Townsend, Tennessee - Fly Fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, East Tennessee and Western North Carolina

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is another beautiful Spring day in the great Smoky Mountains.  The temperature is much warmer.  It was 27 degrees at 7:55 am.  Can you believe this? 

Some wild turkeys were trotting up our neighbors driveway this morning.  One of them was a gobbler and his tail was “fanned out” as we say.  Turkey hunting season opens tomorrow.  We see turkeys all over the place all Winter.  When the hunting season opens, they become scarce.  After the hunting season is over, they are back.

Little River is flowing at 352 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 308 cfs.  The water temperature at 8:00 am was 41 degrees.  The water temperature rose to 45 degrees yesterday.  The air temperature topped out at 57 degrees.  The high today is supposed to be 57.  We’ll see highs in the 60’s tomorrow and Sunday.  Lows at night will be in the 40’s.

Overall fishing is fairly slow due to the water temperature.  There are exceptions.  James from Atlanta called me yesterday.  On Tuesday, he saw a large March Brown hatch that lasted for a couple of hours. He switched over to dries and had a great day.  He said most of the rising trout were browns.  He was fishing in a sunny area where the water was warmer. 

You should see more of that activity this weekend.  And, the water temperature may rise and fall as the snow melts in the higher elevations.  As of yesterday morning, there was still 15” on the ground at Mount LeConte and 12” at Newfound Gap.  Some of the mountains we can see from our house have snow on the ground, mostly on the shady slopes.  So, I don’t know what the water temperature will do this weekend.  I can only believe that fishing will improve.

Watch for hatches of Blue Wing Olives, Blue Quills, Quill Gordons and March Browns.  Find the warmest water you can.  You could have the fly fishing day of your life or you could have a slow day.  We are expecting rain today and Sunday.  This will be a warm rain.  This will be a snow melting rain. 

Spring-like weather is here, finally if you ignore the fact that is is 27 degress outside right now.  Next week looks good.  Next weekend looks great.  I think the fishing will finally “explode” in the Smokies sometime during the next few days.  It’s hard to say when.

Herb, our neighbor dropped by the shop yesterday and showed me a photo of a bobcat, one of two that hang around our property.  He took the picture from inside his house.  It was a great shot.  The cat was just a few feet away from him.  He thinks they have a den somewhere on our land. Evidently, when they leave his yard, they head our direction.  One thing we both commented on is the absence of squirrels.  They are all but gone since these cats showed up.  He has a video of a wild turkey backing the larger male bobcat down.  He is going to e-mail it to me.  He said it is short but impressive.  The cats are a pair so we may have some kittens to see soon. 

I saw a mother gray fox and her pups near our house one day.  Now that was cool.  Soon, we’ll be seeing young wild turkeys if the bobcats don’t get them. I suspect the bobcats could easily find and clean out a wild turkey nest.  The young poults are very vulnerable for a few weeks.  We see them running around with their mothers often during May.  Later in the Summer you can tell they are the “young of the year”.  They look like adults, only smaller.

We see black bears more than about any other wild animal at our house. Last Summer, a mother and her cub tried to break into our home while I stood there watching through the window. I went outside and ran them off. We see deer. This past few months we have new residents right here in town, a pair of bald eagles. People see them every day. Golden eagles have been spotted in the area. We see ospreys. Coyotes are abundant. I've seen river otters in the creek that runs through our property. I saw a barred owl in front of our house a few weeks ago.

The one animal we have not seen, but someday soon I think we will, is an elk. Elk live nearby in the Smokies. It's just a matter of time before they show up in Cades Cove. When that happens, we'll see them at our house. I'm looking forward to that.

It’s time to open the store.  Have a great day and thank you for being here with us.

Byron Begley
March 29, 2013

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