Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park, East Tennessee and Western North Carolina

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is overcast and foggy in Townsend this morning.  A bad storm blew in last night about closing time.  The precipitation part missed us.  We had 1/10th of an inch in the gauge.  But that rain fell somewhere in the Little River watershed.  The levels were dropping yesterday then they rose again.  This morning the water is off color and flowing swift in town.  There is a chance for more rain today and tonight. 

Flow is currently 1,120 cubic feet per second (cfs) in Little River at the Townsend Gauge.  Median flow for this date is 393 cfs.  The water temperature was 54 degrees at 7:55 am.  Yesterday morning at this time the flow was 1,360 cfs.

I am looking at some other gauges near the Park (what few there are).  Oconaluftee River looks good.  No major flow there.  It is above normal.  At Cataloochee the flow is 193 cfs.  Median is 143 cfs.  Not bad and it is falling.  Tellico River continues to fall.  The rain yesterday missed that watershed.  Flow is currently 805 cfs and median is 394 cfs.  That’s still fairly high.  The Davidson River is flowing below normal.

So, it seems the storms are picking on us in East Tennessee and missing the North Carolina side of the Smokies. 

If you go fishing here try a small stream and be careful because they can all be deceiving.  I wouldn’t do a lot of wading today in the Little River Watershed.  You might try Anthony Creek at the upper end of Cades Cove.  Laurel Creek is another option.  It usually runs off quickly.

I’m not there so I don’t know but you might try the Middle Prong or West Prong of the Little River. Stay near the bank and high stick with some weighted nymphs.  Otherwise, go over to the North Carolina side of the Park.

Now I’m looking at the tailwater release schedules.  The Clinch does not look good today for wading.  The Holston does.  Check that link to the left named Cherokee.  The South Holston looks good too.  The Hiwassee will be flowing at around 1,700 cfs all day if I’m reading this right.  Again, check the TVA site links to the left before you go. 

I can’t find much up-to-date information about the seven lakes around here.  My guess is the surface temperature is warm in the creeks.  We found on Thursday the water was right at 50 degrees early in the morning then rose to near 60 degrees in the creeks later that day.  All indications are the best fishing is in the creek embayments.  They might be muddy now.  Sometimes the main lakes get flushed out and clear first but the creeks are turbid.  I did read one recent report last night from Douglas Lake.  That writer said the smallmouth bass were still deep. 

I talked to my Mercury motor guru yesterday.  I told him my motor quit 2 miles from the ramp.  I talked about this yesterday on this report.  I keep mentioning 2 miles to make it sound like a bigger deal than it really was. We still had plenty of trolling motor power.  He thinks I have water in my gas. 

No, he’s not a doctor, he owns a boat dealership.  I’ll check that.  He told me to pump some fuel out into a clear glass vessel, wait a few minutes and look for the water to settle to the bottom.  A good friend of mine called me yesterday after reading the Fishing Report.  He said the same thing, water in my gas.  He does happen to be a doctor.  But he also knows a lot about boats.  If that is the case, I guess we need a water separator/filter.  The fuel is all about 2 weeks old maybe three.  And it is ethanol free.  I did not add Stabil.  Maybe I should have.

I spent most of yesterday working on our website Home Page.  And I spent some time working on the meta tags which you probably don’t see unless you know how to look at the code on a website.  I kind of like the look.  It is “busy”.  Search engines like that.  It’s hard to strike a balance between what’s nice to look at if you are a human while knowing that the spiders and bots like to look at content (they can’t see pictures).  I think people like content too.  I do.

Even though the river is up, we have been busy as heck.  I’m glad of that.

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

Byron Begley
March 17, 2012

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