Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park
March 8, 2010

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  The sun shines on Townsend, Tennessee this morning. It is 43 degrees. Robins blew in here like a storm yesterday.  They are everywhere.  It is good to see those birds hopping around.  I always wondered why they don’t just walk.  I’m glad they don’t.  Signs of Spring bring hope to us all that this nasty Winter we had is over.  Everyone I talk to is tired of it.

When I took the water temperature this morning I sat down and watched Little River for a few minutes.  The water temperature was 40 degrees.  Then I walked out on the swinging bridge and watched the water flow under me. Little River is low for this time of year.  The flow is 195 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Normal is 417 cfs.  But, the water still looks good.  I didn’t seen any trout but I didn’t have polarized glasses on at the time. 

It is going to be very warm this week with rain arriving soon, maybe tomorrow.  We’ll see highs in the 60’s every day.  Lows will be in the 40’s.  There is still some snow on the low elevation mountains, especially those that don’t get much daytime sun.  There is plenty of snow on the high peaks.  Yesterday morning at Mount Leconte the measured snow on the ground was 46 inches and Doug McFalls reported this morning “Not much more snow loss was recorded”.  A few days ago there was over 50” of snow there.  Newfound Gap recorded 21” of snow on the ground yesterday morning.  It will be melting and coming down this week.

Anglers are seeing a few aquatic insect adults on the water.  One guy caught a couple of trout on dry flies yesterday.  Another angler was fishing downstream from Townsend.  He witnessed a hatch but the trout were taking sub-surface insects.  He came in looking for some Quill Gordon wet flies.  We will probably see the hatch activity increase as we move through this week. 

Have some Blue Wing Olive, Blue Quill and Quill Gordon dry flies in your box.  They might come in handy.  Use nymphs such as Prince, Pheasant Tails and Copper John if you can’t get the trout to rise to a dry fly.  Or fish a nymph or wet fly dropper under a dry fly.  That might work.

My plan is to go fishing after work today if I can get away at 5:00.  After Daylight Savings Time kicks in next Sunday and we spring forward I’ll go more often after work.  During the week there are almost no fishermen in the river.  I can be on the stream and fishing in five minutes after leaving the shop so that’s my plan for a while.  Frank Bryant who owns Chota Outdoor Gear gave me some bootfoot waders for Christmas one year.  I like them because I can slip in and be on the river fast.  Unfortunately he doesn’t make them anymore.  They didn’t sell well.  I’m going to hang on to the two pair I have and make them last.  They are perfect for me.  I keep them here in my office with my other trout fishing gear.

I’m probably one of the few people who keeps all their fishing tackle at work.  All of our boat stuff is stored downstairs on a rolling cart.  I got the cart because the boat batteries are heavy and I can push them out to the boat which is parked next to the shop.  All of our lake fishing tackle is also stored down stairs.  We have four rods strung up and ready to go.  I keep all of the trout tackle up here in my office. 

My fly tying stuff is at home.  Actually only the tools and a few materials are there.  I take home what materials I need to tie the patterns I’m working on and leave the rest of it here.  Right now I’m tying olive Wooly Buggers. After that phase is over I’ll bring the box of materials back to the office and take something else home to work on. 

I also keep a 12 gauge camo colored Benelli shotgun in my office in case we are attacked.  I took it home last night to prepare for the opening of turkey season.  I’ll take it apart and clean everything.  Besides being sleek, beautiful and Italian that gun is so easy to disassemble and clean.  It doesn’t kick much either.  That is handy since I shoot 3 ½” magnum shells.  I pulled out a couple of box calls last night and practiced.  My wild turkey speech needs a little work.  It needs a lot of work.

I’ll do my turkey hunting before work.  A spring creek that cuts through a gorge runs through our property behind the house.  Wild rainbow trout live and thrive in the 58 degree water and a lot of animals seek refuge there.  The old Cades Cove Road crosses that creek.  That road bed has not been used for human travel in a hundred years or more.  The bed receded over time by wagon wheels and horse hoofs.   Settlers traveled from the Cove to Townsend to buy and sell goods on that path.  The low road is a good highway for animals now.  They can move around un-noticed by humans, below ground level.  Paula and I saw three bears back there at the same time one day.

Soon I’ll be able to go hunting at daybreak, go to work, then go fishing after work. Lucky for me, our dress code at work allows for camo clothing.       

I love the coming of Spring!  This one will be special.

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

Byron Begley
March 8, 2010

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