Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report from Townsend, Tennessee in the Great Smoky Mountains.  It is dark, raining and 49 degrees this morning.  It is February 1st.  the daffodils and crocus are in full bloom.  The high temperature today should be 60 degrees or better.  What a beautiful Spring day.  February 1st? 

We are going to have several days of great fishing weather ahead. Little River looks perfect.  Flow is 365 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 305 cfs. The water was clear this morning and 46 degrees.  The water temperature will climb this week.  Through Sunday we will enjoy highs in the high 50’s to 60’s and lows in the 40’s except for one night.  The rainfall today and tonight is not expected to amount to much.  We will have more rain later this week.

Fishing is going to improve drastically.  Warm rain will help.  Water temperatures will rise.  The trout will think it is Spring.  The aquatic insects might think the same thing.  Certainly, the flowers were fooled.  It would not surprise me one bit to see a bear roaming around our house with little cubs after a long winters nap.  This has been a remarkable winter so far. 

I would use nymphs right now.  Get them deep.  I would use a Prince, Pheasant Tail, Hare’s Ear, Copper John, Tellico or any other fly that mimics any food source found in the Southern Appalachian mountain streams.  Watch for aquatic insect activity on the surface.  I have no idea what to expect except for the unexpected.  Quill Gordons or Blue Quills?  Maybe.  Stonefly adults?  Could be.  Caddis?  Why not.  Yellow Sally Stoneflies?  I don’t think so. 

Maybe the fishing in the Smokies won’t be excellent.  How could that happen in February?  Like I said, this has been a remarkable winter.

THE CALCIUM CHLORIDE PRINCIPLE is working.  Do not underestimate this one bit.  Last winter was awful.  We had snow, ice, cold temperatures, driving conditions that were unbearable and I hated it.  We were close to running out of ice melt.  Ethan even delivered some to our private road one morning because I was stuck there and could not get to work.  It will be a long time before we forget the Winter of 2010/2011.

I ordered a skid of Ice Melt (Calcium Chloride) from Uline last winter.  Bill said he wanted a few 5 gallon containers.  I stored two 5-gallon buckets in my truck and stacked the rest of the stuff in the shop.  Bill took his containers home. 

It has not snowed since.  The terrible winter conditions last year ceased the minute we received those hundreds of pounds of Ice Melt.  So, if you hate snow and dangerous driving conditions thank me and Bill.  If you love snow, I apologize.

How about that Tennessee Adventure Tourism and Rural Development Act of 2011?  I’ve got a copy of the Senate Bill 1205 on my desk.  The Department of Tourist Development, in cooperation with the Department of Environment and Conservation and the Department of Economic and Community Development, is directed to study and develop a plan for the promotion and development of adventure tourism and other recreational and economic development activities in rural areas of Tennessee.  This bill goes on to describe “Adventure Tourism” as hang-gliding, kayaking, motorized trail riding, rappelling, rock climbing, spelunking, triathlon and white water rafting. 

Fishing is not mentioned in this bill. That, I can understand.  Canoeing was also not on the list.  That surprised me but I did see the movie “Deliverance”, the overwhelming exemplification of adventure tourism, more than once.  The Senate did not include horseback riding.  Again I’m surprised.  But, maybe those folks have not fallen off of, or have been “thrown” from a horse as often as I have.  Being thrown by a horse is more dignified than falling off of one.  I’ve done both, most often the latter.

The geographic regions that will receive attention and probably some money must be decided on by the end of the day today. This will be interesting to watch.  This sounds like a good idea to me.  It will cater to a younger crowd.  My adventure tourism days are over.

We will have two excellent guys tying flies at the shop on Saturday. They are Mike Adams and John Thurman. Both of these guys will be tying trout flies. Mike is a guide from Bluff City, Tennessee. He makes his living fishing with clients on the tailwaters in East Tennessee. John Thurman is a biologist specializing in aquatic insects. He fishes our tailwaters too. The tying demonstration is free and they will begin tying at 10:00 and continue until 2:00 pm. Just come on by and grab a chair.  

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

Byron Begley
February 1, 2012

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