Fishing Report from Townsend, Tennessee in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and East Tennnessee.

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is raining and 35 degrees this morning in Townsend, Tennessee.  This was supposed to be ice.  We missed that by 2 degrees.  It looks like it was snow in the Smoky Mountains.  There is a low fog hovering around the mountains but the peaks look white from here.  I don’t know, it’s hard to tell. 

Fishing is going to improve, I mean really improve.  Over the next 10 days the high temperature will be in the 50’s and 60’s.  Lows at night will be dipping to only the 30’s and 40’s.  The streams will warm up.  They already have somewhat.  Yesterday the water temperature early in the morning was 34 degrees.  This morning it was 39 degrees.

Little River is flowing at a rate of 224 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 305 cfs.  We have rain in the forecast over the next few days and a pretty good chance.  So, we may see the water levels rise in the Smoky Mountains and East Tennessee. 

Bill said he fished three days last week.  He did well.  Most of the trout he caught were on nymphs.  He did see some brown stoneflies and blue wing olives on the water.  There were no Quill Gordons or Blue Quills.  He said he did catch a few fish on a dry fly.  He went fishing before the cold front moved in.

As the week progresses fishing will get better and you may also see some aquatic insect activity like we had two weeks ago.  The weather is going to be similar this week to that warm period when the trout fed well, they fed on dry flies and anglers had smiles on their faces.

We are busy around here getting ready for Spring.  I’m working on the website and Daniel is ordering tackle.  Our first Spring shipment of flies will be shipped to us from Umpqua tomorrow.  They were ordered last year.  Those shipments will be arriving every month from two different suppliers through the Spring and Summer.  It looks like that first shipment will get here just in time. 

There is not much going on in Townsend this week.  This is a slow month for tourism.  March is also a slow tourism month except for two sectors, fly fishermen and hikers.  Anglers trek to Townsend in March unless the weather is abnormally bad.  My guess is, in three weeks, we will be cranking here.  College Spring break occurs in early March.  The young people from Michigan appear first. These people grew up fly fishing.  Fly fishing is a large sport in that state.  They will be here no matter what the weather is like.  They planned their vacations early.  They will be here.

I remember one first week in March when 40 college students from Michigan were backpacking in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  They became snowbound in the backcountry by 4 feet of snow.  We had 3 feet here in the valley.  Something like that is rare.  It happened in the early 90’s. 

All of the students were eventually rescued.  There were some injuries and frostbite, but thankfully everyone got out.  I remember one young man made some snowshoes out of branches and walked to find some rescuers.  Helicopters were used to pluck the young people and their professors from the mountain top.

Today, we have the internet and better weather forecasting.  It is unlikely that would happen today. 

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

Byron Begley
February 14, 2012 

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