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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is overcast and 31 degrees in Townsend this morning.  The ground and rooftops are covered with frost.  Activity is high.  There were at least 20 wild turkeys in our neighbor’s orchard.  I probably saw 40 to 50 cars and trucks on the road at 7:45 am.  Birds were chirping at home and at the store.

Little River looks great.  Flow is 425 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 321 cfs.  The water temperature was 42 degrees at 7:50 am.  The water is clear.

Water temperature, that’s what we are watching right now.  Water temperature determines fly fishing success or failure.  When the water temperature reaches 50 degrees and that is sustained for a few days all heck is going to break loose in the Smoky Mountains streams.  We were close this weekend at 47.5 degrees. 

Fishing was better in the Smokies yesterday than it was Saturday.  I talked to some anglers yesterday who experienced some Quill Gordon and Blue Quill hatches.  Trout were rising to the bugs and some fish were caught.  The news was great to hear.  But, the big surge has not happened yet.  It may not happen over the next 10 days.  Or, maybe it will.

Today and tomorrow are going to be warm, about 60 degrees.  It will rain tonight.  The rain will be warm.  Today is probably going to be your best opportunity to fish in the Smokies this week.  It is going to be windy tomorrow and the water may be high.

Later this week and into the weekend it is going to be cold.  The water temperature will drop.  Fishing will slow. 

If you go fishing today, have some Quill Gordon, Blue Quill and Blue Wing Olive dry flies in sizes from #12 to #18.  Use nymphs early then switch to dry flies later today.  Fishing might be great or it might not.  I think it will be OK.

We can tell anglers are getting excited and ready.  Business has picked up.  February is turning out to be a good month, even compared to last year.  Last year, the hatches occurred early in the month, earlier than I can remember.  Often, February is very slow here, kind of like January.  March is always good unless we have a flood or snowstorm in the region.

I can go online and watch the orders come in to our online store.  I did that last night from home which is unusual for me.  Three more orders arrived after we checked yesterday at the shop and cleared everything out.  We probably had more come in last night.

Angler’s Spring and the excitement it brings to our community of customers and friends in the Southeast United States and other parts of the country certainly gets my sprits up.  I like to hear about and see people fishing, including myself. 

Paula and I went for a bicycle ride after work yesterday.  We may go again today.  Townsend is a great place to ride.  You can drive along one of the most beautiful rivers in the world and gaze at the mountains in the other direction.  Being a small town, we know about everyone so there are folks to speak to. 

People who live here are not bothered by traffic or crime.  We don’t have that here.  Oh sure, traffic is heavy in July and October when the bulk of the tourists are here.  Little River is choked with tubers for a couple of months.  But mostly, we have a very quiet life in Townsend.  I put about 4,000 to 6,000 miles per year on my truck.  Most of that is driving to the lake.  My normal commute to and from work is about 6 or 7 miles total.  It has been two weeks since I was held up by a traffic light.  I haven’t even seen one.  I don’t plan to see a traffic light over the next two weeks.  There is no reason to. 

My goal is to ride my bicycle more miles than I drive in my truck, locally.  That probably won’t happen and the short days during the Winter reduce my average road miles. I would have to average 6 to 7 miles per day.  At my normal speed that will take 3.5 to 4  hours per week.  It’s a worthy goal.

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

Byron Begley
February 25, 2013 

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