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 37 degrees in Townsend this morning.  A mixture of light rain and snow is falling.  We have a 30% to 50% chance for snow every day until Sunday.  We are not expecting much and the daytime temperature is going to be above freezing every day.

Little River is flowing at 537 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 362 cfs.  The water temperature is 43.7 degrees.

I was off yesterday so I did not talk to any anglers returning from fishing in the Smoky Mountains.  There were probably not many to talk to anyway.  I image fishing is slow in the mountains.

You can catch trout, at least today using nymphs.  Try a Tellico, Prince, Pheasant Tail or Copper John.  You might see a hatch.  Hatches of Quill Gordons, Blue Quills and Blue Wing Olives are showing up occasionally.  It is not time for the large Spring hatches. So, for now, just fish with nymphs and switch to dry flies if you see bugs on the water.

Looking at the 10 day weather forecast, it seems we will begin a warming trend next Thursday.  Beginning Friday, daytime temperatures will climb to the 60’s.  Lows at night will be in the 40’s.  Unless the weather forecast changes between now and then, we should see fishing pick up on Friday March 8.  That’s about normal.  That is about right.

Norris Dam has cut back on the water discharge.  There have been periods of no generation lately.  TVA states online, they will not be generating tonight.  TVA also reports they will not be generating at Cherokee between 11 am and 4 pm today.  Before you go fishing, check the TVA website by clicking on the links on the left of this page.  Generation schedules are subject to change.

Less frequent discharge from the TVA dams is great news for trout anglers in our area.  We should celebrate by going fishing.  We need it.

Soon, the lakes will begin to warm.  Smallmouth bass will move into shallower water in preparation for their spawn.  It will be Wooly Bugger time before long.

Three campgrounds in Great Smoky Mountains will probably close temporarily to satisfy Federal spending cuts.  Those less used campgrounds are Look Rock and Abrams Creek in our County.  Balsam Mountain Campground in North Carolina will also close unless some agreement in Washington is made to avert the sequester.  These campgrounds are closed right now anyway for the winter.

Wow, a bald eagle just flew by my window. That is the first time I have seen one in a few weeks.   The two eagles that have been hanging around in Townsend are still here.  Sightings are reported often.  Stan saw one, close-up, swoop down on the road through town to pick up some road kill. I saw that happen in Montana once.  

Here’s an interesting article on the KnoxNews website about the road repair on Newfound Gap Road in the Smoky Mountains.  This huge slide that has caused the road to close is hopefully going to be repaired by May 15.  Look at the photo.  This is going to be an amazing feat.  The contractor is working around the clock.  CLICK HERE to read the article.

I tested some Wooly Buggers in Little River yesterday.  These buggers are designed for bass fishing.  I wanted to see how fast they sink, how easily they cast with a 6 weight and find out if the tail would foul on a stinger hook.  The tail fouled partially one time.  I twitched, changed directions in the water, made all kinds of casts, and did everything I could trying to make the tail foul.  The bugger did not sink fast enough.  It is weighted with 15 wraps of .020 lead free wire.  Now they are tied with 18 wraps.  I kind of hoped to catch one of those stocked trout.  There are some big ones in the river right now.  But, I never moved from one spot.  I was pounding the water and not making a presentation that a trout would like.  I didn’t expect to catch anything.

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

Byron Begley
February 28, 2013

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