Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is foggy and cool in Townsend this morning.  At 7:30 am the temperature was 44 degrees on our front porch.  The forest was kind of quiet.  I didn’t hear the birds I usually hear that early.  Maybe it was a bit cold for them too.  Not to worry.  It’s going to warm up into the 70’s and 80’s over the next four days. We’ll probably get some rain on Saturday, maybe tomorrow too.

Little River has dropped to below normal flow again.  The water pushing through the valley is moving at a rate of 205 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 251 cfs based on 44 years of data.  The water temperature is 53 degrees in town right now.  It will warm up later.

Fishing will be very good.  Fishing will be excellent in a little while after the water wams up some.  Everyone is talking about the size of the March Browns this year.  I talked to Brandon at Rivers Edge Outfitters in Cherokee, N.C. yesterday.  He said the same thing.  The sizes are running in the #8 to #10 range.  The Yellow Sally Stoneflies are hatching too.  Time to get out your #16 Stimulators and Neversink Caddis. They both work well during the Yellow Sally hatch and since they float like corks, they make an excellent dry fly for a dropper rig. 

Try fishing until dark.  You might see some nice hatches and excited trout. 

The tailwaters are fishing well.  I have not heard anything about the Hiwassee, Caney Fork or Cumberland.  Smallmouth bass fishing in the rivers and lakes is very good.  It seems like some days they are really on, and others they are not.  I’ll find out more about that next week.  I’ve heard some great stories about the white bass run.  It may be over now but while it lasted, it was really good this year. 

When I was a kid we always fished the upper Dix River in Kentucky during the white bass run.  Boy, those were great times.  This was in the 50’s and 60’s.  We used light spinning or spincast outfits and white Shyster spinners. When the timing was right, you could get a strike on every cast. Those fish would run out of Herrington Lake into the river to spawn.  It seemed like there were hundreds of thousands of them. 

Back then, most people kept what they caught.  I saw guys taking out stringers of bass so heavy they could barely hold them off the ground.  I remember vividly, one old guy with his stringer slung over his shoulder, trailing to the ground, completely filled with white bass.  I say he was an old guy but he was probably younger than I am now. 

The older and bigger guys got the prime spots.  I never saw a fight but I bet they occurred.  I learned quickly how to use my people skills to gain permission to fish next to the adults.  “Sir, you are the best at catching white bass”.  “Would you mind if I waded in next to you to watch?”  “Oh, you want me to cast too?”  “Wow, thank you for helping me.”  I learned that adults loved to watch kids catch fish.  It’s the same today.

Most anglers will help others if you treat them well.  People help me all the time.  I try to return the favor.

What about General Motors?  CEO William Whitacre paid off the cash portion of the Government bailout money 5 years earlier than he had to.  The Fed will get the rest of the money when GM launches it’s initial public offering (IPO).  Mr. Whitacre also announced an expansion of a plant and hiring more workers to build cars.  Now he is on television telling Americans all about the deal.  He is hoping people will feel better about GM now and buy more of their cars.  I think it will work.

And listen to this.  He is retired from AT & T.  Part of his compensation package is the use of a private jet.  He is flying to Washington to talk to Congress or a committee.  Is he flying on the AT & T jet?  No.  Is he flying on a GM jet?  No.  Remember the flack the automobile CEOs got when they flew to Washington in their jets?  Mr. Whitacre is chartering a jet to fly to the Capitol and paying for it out of his own pocket.  Smart guy.  Probably a wealthy guy too.  He can stand next to me and fish anytime he wants to.


Vendor booths are almost gone. I think there are 3 or 4 left. I signed up Rivers Edge Outfitters yesterday. They have fly shops in Spruce Pine and Cherokee, North Carolina. Banquet ticket sales are brisk. You can buy yours online by clicking HERE. Or call 865-448-9459 and we'll send them to you.

More volunteers are signing up to help at Troutfest but we could use some more. 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 22, 2010

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