Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park
March 30, 2010

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is cloudy right now.  It won’t be for long.  The sky will be clear now for days.  It’s about time.  They say it will be 80 degrees here on Friday.  We are going to see some incredible changes in the landscape by the weekend.  The foliage is going through the changes brought on by the new season. 

Little River is brimming with water.  There is twice as much water, flowing in that bed as there would normally be.  Right now the flow is calculated to be 711 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 350 cfs.  Wading requires careful planning and a low threshold for “risk taking”. 

The water is a little cooler this morning, 46 degrees in town.  Just wait, it’s going to warm up fast.  Along with that will be the urge for trout to feed.  Warmer water equates to accelerated metabolisms in those fish.  Their food source should be more abundant too.  Warmer water will crank up the aquatic insect population, they will be on the move.  The water will slowly recede giving anglers more opportunities.  This is going to be a good week in the Smokies for the fly fisherman, especially the dry fly fisherman.

Be ready with Quill Gordons, Blue Quills, Blue Wing Olives and some nymphs.  I would probably use streamers today and try to catch trout with a little more heft and bulk. 

We are thinking the smallmouth bass fishing on the lakes will be good this week.  Paula and I are going to give that a try.  Even if the fishing is slow, we don’t care.  We’ll be in the boat, on the lake and enjoying warm sunny days.  Friday is our anniversary so we’re going to spend that day fishing and boating.

Well, I went to Gatlinburg yesterday for the first time in several years.  I wanted to stop by the new Nantahala Outdoor Center and drop off a Troutfest Marketing package.  They are not open yet, the sign on the door said “Do Not Enter” or something like that so I pulled open the door and walked in.  People were scrambling everywhere stocking the store for the opening on Friday.  I walked around practically un-noticed. I found the fly fishing manager downstairs.  He is a nice guy.  We chatted for a few minutes and then I left.  I’m sure he had a lot to do.  That is one beautiful store.

Then Frank and I drove to the other side of town to find the Smoky Mountain Angler Fly Shop.  I couldn’t believe all the people I saw. It was like leaving one world in Townsend and going to another one in Gatlinburg.  In Townsend we might see a handful of people walking around town.  In Gatlinburg there were hoards of people.  What I noticed were a lot of young people.  It is Spring break in a lot of areas so I guess a lot of young people go to Gatlinburg. 

We found the Smoky Mountain Angler Fly Shop and walked in.  Harold and his wife Nancy own the store.  You talk about nice people, they are the real deal.  She has a yarn shop connected to the fly shop.  I was really impressed with what they are doing.  The fly shop had everything you could ask for and as far as I know the yarn shop probably did too.  I have not been to many or maybe any yarn shops.  Nancy made some yarn for Frank and I using a spinning wheel.  We had a great time in there.  They had their Troutfest Marketing materials proudly displayed on the front counter.  I brought them some more cards to hand out. 

They are thinking about having a booth at Troutfest.  I hope they do.  They have owned the store for ten years and I had not been by to visit even though it is only about a 45 minute drive from our shop.  I always go in fly shops wherever I travel.  So, I guess it has been over ten years since I have been to Gatlinburg. No, wait a minute.  I did go to Gatlinburg around three years ago to attend a Tennessee Wildlife Resources Commission meeting.  I remember now I wanted to visit the Smoky Mountain Angler shop then but I got lost and barely made it to the meeting.

I told Harold on the way out, “Let’s not wait ten years to get together again”. 

Frank and I had a great time.  He drove so I got to watch Little River through the window.  What a beautiful river it is. There is not one anywhere like it.

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

Byron Begley
March 30, 2010

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