I saw trucks spraying the roads yesterday, anticipating heavier snowfall than we will probably get. I’m kind of hoping for a good “snowfall”, since it is going to be cold anyway. We may not get much here in the valley, but I suspect we’ll see white mountains tomorrow morning when the sun rises. That will be nice.
The precipitation deficit decreased to below 2” for the year, as recorded at the Knoxville Airport. Rainfall and snow predictions over the next few days through March 25th look encouraging. If it plays out as predicted, we can certainly be thankful for that.
Tomorrow night, most Americans will roll their clocks forward to daylight savings time. Not us. Paula and I have not changed our clocks in two years. We continue to live year-round on daylight savings time. Our computers and phones change automatically. Our clocks in the home do not. My truck runs on daylight savings time, all year. We have to make mental calculations when we have appointments, so we match the times of others. I try to have as few appointments as possible these days. They are far and few between.
I quit wearing a watch 3 years ago, because I really don’t care what time it is. I don’t use an alarm clock. Well, maybe a couple of times in the past years, I used one because I was going fishing at daybreak, after a lengthy drive and meeting someone.
Now, the days are longer and it will be daylight later for most folks. That offers more fishing opportunities after work for many. Those opportunities grow daily as the days become longer. Our business “leaps forward” when we change our clocks to daylight savings time. I suppose that has something to do with anglers spending more time fishing.
I am planning to spend more time fishing this year. I will be working a lot too. This is going to be a good year.
Have a great day and thank you for being here with us.
March 11, 2017
Respond to: Byron@littleriveroutfitters.com