Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is sunny and 65 degrees in Townsend this morning.  And that temperature was taken at 8:45 am.  A park service SUV drove past me this morning on my way to work.  It looked brand new.  And, on the back was the phrase “U.S. Park Ranger”.  I’ve never seen that phrase before of I just didn’t notice.  I see park ranger trucks almost every day.  Traffic was heavy this weekend.  People are enjoying their Smokies.  I’m wondering what the entrance to the Park is going to be like when the traffic really picks up.  The entrance has been reduced to one lane with traffic lights to control who goes when at each end of the section.  A new bridge is under construction crossing Little River and they need that lane for a crane.  Several of us are meeting with Kevin Fitzgerald, the Assistant Park Superintendent tomorrow along with a representative from the Tennessee Department of Transportation.  We will review traffic trends supplied by the Park and try to determine just how long the lines in and out of the Park are going to be during the tourist season.  Then, maybe we can come up with alternative ideas.  People are complaining about the 3 minute wait and that is expected.  But, what if someone had to wait much longer?  This is making us tourism folks a little nervous.

Little River is flowing lower than normal.  Flow is currently 295 cubic feet per second.  Median flow for this date is 382 cfs.  Most people would prefer what we have now.  295 cfs is not low at all.  The water temperature was 54 degrees at 8:30 am.  Now that is a sharp contrast from the 46 degree reading I took yesterday morning.

That will change soon.  A big cold front is moving our way bringing high winds, rain and cooler temperatures.  For instance, the high today is supposed to be 83 degrees.  Tomorrow the high is predicted to be 56 degrees.  That is creating a massive upper level disturbance.  We will see severe thunderstorms tonight and maybe an inch of rain.

Fishing should be excellent today but I’ve got to tell you, it is windy out there.  Wear your fly fishing helmet.  We already have limbs falling in town.  There are more limbs to fall in the Park.  So, be careful.

Fishing has been best in the afternoons after the water has warmed a little.  Today the water is starting out fairly warm so you might find plenty of trout and aquatic insect activity all day.  Lots of different aquatic insects are on the water.  Trout are sipping them down.  I would tend to use the darker mayfly patterns like an Adams, Parachute Adams, Blue Quill or Thunderhead all in sizes #12 to #16.  I’m sure I would try a black or olive Elk Hair Caddis.  They are easier for me to see and they float well.  Higher up I would use a Quill Gordon pattern and others.  And you should have some nymphs or wet flies to use as droppers.  The trout are looking up so you don’t have to use weighted nymphs.  But, you might catch larger trout on subsurface flies.  Choose a Bead Head Pheasant Tail, Tellico Nymph, Hare’s Ear or Prince to target larger trout. 

We’ll have to see what tomorrow looks like.  An inch of rain can really raise the streams.  There is a chance they may not be easily fished or waded.  The cooler temperatures will cool the water too.  But, later in the week we’ll be back in the 70’s again and it will be warm at night too by the end of the week.  I would say this weekend will provide excellent fishing in the Smokies.

The 2011 All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory Conference is being held in Gatlinberg right now.  Scientists will be discussing the effects of climate change on the Park.  According to scientists, plants will be most affected in our lifetime.  There is a good article on the Knox News website.  You can read it by CLICKING HERE.

Our Mayor, Pat Jenkins and I met with the Tennessee Department of Transportation on Friday.  Attending was Paul Degges, Deputy Commissioner of Transportation.  He flew in from Nashville on a state owned airplane.  Fog kept him from landing in Knoxville so they diverted the flight to another town.  They couldn’t land there so they decided on Morristown.  But he made it.  Also in the meeting was Steve Borden, the Regional Director at TDOT.  Another man who is in charge of the right-of-ways joined us.  The five of us met for an hour and a half.  Pat and I presented the plan that was developed and approved by the City Commissioners.  The next step is for engineers to get that plan on paper to see what it looks like.  We have a survey of some five miles of roadway that has become a problem due to encroachments.  Some of those encroachments go back to the 1950’s.  Some are more recent.  We have surveys that don’t agree with the latest TDOT survey.  Ours is one of them.  Those can be discussed but a real challenge would have to happen in court.  It’s not worth the money to do that.

So, my job as City Liaison with TDOT is hereby terminated.  From this point forward, TDOT will have to work directly with individual landowners.  It is my hope that this will work out well for everyone involved.  The guys at TDOT have to comply with State Law.  I think they are doing all they can to work this out favorable to the landowners in Townsend.  At first there were 80 landowners involved.  Some encroachments have been removed.  But, another 12 landowners, including us became encroachers when the latest survey was completed.  The outcome will probably be, selling the encroached land to the adjoining landowner then leasing the balance to the city for public use.

Oh happy day!

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

Byron Begley
April 4, 2011

Respond to: Byron@LittleRiverOutfitters.com


Volunteer for Troutfest

FLY FISHING CLASSES

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

Respond to: byron@littleriveroutfitters.com


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