Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is foggy and 31 degrees in Townsend this morning.  I can’t see the Great Smoky Mountains or really anything past the boundaries of our shop property.  This fog is thick.  Traffic was very light this morning.  The restaurants that remain open during the winter were slow earlier.  This is a typical Tuesday in February. 

Little River is flowing at the perfect level for some anglers.  Right now the flow is 370 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 337 cfs.  We have had a lot of rain this year in East Tennessee.  As a result, the free flowing rivers are in great shape. The water temperature was 46 degrees in town at 7:55 am.  The water will warm later today.

Fishing should be good if you factor out the full moon.  We have had hatches of various aquatic insects lately, very unusual for this time of year.  The water temperatures have exceeded 50 degrees in the lower elevation streams.  Trout have been feeding well due to the warmth.  Hatches have included Quill Gordons, Blue Quills, Caddis, Stoneflies and Blue Wing Olives.  And, trout have been rising to them.

I said all of that in the past tense but maybe that will continue until later this week.  At that point, a cold front will move into the Smokies and East Tennessee.  The weather will be more like normal, maybe even colder than normal.  By the weekend, the water temperature will drop. 

So, for those of you who are planning a fishing trip to the Smokies this weekend, and I know there are some of you who are, don’t expect the good fishing we have been reporting on during the past two weeks.  You will be able to catch trout in these rivers but not like before. 

Maybe those conditions will change.  Maybe the fishing will be good.  But, I doubt it.  The temperature in the valley will drop into the 20’s on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.  The low Saturday is supposed to be 22 degrees.  That will bring the water temperature down.  It will be sunny most day and fairly warm but don’t expect water temperatures in the mid 50’s.  The weather websites are predicting a warming trend starting Tuesday the 14th,  but still not like we had last week.

We will see ups and downs in the Smokies fishing for a while.  But, not far off, the best fishing of the year will begin.

I’ve been working on our website at night when I get home.  Last night I decided to start tying flies again.  I tied a couple of Knuckleheads, a new smallmouth bass pattern.  I have tied about 4 dozen of them but not lately.  I forgot how to do it.  I had to take a finished fly I tied a month ago and figure out the steps again.  It didn’t take long.  I’ll be back in the groove tonight.  Actually I have plenty tied up for me.  I am tying now for fun and these flies will be for sale in the shop this Spring.

I am totally ready for Spring and especially ready for the smallmouth bass to get active.  All I have to do is wash the boat, pour the fuel from the boat’s gas tanks into the truck and buy new fuel.  I tuned up the motor in November and changed the oil and fuel filter.  The batteries have been hooked up to the charger all winter.  This is a charger that maintains the batteries.  It only charges when the batteries need it.  Our rods and reels are in the rack at home, strung up and flies already tied on.  They are ready to be placed in the truck.  My waders and boots are in the closet ready to go. 

When our Fishpond pre-season order comes in March 1st I am going to buy one thing, a Cloudburst Gear Bag.  Donna bought Jack one for Christmas.  Ever since then I have wanted one.  That bag has gunnel hooks.  In the boat, the bag will be off the floor and right beside me.  No more bending over.  All my stuff will be right there.  That’s all I want, except for maybe a new lightweight 7 weight rod.  These new fly rods are light and they cast exceptionally well. 

Come by the shop on Saturday between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm.  Mike Bone and Gary McCown will be tying flies.  They are doing this for you to watch.  It is free and part of our ongoing Free Saturday Fly Tying Demonstrations we hold during the winter.  Mike has been guiding on the tailwaters around East Tennessee for a long time.  His company is Clinch River Outfitters. CLICK HERE to vist his website. Gary has been fly fishing in the area all his life.  He plans to tie warmwater flies.  I consider both of these guys experts.  All you have to do is show up.  You can check out our schedule by CLICKING HERE.  There are some other great fly tyers who will be demonstrating until the end of February. 

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

Byron Begley
February 7, 2012

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