Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is overcast and warm in Townsend this morning.  I’ve got a severe case of Spring fever.  To make matters worse, I stood on the bank of Little River earlier taking the water temperature.  The water flowed by and I had to fight off the urge to go fishing.  The water temperature was 48 degrees.  The flow has decreased and the river was inviting.  Wildlife is active and noisy this morning.  Traffic is light, not at all like yesterday.  We’ll have a lack of visitors for a few days until the weekend. 

Like I said, Little River looks good.  The flow is down to 759 cubic feet per second.  Median flow for this date is 319 cfs.  The water is clear.  We’ll see the river temperature rise over the next few days.  The warm air and rain should improve fishing unless the we get too much rain.  They are predicting we’ll get about 1 inch before this front moves through.  That would bring the water levels up again. 

Fishing is GOOD!  Anglers found some water that was fisherman-friendly yesterday.  Bugs were hatching and trout were taking them off the surface.  I talked to several people yesterday who reported excellent fishing.  There are quill gordons hatching.  And, you will find some blue quills, stoneflies and caddis on the water.  I saw quite a few caddis this morning on the river in town.  The most popular combination yesterday was a Quill Gordon dry fly with a wet fly or nymph dropper.  Some trout took the dropper.  More ate the dry fly. 

Fishing should be extra-good today.  The cloud cover will help.  Be careful wading.  There is still a lot of water in the creeks.  Watch your step. 

Evidently the smallmouth bass have moved into the creek points on the lakes.  I’m hearing that now.  That is just what I’ve been waiting for.  That is what I’m preparing for.  Every dog has his day.  I’m hoping mine will arrive on Friday, my next day off.  It is “black wooly bugger time”.  I think the smallies will be active in the rivers this week.  Heck they may be active already.  It depends on the water temperature.  I’ve heard 55 degrees is the magic number.

Since the time changed this weekend you will have more opportunities to go fishing.  Sunset today is at 7:42.  Now we can go after work.

I had a long visit with a fellow from Middle Tennessee this weekend.  He has been bitten by the carp bug.  He was hoping to buy some copper colored bead chain eyes.  “I bet I know what you are tying”, I said.  I was right.  Copper would be the perfect color for lots of warmwater flies.  We used to sell a color called “Root Beer”.  I can’t find them anymore. 

Carp can be a very frustrating gamefish for the fly fisherman.  Some days you can find them in the feeding mode.  They will run your flies down from several feet away.  But on many occasions I’ve been among a gang of 20 pounders, cruising by and I can’t get them to eat anything.  I’ll stand in the boat for hours trying, but to no avail.  One problem we have is water clarity.  The lakes we fish are extremely clear.  I think those big fish know better than to eat within casting distance of a boat.  They probably learned that lesson early on in life. 

I have heard about stalking carp on the flats in Lake Michigan.  Now that sounds like fun.  Evidently, those fish are tailing in the grass beds like a redfish would. 

I’m working on crawfish patterns at home every night.  Since I have about every fly you can think of tied for bass and bluegill, and a lifetime supply, I’m going to stick with these crawfish.  I can’t tell you how many smallmouth bass I have caught that have a crawfish claw poked out of their stomach and still in their throat.  That tells me these fish eat a lot of crawfish.

Thank you for being here with us.  Have a great day.

Byron Begley
March 14, 2011 

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Our fly fishing classes will be offered from March to October 2011.   To sign up just call the shop at 877-448-3474.  You can read more on our website in the Schools Section.  The fly fishing class schedule follows:

Saturday March 26 – Beginner Day One
Saturday April 9 – Beginner Day One
Saturday April 30 – Beginner Day One
Sunday May 1 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday May 7 – Beginner Day One
Saturday May 21 – Beginner Day One
Sunday May 22 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday June 11 – Beginner Day One
Saturday June 25 – Beginner Day One
Sunday June 26 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday July 9 – Beginner Day One
Saturday July 23 – Beginner Day One
Sunday July 24 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday September 10 – Beginner Day One
Saturday September 24 – Beginner Day One
Sunday September 25 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday October 8 – Beginner Day One
Saturday October 22 – Beginner Day One
Sunday October 23 – Beginner Onstream Day Two

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