Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is a cool 39 degrees this morning and it is raining. The shower is about over according to the radar.  It should be cloudy today and 64 degrees.  Traffic was fairly heavy in town earlier.  I probably saw 30 or more vehicles on the roads coming to work.  I ran into some nice guys fishing off the big rocks at the swinging bridge.  They were using spinning rods and had not caught anything yet.  I guess they always wonder what I’m doing walking down to the river every morning.  Most people ask.  Here’s this guy without a fishing rod walking down to their spot with a thermometer attached to a long string.  Am I going to check their fishing license?  What am I up to?  Of course I explain what I’m doing and my daily stop is done to help fishermen so they usually think that is cool. 

The river is low and cooler today.  Flow is 185 cubic feet per second.  Median flow for this date is 369 cfs.  Fishing has been OK, but not great.  Water temperatures in the lower elevations of the Smokies are rising to around 50 degrees or better.  If that keep up we’ll start seeing more Spring hatches and the trout will get active.  Most of the really good fishermen I’ve talked to are doing fairly well.  None have said the fishing is great.  Walter told me he fished the Tellico River this week.  He said the water temperature there did not get above 45 degrees.  I think he said he caught 12 trout.  That is a slow day for Walter.

It is going to be cloudy here until Wednesday and it will be warm.  The water is low now so you have to be careful approaching trout.  But, the conditions are looking good. 

Anglers are expecting crowds on the tailwaters.  They are probably right.  Everyone wants to get out and fish.  I’m taking our boat to the dealership next week and get everything checked out.  I took care of the winterizing, tune-up and fluid changes last Fall. But, one of the spark plugs was fouled pretty bad and since the motor is still under warranty it makes sense to have that checked out.

I mentioned yesterday that Ray Ball would be tying at the shop a week from Saturday.  I was somewhat mistaken.  He has not called Paula back yet so I don’t know for sure.  Tim Doyle is tying next Saturday between 10:00 am til 2:00 pm.  Most people don’t want to miss that.  It’s free.  Just come on by.

Park Service fisheries management is holding a public meeting in Townsend on Thursday March 3rd at 7:00 pm.  The meeting will be held at City Hall in the Old Townsend School Auditorium.  CLICK HERE FOR A PDF WITH MORE INFORMATION. 

The new TWRA fishing and hunting licenses are on sale now.  We’re busy selling a lot of those.  You old license expires at the end of this month. 

Spring break in the Northern states will begin in about a week.  That’s when we really start picking up here.  Usually, Michigan and Wisconsin folks are the first to show up.  I bet they have a bad case of Spring fever.  Tourism bookings at the hospitality properties here are looking good for Spring.  Unless we see a steep rise in fuel prices this should be a good season.  Most of us agree, it is about time.  Business has been tough around here for a couple of years. 

I’ve been watching the weather and water conditions at Port St. Joe, Florida.  I’m itch’n to pull the boat down there to fish in the bay.  A new low price airline is about to open at the Knoxville Airport.  They will have direct flights to the new airport near Destin/Panama City for $79 each way.  That opens up some angling opportunities for us.  Port St. Joe is about an hour’s drive from that airport.  If we had two boats we would keep one down there at the marina.  Maybe someday.

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

Byron Begley
February 20, 2011

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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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