Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park
April 13, 2010

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is sunny again!  No chance for rain in the near future. Whether you fish, hike, photograph or watch wildlife, you could not ask for better time of year.  The streets are fairly busy in Townsend this morning.  Though this is really a slack time for tourism, those who crave the outdoor experience are here for that.

Little River is right at the average flow for this date, 331 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow on this date is 290 cfs.  That’s pretty close.  The water temperature in town is 53 degrees.

Fishing is best in the afternoons right up until dark.  Trout are taking a variety of flies in the lower elevations.  Any dark mayfly pattern will probably work.  Dangle a dropper below that.  Try different flies for that.  I would use a Bead Head Pheasant Tail.  If that didn’t work I would try a Copper John.  If the trout are not taking the dry switch to a pair of nymphs and make them go deep.  Remember, two of the most important reasons for success here is to stay hidden and get a good drift.  Once you spook the trout in a run, they won’t be willing to take your fly.  Stay low and don’t cast your line over the best water.  Make sure your leader is all the trout can see.

Fishing is excellent.  It’s great in the Park, the rivers downstream and in the lakes.  I’m hearing some unbelievable stories from friends who are lake fishing.  If I were not going turkey hunting this week, I would be fishing every day.

Are there mountain lions or cougars in the Smokies?  The Park Service official opinion is “No”.  They are basing that on the fact that none have been photographed in a location that can verify the exact location of the big cats.  And, Park officials have probably never seen one.  So, I can see their point.

But, I know two people who have seen them, one in Cades Cove and the other near Newfound Gap.  These cats are reclusive.  Seeing one is a big event. 

Two of my buddies were fishing in the Park last week.  They found a mutilated deer carcass up in a tree.  So, explain that one.  Would a black bear drag a deer up a tree?  I’ve never heard of that.  Bears do climb trees and I’ve seen them do it.  But I’ve never heard of or seen one take something like another animal up there with them.  I’ve seen bears in trees eating fruits, nuts and berries. I have seen cubs run up a tree when momma tells them to.   

So, the question remains.  You or I are probably never going to see a mountain lion in the Park.  But it’s interesting to wonder if maybe there are a few of them there.  I saw a picture of one that was killed in Georgia recently.  You will see bears.  That is enough of a thrill for me.      

We need to sell some Troutfest Banquet Tickets to make us feel better. I don't know why but most people, including me have not bought theirs yet. You can buy them online by clicking HERE. Or call 865-448-9459 and we'll send them to you. I bought our banquet tickets yesterday.

We could also use some more volunteers. If you are interested in helping send an e-mail to RONNIE BECKER our Volunteer Coordinator. Please include your t-shirt size. You will be getting a special Troutfest Volunteer T. You can sign up for 4 hours. Your volunteer time is counted as Park Service Fisheries volunteer time. Those hours are leveraged to obtain matching funds. Pretty slick huh?

Click on the photo below to visit the Troutfest website and learn more.

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

Byron Begley
April 13, 2010

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