Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is sunny and the air is clear in Townsend this morning.  It is a beautiful day again.  The high temperature is supposed to be in the mid 60’s.  Wow!  The warming trend should continue for the next 10 days and there is only a slight chance for rain during that period.  We may see highs in the 70’s. 

Anglers are getting antsy.  The water temperature in Little River continues to climb.  This morning it was 41 degrees.  One degree per day seems to be the rate that the early morning temperature is rising.  Of course, it is rising during the day and dropping at night but there has been that increase of one degree every day since this warming trend began.  The flow in Little River is still dropping.  Today the flow is 189 cubic feet per second.  Median flow for this date is 330 cfs.  It has been dry since December 1st with not much relief in sight for several days. 

Fishing will be getting better every day.  My plan is to check the water temperature in the afternoons on my bike ride.  I think nymphs will still work best, especially early in the day.  I would probably try dry flies later in the day.  When the water temperature reaches 50 degrees and sustains that temperature we’ll see some hatches and the dry fly action will be on. 

Further downstream where Little River is fed by lowland creeks the water temperature should be even warmer than it is here.  So, when will the smallmouth bass get active.  I’ve read that they like the water to be in the mid 50’s.  That may happen sooner than later. 

I talked to Ronnie, our Police Chief last night at the Commission meeting.  He’s chomp’n at the bit to go fishing too.  We are having lunch at his house today.  I’m sure we’ll talk about city business some and fishing a lot.  He built a “clubhouse” on his property that is partially outdoors with a kitchen indoors.  It is beautiful.  I can see it from here right now.  The outdoor portion is under roof and has a great fireplace for warmth and atmosphere.  The bricks used to build the fireplace were stored in one of the oldest homes in Townsend.  They were in the basement of that house.  They were salvaged when a home was torn down years ago and I bet they date back to the logging days in our valley.  Those bricks make Ronnie’s “clubhouse” even more special.  I bet he will be frying fish today.

Ronnie is a walleye fisherman.  He and his buddies fish at night.  Most of our lakes around here have populations of walleye and there have been some large fish caught.  Since I just fly fish I have never caught one in Tennessee.  But if you see me on the lake trolling you will know I’ve decided to try and catch some of those tasty fish. 

I’m not much of a night fisherman though.  I’ve tried it and didn’t like it.  That dislike for night fishing probably dates back to my teens.  Sammy and I were fishing all night on the Kentucky River, he hooked a huge eel and due to the darkness we did not know what he had.  He pulled that thing in the boat and it was wiggling around all around us, which triggered our instinct to abandon ship and we did.  Luckily we were tied up to the boat dock.  I never liked swimming in the Kentucky River at night either.

Don’t forget that Travis Reynolds will be tying here on Saturday.  You should come by and meet him.  He will be tying between 10:00 and 2:00.  It’s free. Just show up and grab a chair. 

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

Byron Begley
February 16, 2011

2011 Tennessee Trout Unlimited Summer Camp

Tennessee TU is sponsoring a week-long summer aquatic biology and trout fishing camp at Great Smoky Mountain Institute at Tremont. The camp will be held Monday, June 20 - Saturday, June 25 and is for middle school-age boys and girls. Cost of the camp is $465. Go to TU Clinch River Chapter website, for more information and an application.  Applications are due March 1st.  This is an opportunity of a lifetime for young people.

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Volunteer for Troutfest


Our fly tying classes will be offered in January and February 2011.   To sign up just call the shop at 877-448-3474.  You can read more on our website in the Schools Section.  The fly tying class schedule follows:

Saturday January 8 – Beginner Fly Tying
Saturday January 15 – Intermediate Fly Tying
Saturday January 22 – Advanced Fly Tying
Saturday February 5 – Beginner Fly Tying
Saturday February 19 – Intermediate Fly Tying
Saturday February 26 – Advanced Fly Tying


Our fly fishing classes will be offered from March to October 2011.   To sign up just call the shop at 877-448-3474.  You can read more on our website in the Schools Section.  The fly fishing class schedule follows:

Saturday March 26 – Beginner Day One
Saturday April 9 – Beginner Day One
Saturday April 30 – Beginner Day One
Sunday May 1 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday May 7 – Beginner Day One
Saturday May 21 – Beginner Day One
Sunday May 22 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday June 11 – Beginner Day One
Saturday June 25 – Beginner Day One
Sunday June 26 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday July 9 – Beginner Day One
Saturday July 23 – Beginner Day One
Sunday July 24 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday September 10 – Beginner Day One
Saturday September 24 – Beginner Day One
Sunday September 25 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday October 8 – Beginner Day One
Saturday October 22 – Beginner Day One
Sunday October 23 – Beginner Onstream Day Two

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