Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is overcast and a cool 42 degrees in Townsend this morning.  It rained on and off all night.  I know because unfortunately the rain kept waking me up.  The spring creek behind our house looks like coffee with plenty of creamer.  Little River looks the same through town. 

If you are driving to Townsend this morning to fish, I would consider going back home and tie flies or something.  That is what I would be doing if I were not here working. 

Little River is stained and flowing swiftly.  Visibility in town is about 3 or 4 inches below the water surface.  Flow right now is 966 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 307 cfs.  The water temperature is 52 degrees. 

Deadly storms raged across the South and mid America yesterday.  Tornados were actually spotted near here.  Rain was not that heavy.  We had 1.2” in our gauge this morning.  The Airport reported .89”.  Everything is soaked though and the streams are running fairly high.

Wading is dangerous in some rivers or even small streams.  Take care if you go fishing in the Smokies today.  I would use weighted nymphs and do some high sticking near the bank.  The water will be clearer in the Park.  But by all means be careful.

The gauge is indicating that fishing is slow.  That is due to a built in feature that takes safety into consideration.  The gauge is always trying to discourage people from driving to the Smokies and being disappointed.  Actually, the fishing may not be that slow but your options are limited and these conditions are certainly not something we are accustomed to lately.

Spring came early.  This morning I noticed more trees blooming.  I saw the yellow forsythia this morning for the first time this year.  Apple trees, or maybe they are pears are blooming in front of our house.

The cold front that followed these storms is going to loiter for a while.  Night temperatures are going to dip into the low 30’s and high 20’s for 3 or 4 days.  We may even get some snow tomorrow night.  It won’t stick down here.  And, there won’t be much of it.

This cold weather is going to mess me up next week.  My only options for a day off are Monday and Tuesday.  I’m attending a Search Engine Optimization seminar on Wednesday, we have our monthly planning commission meeting Thursday night and I have another meeting on Friday.  The boat is ready to go.  Smallmouth bass have moved into the shallows.  I just can’t make myself launch a boat into the lake at daybreak when it is freezing outside.

The weather next weekend looks great.  It should be warm and sunny.  That won’t help me.  I don’t fish on weekends.  Actually, the weather looks good starting Wednesday.  Highs will be back in the 60’s.  Fishing in the Smokies will be great again. 

Doug and I have been discussing the perfect fly fishing boat for lake fishing.  We’ve been talking about this topic for months.  He wants to downsize to a lighter rig.  There is no telling how many e-mails we have exchanged over the past 6 months.  He wanted to know what my favorite boat would be. 

First, it would have tiller steering with no console or steering wheel to get in the way.  It would have a flat floor covered with vinyl and movable pedestal seats.  The length would be 16 feet and the outboard would be a 25 to 30 hp 4-stroke Mercury.  The trolling motor would be mounted on the bow but steered with a tiller, not some fancy electronic gadget to go out on you.  The trolling motor could be used in saltwater.  The trailer would be hot dipped galvanized of course, not painted.  The batteries would be Optima D34 Marine Blue Tops. 

The boat we picked as our perfect boat is the Alumacraft Fisherman 160 Tiller.  Well, Doug ordered his on Thursday.  He will get it in a month.  I won’t order mine for a while.  Paula’s boat is less than three years old and it is a great boat.  It is a 16 footer with a 20 hp Mercury 4 stroke on the transom.  I doubt if she will ever sell her.  So, when I order mine, it will be an additional boat. 

Everyone says the two best days you will ever have owning a boat, is the day you buy it and the day you sell it.  I have owned boats all my life.  I got my first one when I was 8 years old.  I grew up spending the summers on a houseboat for much of my young life.  I did go through a period without a motor boat.  I will agree, the best day is the day you get the boat.  But I still have remorse about every one I have ever sold.  I wish I still had them all.  If you count canoes and kayaks we have six right now.

I can’t wait to see Doug’s new boat.  I really can’t wait.

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

Byron Begley
March 3, 2012

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