Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park
March 29, 2010

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is overcast and a cool 49 degrees in Townsend this morning.  Columns of fog hover over Little River’s path as it winds through our town.  It is Spring but it doesn’t quite seem like it today.  We are already at the predicted high temperature.  The trees and vegetation think its Spring.  Leaves are unrolling from the buds and flowers are blooming.  The grass is green everywhere you look.  Paula and I saw 5 wild turkeys yesterday evening.  The hens are “bunched up” and the gobblers are staying hidden in the forest.  Squirrels are running around being indecisive. 

Some people say fishing was slow this weekend.  Jack said it was excellent.  He caught three big brown trout out of one pool on Little River.  That was on Saturday.  I think he said the largest was 26 inches.  The bugs were hatching but the trout were not rising.  So, Jack went deep with a streamer.  The big guys were feeding. Eight of us went out to dinner last night to celebrate Jack’s birthday.  He is 49 years and 60 months old.  We are close to the same age.  I’m 49 years and 118 months old.

Little River is gushing.  The flow is 705 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Normal for this date is 303 cfs.  The water temperature is 48 degrees in town right now.  The water will get warmer and the fishing will get better this week.  We are going to be hitting near the 80 degree mark by Friday.  And there is very little chance for rain this week after today.  The weather experts say there is very little chance for rain over the next 10 days.  I think dry fly fishing is going to be really good soon.  If I were you, and I will, go fishing next weekend.  I think that little meter at the top of this page will be pointing to “Excellent”.  The water will be warmer and lower.  The trout will like that.  So will we.

Be ready with Quill Gordons and Blue Quills.    

Stimulus money or the purchased materials thereof are rolling through town in big trucks headed to Cades Cove.  They are running through town all day, every day, going one way full and coming back empty.  In the Cove the old roadbed is in the process of being pulled up, ground up, sliced and diced then layed back down and tightly rolled to a smooth surface.  It will get a final coat of black asphalt, all eleven miles of the road.  I love the smell of freshly rolled asphalt in the morning.  It smells like…commerce.

At some point, in the not too distant future, Dale will cut the ribbon and away we’ll go.  Bicycles, pedestrians, runners, hikers, cars, buses and pickups with lawn chairs in the beds will make the journey, stopping to see the deer and bears.  Kids will be yelling and screaming.  Millions of people will get their Cove back. The slow winding line of vehicles, a rainbow of colors, no two alike will creep around the road. 

I can hear the sound of cash registers, laundry equipment at the motels washing sheets and towels, workers in the restaurants preparing food for the tourists and all the normal activity we’ve been missing since the Cades Cove Loop Road re-construction began.  The phones will be ringing at the Visitors Center. Thousands of questions will be answered. The markets will be buzzing with customers.  It will be nice to have all of that back.

Cades Cove, a small valley with breathtaking views, historical buildings, a rich heritage and that little winding road gets 2/3 the number of visitors in a year as Yellowstone National Park.  The number of visitors in a year equals 1/3 of the population of Tennessee. Visitation is estimated to be over 2 million people per year.  That is amazing to me.

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

Byron Begley
March 29, 2010 

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