Townsend, Tennessee
October 13, 2009

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is overcast and very foggy higher above the ground.  At our level there is no fog. It’s clear.  But the mountains are completely covered.  From here it looks like flat land.  We got a little rain yesterday so the foliage is wet.  The trees down here are turning but they are not near the peak.  Tomorrow the weather folks say we have a 100% chance for rain and the accumulation will be 1” to 2” with possible heavier local rainfall.  If that happens the rivers will swell significantly.  Rain is in the forecast for the rest of the week until Sunday.

Little River looks wonderful again.  The water temperature is a little warmer than yesterday morning but it is perfect down here and in the Park.  Up high you will encounter some chilly water.  Last night the low recorded at Newfound Gap was 35 degrees and it got down to 43 at Mount Leconte.  It’s going to get a lot colder by the weekend dipping to the 30’s in the valley.

Fishing is good according to many reports.  It seems to be better in the backcountry.  It is hard to nail down what’s working.  Certainly an Orange Palmer, Orange Stimulator and Orange Caddis will do the trick.  Big nymphs fished deep are working.  Terrestrials are still a good food source so I would use beetles and Green Weenies.  Probably anything that normally works in the Park will work now.  If you are not catching trout you are spooking them, fishing behind someone, not getting a good drift or the weather front is putting them down.

I had to leave for a few minutes.  I got a call from a neighbor that a stranger was walking around in our neighborhood.  She talked to him and said he was acting strange.  I grabbed a shotgun I keep in my office and went out the door.  It’s a 5 minute drive to our house.  I found the guy walking out in the middle of the road, not on our road but the main road to Dry Valley.  I got out of my truck and talked to him.  He claimed to be a lost hiker.  This guy was not a lost hiker.  He said he was going to town.  I told him he was going in the wrong direction.  He turned and started walking toward Townsend.

I drove by him on my way to the Police Station.  As soon as I got to Highway 321 Frank, one of our policemen had a car pulled over.  After he finished writing the ticket he and I drove up the hill.  He pulled over and talked to the guy.  I parked just up the hill from them.  Frank searched him, to make sure he wasn’t armed, they talked for a few minutes and the guy started walking again toward Townsend.

It turns out the guy is homeless and probably mixed up.  I could tell something was wrong with him.  Frank told him to turn left and make his way to Knoxville and find a homeless shelter.  He told the guy he would get shot wandering around in Dry Valley.  That was good advice for this poor fellow.  I live in Dry Valley.  It is not a safe place to be wandering around if you have no business there.  We all look out for each other. 

So, I’m back.  The fog is lifting.  We’re back to fishing again. 

Bill Bolinger who works here helped the Park Service capture 800 more brook trout and transferred them to Lynn Camp Prong last week.  I helped one day a month or so ago.  We released about 250 brookies.  There was another re-introduction day after that and before last week.  So, I think about 1,300 brook trout have been released.  Bill said the brookies they captured were brightly colored and some as long as 9 ½ inches.  I think that’s about it. Now we just sit and wait.  When it gets too cold to fish I plan to hike up there and watch them.  I wonder if they will spawn this year?

On Tuesday afternoon, at the Cascades of Lynn Camp Prong the Little River Chapter will hand over the ceremonial $40,000 check to the Park Service.  We are going to meet at the trailhead at 4:00.  I’ll be there to take photos.  What they are receiving is $25,000 paid directly to the Fisheries Department and $15,000 to the Friends of the Smokies Fisheries Endowment and Scholarship Fund.  The money was raised at Troutfest 2010 and from a Trout Unlimited Embrace-A-Stream Grant for $10,000.  Well done everyone. 

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

Byron Begley
October 13, 2009

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