Townsend, Tennessee - Fly Fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, East Tennessee and Western North Carolina

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is very foggy and 34 degrees in Townsend this morning.  Getting here was tough.  This is about as foggy as it gets.

Little River is flowing strong.  The stream levels are OK in the Park for fly fishing but you need to be careful wading.  Flow right now is 495 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 337 cfs.  The water temperature was 45.2 degrees at 7:35 am.  I expected to see a high water temperature yesterday of 50 degrees.  It didn’t happen.

There were plenty of anglers out yesterday.  Many were going fishing.  I wish I knew how well they did.  Fishing is definitely better than it has been lately.  Maybe it was good yesterday.  I just don’t know.

Josh, at sent me an e-mail.  He guided a couple in the Smokies yesterday.  He said fishing was slow.  The Quill Gordons and Blue Quills came off for about an hour.  The sun didn’t come out yesterday.  If it had, the water would have warmed and the fishing would have been better.

They saw a brown trout, about 20” long feeding on the bugs.  One of his clients floated a fly close to the brown but a rainbow grabbed his fly first.  It was a nice rainbow.  The lady he guided caught a 12”+ rainbow and missed several others.  Sounds like a tough day to me though I know they had fun.

Today may be different.  We are expecting sunshine all day and a high temperature of 56 degrees.  I would go.

Rain will arrive here tomorrow night.  Later in the week it is going to get cold again and we have a 30% chance for snow Thursday through Saturday.  The water temperature will drop.  Fishing will be slower.  It looks like Angler’s Spring has been postponed for at least a week.

I know one thing, fishermen are ready to go.  The tailwaters have not been friendly for anglers most of the year so far.  Water levels in the mountain streams were high in January.  We have had some cold weather and some warm days, then cold weather again.  This has been crazy.  Rainfall so far this year is double normal. 

I mentioned the closing of campgrounds in Great Smoky Mountains National Park in yesterday’s report, pending the outcome of the sequestration.  The Mountain Press identified the campgrounds that would possibly close.  They are Look Rock, Balsam Mountain and Abrams Creek Campgrounds.  Elkmont, Cades Cove and Smokemont were not mentioned.  That’s good.  The Park Service plans to cut costs that impact as few visitors as possible.  Also the two least used picnic areas would be closed.  That sounds a lot better than what I read yesterday.  You can read the article by CLICKING HERE.

Here is another interesting article in the Mountain Press.  CLICK HERE.  Construction has begun to re-open Newfound Gap Road.  A slide closed the road earlier this month.  Read about the incentives to get this project done fast.  The hopeful completion date is May 15 of this year.  “The contractor will be paid $18,000 per day for each day of completion prior to May 15”, according to the Mountains Press.  They go on to say that the contractor will be charged $18,000 per day for each day after May 15 that the road is not re-opened.  Weather is going to be a major factor in this for the contractor.  It’s kind of like owning a fly shop.  Weather controls everything. 

I hope you can go fishing today somewhere.  We sure do need a break.  Maybe today it will come.

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

Byron Begley
February 24, 2013

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