Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park
March 23, 2010

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is a gloomy day.  The cloud cover is dark gray and the temperature is 40 degrees.  The water temperature in Little River is 42 degrees.  That is a stark difference between the 48 degree reading it took two days ago at the same time of morning.  It snowed a little in the valley yesterday but it didn’t stick. 

So are we sliding back into Winter?  Not hardly.  The sun is going to pop by afternoon.  Get out your short sleeve shirts again.  It will be 70 degrees tomorrow. 

This front moved in and kind of messed up our fishing.  The water is higher and colder.  Chuck took a student into the Park yesterday and didn’t see any bug or fish activity.  Fishing was slow.  But, hold on, fishing will improve soon, probably tomorrow.  If not tomorrow, it will surely much improved by Thursday.  There is rain in the forecast in our short term future.  March is the 4th wettest month on average. 

Little River’s flow is currently 500 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median for this date is 405 cfs.  Wading can be tricky when the water is this high so be very careful.

When aquatic life gets back into high gear again watch for Blue Wing Olives, Blue Quills and Quill Gordons on the surface.  These dry flies work great this time of year.  To improve your catch, add a nymph or wet fly dropper behind the dry.  If the activity is on the surface, gorging and splashing on the surface is happening, cut off the nymph or wet and have more fun.

What about the smallmouth bass?  When will they move into shallow water and become active?  Evidently,  they have on Fort Loudon Lake.  Some friends of mine were catching them in 2 ½ feet of water last week.  I’m going to concentrate on smallies this Spring.  I have been preparing all winter. 

I spent some time with Ronnie, our Police Chief yesterday.  We walked around the Troutfest site and looked at our layout on paper.  We talked about traffic control and things like that.  And we will have a police officer on duty during the exposition at our site.  It turns out there will be every kind of safety and emergency vehicle you can think of at Troutfest this year.  The County is holding “Safety Day” at the same time.  I heard they are going to have a helicopter.  Though the event will be far enough away that we should not conflict with each other, our food vendors will probably be extra busy.  I don’t know how all of this will work out.  Ross, Herb and the Fire Chief will take care of that.

Turkey season opens here a week from Saturday.  Guess what I will be doing?  I won’t be fishing.  I never fish on weekends anyway.  Scouting reports from my buddies have been really good this year.  Frank saw around 75 in one flock a couple of weeks ago.  I’ve seen smaller flocks.  This should be a good year for turkey hunters.

This will be a good year for fishing too, especially in the Smokies.  The trout are fat and healthy looking. We have plenty of water.  And anglers are beaming with desire to be outside.  Good times for us, huh?

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

Byron Begley
March 23, 2010

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