Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park
March 7, 2010

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  The evidence of Spring in the Smokies is everywhere except for the temperature this morning.  It’s 28 degrees now.  I pulled out of the driveway this morning and a flock of turkeys were roaming around right in front of our house.  There were 15 at least.  All were hens except for one big tom.  I stopped my truck to watch them.  They were probably 30 yards away.  He spread his tail which they usually do when I get close.  On April 3rd, I’ll be looking for him. 

It is going to warm up a lot.  We are expecting a high today near 60 degrees.  The nights are going to be warm and the days will be very warm for the next few.  We have a chance for rain every day for the next week.  This is going to be fishing weather.

Yesterday was fishing weather too.  We had a lot of anglers in the shop.  Many were waiting for the water to stop generating at noon on the Clinch.  They were buying things then headed for the river. Others were going to the Park to fish.  We had the busiest day we’ve had all year yesterday. 

Jack, Ron and Steve got back from Belize last night.  I haven’t heard from them yet.  They go down once or twice a year to fish for permit.  They catch them too.  They probably caught some bonefish, maybe some tarpon, but permit is their choice of sport.  They’ve got it figured out and they know the right guides to hire.  Jack will probably be here today to fill me in.

If you go fishing in the Park today start with nymphs.  Try Tellico, Copper John or Pheasant Tail patterns.  If you see a hatch of anything with trout rising to the insects switch to a dry.  You might see Blue Wing Olives or maybe some other Spring hatches.  The water is still cold and low.  Snow is melting in the higher elevations.  We’ll see the water temperature rise later this week and even some today.  Have some Quill Gordons, Blue Quills, Blue Wing Olives and Black Caddis in your box just in case.  It’s about time for the action to begin.  It may be next week or even later.  It mostly depends on water temperature but I know of one lonely Quill Gordon that has been spotted.  So, maybe the time of year, daylight or some other internal clock triggers a hatch.  I just don’t know.

I just sent Enrico Puglisi an e-mail.  I heard he was interested in a booth at Troutfest.  He has some of the best streamers I have used.  I use his materials and tie my own and I won’t go fishing without them.  In fact, I’m going to use them fishing the river here in town tomorrow after work.  I bet these rainbows they stocked in town will eat them up.  I’ll give it a try anyway.  We’ll see.

I bought my Sportsman’s License.  That was a big lick financially.  But, this will allow me to enter the elk hunt drawing in Tennessee without an extra charge.  And, I can hunt any big game without any additional charges in any wildlife management area and quota hunts.  Plus I can fish about anywhere for about anything.  It’s a pretty good deal.  They cost $136.  Ouch!  Worse than that, my licenses for hunting and fishing in Kentucky will cost $260.  Double ouch!  I was born and raised in Kentucky.  You would think I’d get a break.  Now I’m broke.

I was talking to Trevor yesterday and complaining about my permit induced deficit.  He is a student.  He said they should have a student license.  That makes sense to me.  We should make it easy for young people to enjoy the sport.  We do have a junior license.  That’s good. 

And listen to this, you can buy a lifetime Sportsman’s license for a child under 3 years old for $200.  I’m sure someone worked out the actuaries on this, the math was surely done.  A guy was in here yesterday with his baby son and plans to buy one for him before he turns three years old.  Now that is smart.  Run the numbers on that and see how much that child could save over a lifetime.  It beats the heck out of Treasury Bonds.  That’s better than a 50% return on investment every year if the child starts hunting and fishing at three years old.  Wait a minute, young children are exempt from a required license until they are thirteen. And three year olds probably won’t be hunting especially if I am around.  It has to be a good deal though for everyone involved. 

Maybe I could shave my beard, dye my hair, dress up like a baby, make a few alterations to my birth certificate and drive over to one of  the TWRA offices and get a $200 lifetime Sportsman’s License.  I’ll give that some thought.

I’m probably caught already.  I know some TWRA folks who read this report. 

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

Byron Begley
March 7, 2010  

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