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

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is sunny and 20 degrees in Townsend this morning.  I checked two thermometers, it really was 20 degrees when I drove to work.  The sun is shining right now and we are expecting a high temperature of 51 degrees today.

Don’t put away the long-johns just yet.  We are going to have some cold weather before the warm-up begins Friday.  It will be warmer tonight and tomorrow.  Then we’ll get a couple of cold days and nights again, maybe one more time.  The high temperature Wednesday is supposed to be 38 degrees.

Then, it is going to happen.  We will enjoy highs in the high 50’s to mid 60’s and lows in the 40’s for several days.  Angler’s Spring?  Maybe so.

Little River is flowing below normal right now, which has been rare lately.  Flow is 303 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 338 cfs.  That is hardly noticeable.  The water temperature is the downer today, right now it is 35 degrees.

Trout are not going to be active today in the mountains.  It’s too cold.  Should you decide to go fishing, wait a while.  Let the sun do it’s thing.  Later today will be better but not exactly catching trout hand over fist in the Smokies.  I think we’ll have to wait a few days for that.  Next week looks good.  This coming weekend looks a lot better than it does now.  Remember this time last year?  We were already tired of catching trout “hand over fist”.  Angler’s Spring came early in February.  Actually, I did not talk to anyone who was tired of catching fish.

Be ready in the Smoky Mountains today with nymphs, heavily weighted and fished near the bottom of the streams. If you see surface activity, don’t tell anyone.  They might think you are crazy.  It could happen I guess, on the sunny stretches of the rivers.

It looks like TVA is going to be generating on the Clinch all day with one generator.  They are going to be cranking on the Holston too, at Cherokee Dam.   Anglers got a window of opportunity on the tailwaters around here this weekend and that was greatly appreciated by all. 

Snow still covered the mountains yesterday when I drove home from work.  I talked to a lot of people who drove up there to view the beautiful scenery.  Cades Cove had quite a few visitors and 4 inches of snow.  The Cove was closed early yesterday, then, the Park Service opened the roads. 

The best way to get road information is to Google “Twitter Great Smoky Mountains Roads”.  Click on the link.  You will see updated information.  Lots of people call and listen to the recording at Park Headquarters.  That has been slightly annoying lately.  I have had to wait until the recorded report was played again.  The first report became audible during the middle of the report.  I missed all the good stuff and had to wait and listen again.  Go to Twitter.  Save yourself some anxiety.

I ordered a bunch of floatant yesterday.  We have plenty.  We try to keep it that way.  For instance, when our inventory gets down to 100 bottles of Frog’s Fanny, we order more.  Why?  It only takes about 4 days to get it.  I even have the owner of the company’s cell phone number.  Sometimes there is a Frog’s Fanny Shortage in the World.  Having those extra 100 bottles is like insurance.  We were down to about 20 bottles of Gink.  I ordered more.  Shimazaki was at a dangerously low level.  I ordered that too.  I will order Loon Aquel today.  We sell a huge amount of fly floatant and desiccants during the year.  You don’t want us to run out.  Neither do we.  Next week is going to be “floatant week” in the Smoky Mountains. 

There is a growing group of us smallmouth bass fly fishermen in the area.  We are certainly a minority.  Most people fly fish for trout.  Lynn was in yesterday.  I told him about a new idea I had and I’m dying to give it a try.  It may be crazy but I love to fish tailwaters for smallmouth bass.  One of my favorites has constantly moving water that is 8 feet deep on average for about 2 miles when the dam is generating.  The water is clear and you can see the bottom even in 14 feet of water.  Those bass are spooky.  I have an aluminum boat which is noisy anyway. 

My plan is to tie Puglisi Threadfin Shad on a jig hook and drift the river with that fly suspended under a large strike indicator as far away from the boat as possible.  One of my buddies caught a 23” smallmouth in that run last year.  I have not caught one that large down there but I know other people who have.  If I mentioned that location on the internet my life would be in danger.  It’s not that great anyway.  Almost all of our tailwaters have excellent smallmouth bass fishing with most being better than the location I just talked about.  Ask me in person, and I’ll tell you where I’m talking about.

“Eagle Mania” persists.  No, I’m not talking about one of my favorite bands.  I’m talking about the bald eagles.  We have two in Townsend.  Chuck said he saw one of them on Saturday at the Townsend Shopping Center.  They hang out there often.  Mike came in with some photos he took Saturday of a nesting pair of bald eagles.  Now that was something to see.  The nest is active and his photos showed one of them in the nest.  Most people don’t see bald eagles often like we do.  I guess that is one advantage of living next to a wilderness.

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

Byron Begley
March 4, 2013

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