Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is foggy and chilly this morning in Townsend. The thermometer display in my truck indicated 31 degrees down by the river.  Traffic was fairly brisk early.  People were going somewhere, probably taking kids to school and going to work.  Yesterday looked and felt like a Spring day.  Today will be the same, a high of 62 degrees.

Little River is flowing close to normal today.  Flow is currently 361 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 343 cfs.  The water temperature dropped last night to 46 degrees. That will increase later today.

Fishing is good.  The Smokies trout are active.  Aquatic insects are active.  People are catching trout on dry flies.  I would use nymphs this morning until the water warms up.  Then you will see the river come to life, maybe not like a day in April but compared to what we usually see in early February, there will be a sharp contrast. 

Brown stoneflies are hatching.  Some Quill Gordons adults are on the water.  The lower elevations will get more insect activity.  The water is warmer there.  The guys at Blackberry Farm said they have seen Quill Gordons in Hesse Creek recently.  Some were spotted on the Middle Prong.  And, the water is getting warm enough during the day to create an active environment for the trout.  They could be rising to dry flies today. Maybe not.  Sometimes the bugs are on the water for a few days before the trout take notice.   Another angler told me yesterday that they were not rising to dries.  He saw insects on the water but continued to fish deeper and did well. 

If you have been reading this report and keeping up you know that we are having an early Spring at least for now.  Flowers are blooming, aquatic and terrestrial insects are out.  Michael told me yesterday a toad was on the pavement behind his truck.  To avoid running over the animal he picked it up and moved it to the grass.  He said the toad felt very cold and was lethargic.  It probably just came out of the ground like the groundhogs did.  Even the bass have moved into shallow water on Douglas Lake and probably others too.   

This Spring weather is fine now but what is going to happen later?  And, how is this going to affect the aquatic insect population in the streams?  I don’t know, I’m not an expert.  There are many theories relating to extremely warm weather this early in the year.  Some people say the Spring hatches will be sparse due to this emergence going on now.  If we don’t get some cold weather soon, it will be Spring though you can’t rule out a deep freeze even as late as April.  Others say the terrestrial bugs will be a problem this year.

All I know is, it is warm and it is time to go fishing.

Last weekend I was sitting with Dave Chouinard in his Simms motorcoach showroom.  I was looking at the Lamson reels and saw one that was not familiar.  It was black, beautiful and priced right.  The reel was a special edition of the Waterworks Lamson Guru.  They are making them now and they will be offered as a special edition this year.  This reel was not mentioned in the Lamson 2012 catalog.  I had not heard of it until Saturday.  He had several sizes on a table in the motor home.  These reels will sell for $199 for the smallest size and a little more for the larger reels.  They are awesome.  I asked to take one to our studio so I could have some photos to put on our Online Store.  I left with one, shot about 20 pictures and returned it to Dave in about 30 minutes.  The next day I opened the files in Photoshop and started to work. 

Below are some of the photos I took.  The group shots are actually 2 or 3 photographs placed close to or over each other.  You can also see the reels and read more at our Online Store by CLICKING HERE.  Below there is also a shot of the setup I use for photographing reels.

Don’t forget that Mike Adams and John Thurman will be tying here tomorrow for you.  They will be tying between 10:00 am til 2:00 pm.  It’s free.  You will learn a lot about patterns that work for trout in our tailwaters.  Mike is a guide in upper East Tennessee and John is an Aquatic Biologist.  These are two talented guys. 

Have a great day, enjoy this great weather, go fishing and thank you for being here.

Byron Begley
February 3, 2012

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Lamson Special Edition Black Guru Reel

Waterworks Lamson Special Edition Guru Reel Disassembled

Photography Studio at Little River Outfitters

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