Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park
March 20, 2010

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is sunny and cool in Townsend this morning.  The temperature was 35 degrees when I drove to the river to take the water temperature.  Tonight the low will be around 48 degrees.  Little River looks great but it is still higher than normal.  The flow is currently 455 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 350 cfs.  The water temperature was 46 degrees in town this morning.  One fisherman reported the water to be 48 degrees yesterday afternoon on the Middle Prong of the Little River.

Some aquatic insects are hatching and some people are catching trout on dry flies.  One angler told us yesterday he caught two brown trout and one was the largest he had caught in the Park.  Some fishermen are having good days, especially in the lower elevations.  Yesterday was very warm and it will be that way again today. 

Our suggestion for flies includes Quill Gordon, Blue Quill and Blue Wing Olive dries.  A dropper would be a good idea.  This is a good time to be dragging a Quill Gordon wet fly or Bead Head Pheasant Tail behind your dry fly.  If the trout do not take your dry they might take the wet fly or nymph.

The big hatches have not started yet but you will find some activity in the afternoons.  You should not have any problems catching trout unless you are spooking them or fishing behind someone else. 

Little River Road between Townsend and Metcalf Bottoms is closed due to a rock slide.  Some huge boulders fell on the road.  A machine was brought in to cut the big boulders to a size that could be hauled off.  They hope to have the road open sometime tomorrow unless they find some loose boulders on the mountain that need to be secured.

We have had more than our share of rock slides.  One of many on Interstate 40 in North Carolina has caused traffic problems for months.  A rock slide has closed U.S. 129 from Chilhowee Lake to the North Carolina State line.  This road is popular with motorcycle enthusiasts and is know as the “Dragon” or “Tail of the Dragon”.  Another rock slide in the Park near Pigeon Forge has cause traffic to be detoured.  And now we have one on Little River Road and I think this is the second one this year to close that road.  Additionally, Cades Cove Loop Road is closed until around mid May.  A contractor is removing the old road, grinding it ups and building a new base and cap that is expected to last 35 years.

We are busy here.  People are eager to fish, get outdoors and we have seen a lot of people who have decided to get into the sport of fly fishing.  That is something we really like.  We like “newbies”.  When they come in we take the time to explain a lot of things to them.  We did a lot of that yesterday. 

Most people who are getting into this sport don’t want to buy $700 rods and $500 reels.  I don’t blame them.  We have a great selection of less expensive tackle but though the cost is lower than that high end stuff, the performance is good.  I like to sell beginners a Temple Fork Professional Series rod at $140 and a Orvis Battenkill Bar Stock reel at a little over $100.  As a matter of fact, Paula and I use those same rods and reels in our boat.  That way, if one goes over the side we’ve lost a $250 outfit instead of one costing much more.  We keep those outfits lined up and ready to go.  I even leave the flies tied on.  The other day I decided to fish in Little River though town.  Instead of pulling one of my old Winstons out of the closet in my office, I just grabbed one of the Temple Forks. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love those light, sleek, great casting higher end rods.  I use them too.  I just don’t want them banging around in our aluminum boat or worse, laying on the bottom of a lake.

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

Byron Begley
March 20, 2010

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