Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report from Dry Valley, Tennessee.  I say that because we live in Dry Valley, not really in the Townsend city limits.  I decided to take today off, my first since January 2nd.  I did drive to the swinging bridge a few minutes ago to look at the river and take the water temperature.  There was a lot of bird activity there.  A blue heron flew up from my rock I stand on every morning when the water is at this level.  He landed in Ronnie’s back yard.  Canada geese flew over my head and landed in the river.  There were three of them about 20 feet above the water when they flew past me.  I could hear birds singing from all around.

The river looks great.  Little River is flowing at 445 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 346 cfs.  The water temperature was 51 degrees.  The water is clear.  We got .36 inches of rain at the airport.  I’m using that number because I did not check the gauge at the shop this morning.

Fishing is very good.  Warm water temperatures came early this year.  That may not last but for now, the rivers in Great Smoky Mountains National Park are spring-like.  The aquatic insects are in the Spring mode.  Depending on who you talk to, reports vary from hoards of Quill Gordons to just a few.  Brown stoneflies are buzzing around.  Blue quills have been spotted.  And all of this is happening earlier than usual.  But, this has happened earlier before according to Jack.  He told me last night he has seen the first Spring hatches in January.

Fishing reports from customers and friends have been mostly positive.  Some say they trout are taking dry flies, particularly Quill Gordons.  Josh caught a 21” brown trout on a Quill Gordon dry fly three days ago.  Some people are catching 10, 20 or more trout during the day.  Others are not doing that well.  I guess, right now, success depends on where you are and what tactic you decide to use at that specific time.  Maybe one angler is doing well using dry flies and the guy downstream is not catching anything on nymphs.  Or it could be the other way around.  Anyway, fishing is good, no doubt about that.

It looks like daytime temperatures are going to be closer to normal for February, in the 50’s over the next few days.  Lows at night are going to be higher than normal, in the 30’s and 40’s.  Fishing should continue to be good for the next 5 days.  There may be slow spells and good times depending on where you are and what time of day it is. 

Jack Gregory and Paula met at the shop yesterday then came to our house to do a couple of maintenance things. I left the shop at 5:00, a little early and they were finished and Jack’s ladder was on top of his truck when I got home.  We sat around and talked for hours.  All three of us talked about fishing, Troufest, people we know and a lot of other things.  Jack left at 1:00 am this morning.  We had a great time.  Jack is a very close friend.  I like being around him.  We have been everywhere together, always on fishing trips.  After staying up that late, I’m glad I have the day off.  We have some friends coming over to watch the game and I am going to clean up my man cave in case someone wants to come in here. 

One thing I need to do is clean two guns before I put them away.  I need to move my heavy coats upstairs to the walk in closet.  I’ve got to put away the fly tying materials I’m not using at the moment.  I see a pair of wading shoes on the floor.  I’ll probably get everything done in a couple of hours then take a long winter’s nap.  I may read my currently favorite book, “Search Engine Optimization for Dummies”.

Today is Frank Brown’s 61st birthday.  I’ll give him a call for sure.  Frank and I started the first grade together in 1957.  We have been best buds ever since.  Frank lives in Kentucky.  We talk on the phone about every week.  He is like a brother to me.  We hunt and fish together as much as we can.  We have been friends for 55 years.  Now that he is 61, that means I will be 61 soon. 

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

Byron Begley
February 5, 2012


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