November 2, 2009
Welcome to the Fishing Report. It is cold this morning in Townsend, 38 degrees. It is going to be in the mid 30’s every night this week after tonight. They say it will drop to 40 tonight. Leaves have been falling and the streams have plenty mixed in. Little River is still rolling strong this morning at 810 cubic feet per second down from 1,100 yesterday. The level is dropping slowly. You will find the streams tough to fish right now, or at least tough to wade.
Be careful wading. I have not taken the water temperature but I’m guessing it is about 50 degrees. I’ll check it when I go to the shop. I bet I’m pretty close. The current is strong in most of the streams. If you fall in you could get swept to the other side and be stranded. If you wade, stay close to the bank. I would use big dark nymphs. Dry flies might work. You won’t hook as many leaves with a dry.
There are still a lot of tourists in the mountains. That is just about to end. The huge rock slide on Interstate 40 over the North Carolina won’t help the end of the leaf season. This was the second slide in a week. They say the interstate will be closed for three months. Some of the rocks are described to be as large as mobile homes. Over 22,000 cars and trucks use that road daily.
When the leaves drop a whole new visual world opens up to us in the Smokies. Winter is a peaceful time of year, one where a hiker and see things that are usually missed. There are less people too. While walking along the streams you can hear the water flowing very clearly. Our fishing times of the day change to the warmer periods. We wait for the warmer days to go fishing. I like living here in the winter. The absence of leaves gives us a clear view of the mountains from our house. During the summer we are closed into a dense forest. I wouldn’t say winter is better, just different.
Jack, Ronnie, Steve, Ross and Mike just returned from Yellowstone National Park. I talked to Jack yesterday. He said it was bitter cold but the fishing was great. He had 50 fish days. There were a lot of good size trout caught but nothing over 26”. Ross caught that one. I remember the year Jack caught a 32” brown.
He said West Yellowstone was quiet, almost no people there. We’ve been there for the last week of fishing before and found the town to be somewhat crowded. Not this year. Jack said they had a slow season in this little gateway town.
He related one story I found interesting. One day they were fishing, the temperature was 14 degrees and trout were rising to blue wing olives. I bet they were fishing the Madison inside the Park. The water there is warmed by the Firehole River. I’ve taken the water temperature there and it was 42 degrees. The air temperature was in the teens.
This first time I went with these guys we camped. The night temperatures were in single digits. It snowed, we had an ice storm and the temperature rarely warmed above freezing. But, we caught a lot of trout, browns are spawning and rainbows are eating the eggs. It’s a good time to be there if you don’t mind the cold and snow.
Have a great day and thank you for being here with us.
November 2, 2009
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