Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is sunny and 27 degrees in Townsend, Tennessee this morning.  There is a thick layer of frost on everything.  Warm temperatures will return to East Tennessee and the Smoky Mountains today.  Our brief winter-like conditions we had over the last couple of days are over.  The high today should be 57 with temperatures reaching the low 60’s tomorrow and through Thursday. 

Little River’s water level is dropping fairly fast.  At the swinging bridge the level was down about 6” from yesterday morning.  Flow is currently 474 cubic feet per second compared to median flow for this date of 290.  We will probably get some rain Wednesday night and Thursday so the rivers and streams in the Park won’t keep dropping for long.  The water temperature was 41 degrees this morning.  The water is clear.

Fishing will be slow for a while.  As the water warms fishing will get better.  Later this week we should expect some good fishing again.  This rain we are expecting will be accompanied by a warm front.  The Park streams will react to that.  By the weekend we could have some very good trout fishing.

We always worry about warm winters.  What would happen if the Spring hatches start early.  Sometimes they do begin in late February.  Seasoned anglers who would notice, say “when the hatches begin they don’t stop even if the temperatures turn cold again.”  We think, if that happened, the hatches in March might be lighter, or less bugs.

Pete told me yesterday the Quill Gordon’s and some brown stoneflies were hatching at his house on Little River.  He lives further downstream where the water is even warmer than it is in Townsend. I don’t see the water temperature in the Park staying at over 50 degrees for very long over the next few days.  Maybe it won’t reach that mark at all.  It is still January.  I hope those bugs wait until March.

Start fishing today with nymphs and weight them deep as well.  As the day progresses watch for blue wing olive hatches. Be ready to switch to a dry fly if that happens.  I don’t think you will see any Quill Gordons or Blue Quills but if you do, try some of those patterns. 

I have a tourism marketing meeting to attend this morning at 9:00.  So, I’m cutting the fishing report short today.

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

Byron Begley
January 30, 2012

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