Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park
February 17, 2010

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is cold in Townsend this morning, 27 degrees. We had a few snow showers earlier but there was no accumulation.  There is some heavier snow expected in the high elevations.  Traffic in town is light, almost none. 

Little River looks good, the flow today is actually lower than the median for this date.  The water is flowing at 280 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median for this date is 394 cfs, which quite a bit higher than the normal for the past few days.  This is based on 44 years of data.  The water temperature is 36 degrees in town.

I took this photo this morning standing on the swinging bridge looking upstream. This is right at normal flow for this time of year.

Here is a shot of Little River looking downstream from the swinging bridge.

I called the Park Service road closure phone line this morning.  Someone actually answered.  That has happened a couple of times lately.  They have 8 phone lines at Park Headquarters and the calls are overwhelming, over-taxing the recording device.  When that happens a Park Service person answers.  They are always glad to help.  Here’s what the fellow told me:  Highway 441 is closed.  They are expecting up to 4 inches of snow up there today.  Little River Road is open.  It has been closed for a few days.  Laurel Creek Road to Cades Cove is closed but may open shortly.  The Foothills Parkway is closed.  Call 865-436-1200 before you make the trip.  Roads can open or close quickly depending on the conditions.

This may be your chance to fish the East Prong of Little River today.  It is overcast, which is good.  There is a 50% chance of snow and gusty wind which is bad because the roads may close.  Fishing has been good in Townsend outside the Park in the stocked section of Little River. 

Very few people are fishing anywhere around here.  We see a few anglers but not many.  The cold temperatures, snow, ice, excessive generation on the tailwaters and closed roads have cut our options back to near zero. 

Lately, I’ve seen a few ravens around the store.  I’ve never seen that before.  We have tons of crows hanging around our parking lot and always have.  But I don’t remember seeing ravens.  One local fellow I talked to yesterday thinks they are down here because it’s so cold in the higher elevations.  That makes sense to me.  I usually see them in the higher elevations in the Smokies.

The raven has the largest brain of any bird.  They learned a long time ago how to beg for food from the tourists.  I had one almost take some bread out of my hand in Yellowstone Park.  He wouldn’t quite do it but got within a few inches of me.  He backed off and I threw the bread to him.  He probably knew I would. Ravens like to collect things, especially shiny objects.  They hide them because other ravens will steal their prizes. 

It’s good to see them in the valley.  I wish they were here more often.  I good place to see a raven is the Alum Cave Trail Parking Lot. 

We are selling Troutfest Banquet Tickets Online!  CLICK HERE.  That will take you to the Troutfest website and to the "Buy Tickets" page. If you decide to buy you will then be directed to our online catalog.  We don’t process your order here.  We turn over your order to volunteers who deposit your credit card charge in our TU Chapter’s account.  Then they will send you the tickets.  The reason we use our website to sell the tickets is because our server uses incrypted data so your credit card information is safe. The tickets are selling well so far.

Father and son team Bill and Bill Boyd will be tying at the shop Saturday.  This is a free fly tying demonstration.  They will start at 10:00 and tie until 2:00 pm.  They will both be tying at the same time so you can watch one for a while then check out the other.  These guys are great fly tyers and are fun to be around.

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

Byron Begley
February 17, 2010

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