Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park
February 4, 2010

Welcome to the Fishing Report from the Great Smoky Mountains. Right now it is overcast and 31 degrees.  The ground and rooftops are covered with frost.  There is not much activity in town.  When I took the water temperature this morning a Canada goose honked at me the whole time I was on the river bank.  It never stopped.  I don’t know what his problem was.  There was another goose closer to me that didn’t say a thing.

Little River has plenty of flow and the water temperature is 41 degrees.  Currently the flow rate is 521 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Normal for this date is 347 cfs.  That’s going to change.  More rain is headed our way tonight.  The chance for rain is pretty good, 100%.  Same for tomorrow.  We may get some snow Friday night and Saturday.  It is going to be fairly warm so that should not cause road problems here.  In the Smokies, especially up high it will be cold and there should be plenty of snow.

If you go fishing try large nymphs and streamers.  The overcast sky will work in your favor.  If you see a hatch you might switch to Blue Wing Olive patterns or midges.  We may have blown out rivers tomorrow and Saturday.  Only time will tell.  The National Weather Service reports indicate the possibility of minor flooding.

Plan on being here Saturday between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm for our usual Free Fly Tying Demonstrations.  This Saturday our featured tyers are Brian Courtney and Mike Adams.  Both of these guys are great fly tyers with a wide range of fishing experience.  Brian lives in Philadelphia, Tennessee and has done most of his fishing on tailwaters and mountain streams.  Mike is a guide in upper East Tennessee who specializes on floating the tailwaters and streams up there.  Both of these guys are pastors.  You will enjoy the day with them.  You don’t need to make a reservation, just show up.

Jack and I were talking about Lynn Camp Prong the other day.  That stream was treated with a fish toxin year before last above the cascade.  There are over 8 miles of water that once held up to 2,000 rainbows per mile. 

Lynn Camp was stocked with wild Southern Appalachian Brook Trout this past fall.  I was there one day when they stocked.  I believe the Park Service released about 1,100 brookies. Many of them were adult breeders.  I saw some 8” to 10” fish.  Hopefully they had a successful spawn.  High water could have had an effect on the spawn.  We’ll know this summer.  Lynn Camp is closed to fishing until the brook trout population reaches a sustainable level.

If all went well there may be several thousand brookies in the stream now.  There is plenty of food for a trout biomass of this size.  They will grow fast.

I’m almost positive the fisheries crew will do some sampling with electroshockers this summer.  That will determine how many young of the year trout hatched and lived compared to the known number of trout stocked.  That will be some interesting data.

The Little River Journal February Issue will go out late today or tomorrow morning.  You will enjoy it.  There are a lot of articles on winter fishing by several experts.  I linked the January Issue to the Archives yesterday.  You can read the January issue by clicking HERE.  It’s not to late to subscribe to the Journal.  Just type in your e-mail address in the box near the top of this page.

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

Byron Begley
February 4, 2010


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