Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is sunny now and the fog has burned off.  There is a fog warning for our area.  That didn’t last long.  The streets in our town are void of traffic.  I didn’t see hardly any cars on my way to work.  This is the week after a holiday.  That’s the way it is.  Little River looked nice this morning.  I stood on a rock under the swinging bridge watching the water go by.  Thanks to afternoon thunderstorms which are very isolated in nature but hitting the mountains fairly hard, the water level here is right at normal.  Flow is 176 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 171 cfs.  The water temperature in town is 64 degrees.  We have a good chance for rain almost every day for the next few. 

You couldn’t ask for better conditions for this time of year.  Fishing should be very good, due partially to the water and also due to the lack of anglers on the water.  Fishing was tough over the weekend.  A lot of people were fishing where someone else had been just before.  Once an angler pounds the water in a run or riffle, it takes time for the trout to settle down.  Those who ventured into the backcountry did much better.

I hate to sound like a broken record but Yellow Sally Stoneflies, Light Cahills and Terrestrial dry flies will be a good choice.  A Green Weenie or a nymph used as a dropper or fished alone might be better, it depends on the trout’s mood and the time of day.  You might want to skip the sunny spots and move on to the shady areas.  Trout like to feed in dark shaded water. Fishing will be better early and late.

The National Park Fisheries Department and Trout Unlimited volunteers are electroshocking Lynn Camp Prong.  Yesterday and today they are concentrating on the lower section.  They will move up to the higher areas and camp later this week.  I talked to Frances Oates.  She is President of the Clinch River Chapter of TU.  She was working with one of the teams yesterday.  She said they didn’t capture one brook trout.  That is disappointing.  Maybe the other teams did find some adults and young of the year brookies. 

All fish were removed from the 8+ mile stretch and in October 2009, 1,200 adult Southern Appalachian brook trout were stocked.  They should have spawned soon after being released.  We should have adults and young trout living in Lynn Camp Prong.  At the end of the week we will know.  Several sites will be sampled.  Aside from the first 1,200 stocked, this year will be the new baseline data for future sampling and monitoring to determine the health and growth of the population.  At some point when biologists know the stream is at or near carrying capacity, Lynn Camp Prong will be opened to fishermen.  That small stream had a huge carrying capacity when it was a rainbow fishery.  I think the average was about 2,000 trout per mile.  So, there should be around 18,000 brook trout living there at some point in the future.

Boy is it good to have the flow gauge and reporting online  and back in action.  You can check the website HERE.  You will see that the data stopped on May 29th.  I waited until yesterday to call the local US Geological Survey office in Knoxville and report the outage due to the holiday.  I knew they would not be open.  I left a message with Terry on his voicemail.  In about 4 hours he had it fixed.  Great job Terry.

This is an important tool for a lot of us.  Last week for instance WBIR Channel 10 called me about the results of a strong thunderstorm with heavy rain that blasted us here and in the mountains.  You can see on the graph that happened on May 28th.  I forgot to mention this site to the weatherman who called.  I know the folks at Channel 10 read this report to get first hand news from Townsend.  Maybe they’ll keep this link and see the stream flow action as it updates on an hourly basis.  You can also reach this website on the left of this page by clicking on “Stream Info”.  I look at this site and other gauge sites every day. 

I hope you have a good’ern and thank you for being here with us.

Byron Begley
June 2, 2010 

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