Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is partly cloudy and foggy in Townsend this morning.  There was not a bit of fog in Dry Valley.  As soon as I turned off Old Cades Cove Road the visibility was severely limited.  I had the boat in tow and stopped to check the tail lights just in case.  They were working fine.

When I got to the river to take the temperature, Glenn, who is in charge of maintenance for the City stopped.  He warned me about launch the boat in Little River.  I might tear it up.  I told him I was taking the temperature for our website.  He was kidding. 

Little River is flowing at 1,360 cubic feet per second (cfs) and the gauge is reading 3.95 feet.  Median flow for this date is 361 cfs.  The water temperature was 56 degrees at 8:00 am and the water is turbid.  We had .80” of rain in the gauge at the shop.  It looks like there is more rain headed our way today, maybe tonight and maybe tomorrow. 

Fishing in the Park is going to be tough today at least in the Little River watershed.  The water is high and wading is dangerous.  I would find a small stream to fish.  Maybe Anthony Creek is flowing OK, but I don’t know.

I’m looking at the Oconaluftee River gauge right now.  It doesn’t look too high.  Cataloochee looks good too.  The Little Pigeon River at Sevierville does not have a partner with the USGS.  The City used to be their partner.  So that gauge information is not available in real time.  Tellico River is very high and flowing at a higher rate than Little River.  The Davidson River is flowing below normal. 

With the ground saturated from all the rain we have had this year, I expect Little River will drop about 9” by tomorrow morning if we don’t get any more rain.  That will still be high.  And, we have a 70% chance for more rain and thunderstorms today. 

If you are planning a long drive to the Smokies to fish this weekend, I would pick Maggie Valley or Bryson City.  Or, if you pick Townsend plan on fishing streams outside this watershed.  Fishing in the Little River watershed tomorrow might not be what you are hoping for.  Of course, you can always drive to find fishable water.

I picked up David Ezell and we drove to the lake yesterday morning.  We got the boat ready to launch and started hearing thunder.  Then we saw lightning.  A TWRA wildlife officer pulled in the parking lot in front of us.  He was talking on his radio.  We walked over to his truck.  He was meeting 6 other officers and they planned to place fish attractors in the lake.  He said there was a report of 60 mile per hour winds and hail in Madisonville.  So we waited until the storm passed then launched the boat.  There were 7 TWRA trucks and some of their boats in the parking lot at that time.

We drove about 2 miles up the lake.  My motor kept losing power.  We fished for a couple of hours, David caught one shellcracker and I didn’t catch a thing.  We didn’t see any fish.  The water temperature on the surface was 54 degrees. I cranked the motor to move us somewhere else and it wouldn’t keep running.  We were stranded, 2 miles from the ramp.

I drove us back using the trolling motor.  We stopped in a good cove on the way and fished for an hour.  We didn’t catch or see any fish. More thunderheads were moving in and the wind was picking up so we decided to call it a day.  We slowly drove back to the ramp and pulled the boat out of the water. 

Down at the ramp, Rufus King pulled up in his boat.  He knew we were there and had been looking for us.  So we jumped in his boat and went out again.  We did find some small bass in a creek but they were not eating.  We just watched them.  Rufus caught a little smallmouth bass and a tiny bluegill.  The fish just weren’t biting.  I got home at 7:15 pm and I was worn out.  It was a really great day despite the motor problems.  David, Rufus and I laughed and had a great time.  As far as fun goes, yesterday was my best day all year.

So, I’ve got a outboard motor issue to solve, the river is high, more rain is approaching and if you go fishing I hope you have better luck than I’ve had.

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

Byron Begley
March 16, 2012

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