Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is sunny, it’s going to be that way all day and it will be hot, 90 degrees.  This is May?  Little River looks excellent.  It is a little on the high side but this is the way I like it.  To me it’s perfect.  Our town is green and lush right now.  The forest looks fresh.  After today it is going to cool off a lot. We are going to see highs in the 60’s for a few days.  Lows at night will be in the 40’s.  This will be perfect for camping, hiking, fishing, backpacking and wildlife viewing.  Since that’s what people do here we should have a lot of happy folks in our town. There is a slight chance for rain tomorrow and Monday.

Little River’s flow is 435 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 241 cfs.  The gauge is showing water on the 2.5 mark.  The water temperature is 59 degrees.  The water is clear.

The stage is set for some good fishing.  Lots of aquatic insects are hatching.  You should see Yellow Sally Stoneflies, my favorite hatch. They are on the water in greater numbers late in the day and until dark.   Caddis and mayflies are going to be available as food for the trout.  You should do fine using dry flies.  If you don’t, switch to nymphs for a while.  Try terrestrials too.  There are plenty of beetles and ants crawling around and falling into the streams.  I think it’s time to tie on a Green Weenie inchworm.  They have been spotted in the woods.  I don’t know if fishermen are using them yet but, they are killer flies all Summer long.

A film production company is making a documentary on the life of Stan Bogdan, founder of Bogdan Reels.  Many of you met Stan last year at the Troutfest Banquet.  Stan is coming back and so is the production company.  That will add a little more excitement to the event this year.  We are going to auction a new Bogdan Reel again.  The waiting list for one of these is years long.  Last year the reel brought $2,700 at auction.  I wouldn’t be surprised if the one this year brings more.   

I talked to Ryan at Blue Ridge Mountains Sports in Knoxville yesterday.  He said they are donating a Wilderness Systems Kayak to us for the Troutfest auction.  That will bring the total to two kayaks to be auctioned. Rufus King picked up a new Freedom Hawk kayak at the factory in Sparta, Tennessee this week.  Check out their WEBSITE HERE.  This boat is equipped with two retractable pontoons for stability.  When you want to stand up to fish, just pull two levers and the outriggers engage.  Then you can stand up to fly fish and have a support to hold on to or lean on.  You are going to enjoy this auction. We’ve got lots of stuff.

Kayak fishing is getting very popular.  I was checking out Minn Kota’s website and found they are making a little stubby trolling motor for kayaks.  I like that idea.  But really, you can travel for miles in one of these boats using a paddle without much effort at all.  You can see so much, especially in the ocean from a kayak.  I had a porpoise surface right next to me a couple of years ago.  I thought it was a whale at first.  But when you are sitting right on top of the water, the aquatic wildlife get a lot closer to you.  From a few feet away, a porpoise looks huge. 

I was paddling behind Jack at Cedar Key, Florida.  We had been fishing around a small island one mile offshore.  We were paddling back to the condo.  His rudder must have scraped the back of a huge ray.  All of a sudden the water exploded behind his boat.  The ray had to be several feet wide.  I thought something had Jack.  He thought so too.

One day we were making our way back to shore.  A very strong wind was at our back which makes paddling very easy.  We were getting close to the bay and noticed some big waves.  They were caused by the tide going out and the wind blowing in.  We found ourselves in three foot swells.  Our kayaks are self bailing.  The water comes in but immediately drains out.  It wasn’t a problem at all and after a minute or two I felt like I was going to live through the ordeal.  And I did of course.

Kayaking in the ocean is a very exciting and relaxing experience.  Of course there is always the thought that something big is going to eat you.  And, you are always on the lookout for powerboats, hoping they don’t run over you.  Big waves and hypothermia give you something to think about.  It is a lot of fun though and those boats will get you into some places to fish that are otherwise inaccessible. 

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

Byron Begley
May 7, 2010

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